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Erotic French postcards from the early 1900s (NSFW)
08.10.2016
01:06 pm

Topics:
History
Sex

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Erotic postcards were the pornography of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Small pocket-sized cards with a risque photograph on one side and a postcard design on the other. They were mainly produced in Paris—which led to their appellation French postcards.

Despite their name these postcards were never intended to be sent via the mail. Posting one could have led to a charge of obscenity, a hefty fine and a possible term in gaol. They were collectible erotica—sold through bookshops and photographic studios and certain gentlemen’s establishments. Due to their pornographic nature, the cards were sold surreptitiously—quite literally under the counter and discretely hidden in brown paper bags.

The earliest French postcards date from circa 1870s. These featured clothed or semi-clothed women posing like classic Greek statues. By the 1900s, the images were far more provocative and titillating. The women were usually naked or captured disrobing in their boudoirs—Tom porn—adding a frisson of voyeurism to the mix.

Jean Agélou (1878-1921) was a one of the best known photographers of nude and erotic photography. He was a master of producing the perfect French postcard. He photographed in his studio, using daylight to illuminate the scene. He had his favourite models—including his lover Fernande Barrey 9 (who also posed for Modigliani) and the theatrical star Maud d’Orbay. The photographs were generally made by a creative collaboration between model and photographer.

By today’s standards Agélou’s photographs would not look out of place in a copy of Vanity Fair or the American Apparel catalog. In 1908, France outlawed nude photographs—which made Agélou’s postcards all the more desirable.

Agélou’s erotic postcards were printed and distributed by his brother Georges. Due to the clandestine nature of the work, it is difficult to assess how many erotic photographs Agélou actually produced during his brief lifetime—which makes his work all the more collectible today. Jean and Georges were killed in a car accident in 1921.
 
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Maud d’Orby—a singer, dancer and star of operetta.
 
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More of Jean Agélou’s erotic photography, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Vintage photos of space-age concept cars paired with hot chicks from the 60s and 70s
08.10.2016
10:05 am

Topics:
Advertising
History

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Porsche Tapiro concept car, 1970.
 
Since let’s just say forever, pretty girls have been used to sell everything because if anything is true in this world it is that sex can sell absolutely anything.

If you’ve ever been to a car show or even seen images of car shows from the past (or present) then you know that having an attractive girl posing alongside the latest and greatest automobile at these kinds of events is as common as seeing a kid stuffing his face with a hot dog at a baseball game. Sometime in the late 1970s a woman named Margery Krevsky (who was at the time an employee of a large department store in Detroit whose many responsibilities included booking models for fashion shows across the country) got an idea after visiting the famed Detroit Auto Show for the first time.

After visiting the show Krevsky began working on her concept that the glamorous girls standing next to the cars possessed the untapped potential to engage in “shop talk” with potential customers. Krevsky formed her company Productions Plus - The Talent Shop which to date has employed nearly 500 well-versed, attractive “product specialists” (including a fair number of attractive, automobile savvy men) that work with car clients all over the world at shows. The evolution of the car model was detailed in a book by Krevsky from 2008, Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models

Now that I’ve given you your daily Dangerous Minds history lesson, let’s move on to the subject of this post—hot chicks pictured with some of the slickest concept cars from the 60s and 70s. From a 1971 Lamborghini Countach to the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo, I’ve got tons of images of crazy looking concept cars and sexy models in various stages of attire such as animal print bikinis and gogo boots that should get your engine running.

If it doesn’t, you might want to get that checked out… 
 

The one-off 1969 Fiat Abarth 2000 Scorpio concept car built by Italian car design firm Pininfarina.
 

Mercedes Benz ‘C111’ 1969.
 
More space age hotrods and the ladies who love them, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Cruisin’: Vintage photos of cars tricked out with record players
08.09.2016
11:41 am

Topics:
History
Music
Pop Culture

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Muhammad Ali spinning records on his very own car turntable.
 
Though I’d be the first person to admit that drivers don’t need anything else to distract them from the road (I’m looking at you EVERYONE) I’ll also be the first person to endorse bringing back the trend of installing record players in cars immediately. Because it doesn’t get much more romantic than being able to listen to your favorite 45s during a hot car makeout session.

The driving idea behind installing record players in cars was that it would allow people to not only control what they were listening to while cruising around but it also eliminated having to put up with endless radio commercials (which sounds pretty good to me). The first “Highway Hi-Fi” was put out by Chrysler in 1956 and was available to install in several car models ranging from a Dodge to various Plymouths. The component, designed by CBS Labs was only compatible with seven-inch LP’s that were put out exclusively by Columbia Records which contained about an hour’s worth of jams for your road trip. Apparently when you bought the console Chrysler would then hook you up with six selections from Columbia’s catalog—artists like Percey Sledge and Cole Porter. Of course all this tricked out audiophilia was pretty spendy and Chrysler’s hi-fi on wheels cost a whopping $200. Which was a fortune when you consider that the average family was only making about $3500 dollars a year in 1956.

Starting in 1960 other less expensive car record player units were produced by RCA, Norelco, and Phillips that could shuffle through multiple 45s and according to an article published by Consumer Reports in 2014 the consoles worked pretty well on the road with the help of a heavier stylus. Sadly the trend had a short life and was replaced by the next big thing to have in your car in the late 60s—the forever groovy eight-track tape player.

If this post has got you thinking about installing one of these vintage gadgets in your own car I’m here to tell you that while it’s possible it isn’t going to be cheap. If you’re lucky enough to find one that is brand-new in a sealed box it could run you a couple of thousand dollars to say nothing of how much it might cost to install. I’ll leave you to think about all that while you look at images of George Harrison and the late great Muhammad Ali (pictured at the top of this post) playing around with their car turntables as well as other vintage photos of the units themselves in action.
 

George Harrison and his car record player.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Troublemaking toddlers harass half-naked pin-up girls in vintage French magazine ‘Paris Tabou’
08.05.2016
11:50 am

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Amusing
Art
History
Sex

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The cover of the October 1951 issue of ‘Paris Tabou.’
 
Cheeky French magazine Paris Tabou (named for the famed Parisian nightclub “Le Tabou” once located on Rue Dauphine in St. Germain des Prés) was a French monthly pin-up magazine that made its debut in September of 1949. What I found rather curious about the gorgeous covers that featured illustrations of nearly nude women (most by Italian artist Gino Boccasile) was the inclusion of various mischievous toddlers with rather bad intentions.

Though Paris Tabou stopped publishing in 1953 it definitely made its mark with the help of Boccasile’s intriguingly perverse covers. Boccasile himself has an interesting history—the artist had only one functional eye, but was fairly prolific during the 1930s. His work graced the covers of many French magazines and books. Though his ability to produce beautiful renderings of women in various stages of undress can’t be disputed, the illustrator also had a darker side.

A supporter of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Boccasile’s hateful “anti-negro” posters (which I won’t include in this post for obvious reasons—Google them if you really must) were used as propaganda by Mussolini in the 1940s during the onset of the RSI (the “Repubblica Sociale Italiana” or “Italian Social Republic”) that was formed by Mussolini in order to maintain control of Italy (with the assistance of the German military). Boccasile was later tried (and acquitted) for his “artistic” contributions to the Third Reich. Yikes. Soon after his acquittal Boccasile switched gears and began creating memorable images that were used to advertise everything from makeup to booze. His illustrated covers for Paris Tabou were some of the last works he created before he died in 1952 at the age of 51. Many of the images that follow are slightly NSFW.
 

July, 1950.
 

June, 1950.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Hitler resists a kiss! Watch a bashful führer spurn the advances of an American fan at the Olympics!
08.04.2016
10:39 am

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Amusing
History

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It’s Olympics time again, so time to reminisce over our favorite Olympics memories—what’s yours? Perhaps it was Kerry Strug, valiantly securing gold medals for the American Women’s Gymnastics Team in 1996, despite her injured ankle! Or maybe it was in 1968, when runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos accepted their respective gold and bronze medals for the 200 meter dash shoeless in black socks, to represent black poverty, their fists raised in symbolic protest on the podium. Or maybe it was at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, when that crazy American woman snuck past the guards to try and kiss Hitler?

Yes, enthusiastic Yankee tourist Carla De Vries wanted to meet Hitler, and she decided to approach like a ‘tween chasing down Justin Bieber. Why? Well, Carla was simply attracted to the Führer’s winning personality, saying:

“Why? I simply embraced him because he appeared so friendly and gracious. People sitting near Der Führer’s box began to cheer and applaud so loudly that I ran back to my husband and told him we had better leave. I don’t know why I did it. Certainly I hadn’t planned such a thing. It’s just that I’m a woman of impulses, I guess. It happened when I went down to take Hitler’s picture with my small movie camera. Hitler was leaning forward, smiling, and he seemed so friendly that I just stepped up and asked for his autograph, which he wrote on my swimming ticket. He kept on smiling and so I kissed him”.

In what is perhaps some of the oddest footage of a mass murderer ever, you can actually watch the incident below. Despite Hitler’s apparently affable reception to De Vries, the incident obviously represented a massive compromise in security, and resulted in the dismissal and demotion of many SS guards.
 

 
Via Rare Historical Photos

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The astonishingly beautiful three color photography of Bernard Eilers
08.02.2016
02:46 pm

Topics:
Art
History

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In some parallel universe where we’re all smarter, richer and better looking, Bernard F. Eilers would be as well known as, say George Eastman and the vast Kodak empire.

For Eilers (1878-1951) was a Dutch photographer, inventor, businessman and chemist who among his many other career highs devised (over several years) an astonishing three-color process of photography called foto-chroma eilers in 1935. This was a simple yet effective separation technique which delivered (as it was described at the time) near perfect color reproduction. In this parallel universe it is foto-chroma eilers that became the dominant photographic process and not Kodak.

Eilers demonstrated his foto-chroma eilers in a series of photographs. He snapped day and night street scenes of his home city of Amsterdam. Portraits of his friends. Still lifes and extraordinarily beautiful pictures of flowers.

The use of the three-color separation technique in these incredible photographs made Eilers (briefly) world famous. It lasted until Kodak dominated the market with Kodachrome and made foto-chroma eilers redundant and Eilers almost forgotten.

Which was all sadly inevitable yet still rather interesting as this narrative has a parallel subtext of American domination of the global market.

Eilers photographic style may be a tad more painterly than many of his contemporaries—his work reminiscent of those great artists from the 1800s. But Eilers had an uncanny knack for capturing the very essence of what he photographed—whether this was a sense of space or the rich character of his friends. He was understandably a highly respected photographer—who won awards for his work and exhibited widely and he really really should be better known outside of the Netherlands and Europe and any parallel universe.

The following photographs were created by digitizing 927 glass negatives from the Amsterdam Municipal Archives in 2004.

To achieve first-class picture quality, sets of three practically matching black-and-white negatives had to be selected from a far more sizeable total collection. Assembling these sets was an arduous task: they had not always been filed neatly together and could be found among several glass negative formats, particularly among the 4.5 x 6 cm size. In the end, it appeared that the selection of some sets did not lead to a satisfactory result, but the whole operation nevertheless yielded 309 beautiful prints.

You can read about Eilers and see more of his work here.
 
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More stunning color photographs, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Mugshots of grinning miscreants, murderers and malefactors from the late 19th century
08.01.2016
12:01 pm

Topics:
Crime
History

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The cheerful mugshot of murderer George H. Ray, 1890s.
 
Of all the places to be back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Nebraska was not one of them. I recently came across some “interesting” looking mugshots from that era that struck me as a little odd. What’s odd about them—as the title of the post touts—is that some of criminals, from an unfortunate chicken thief to a couple of murderers, appeared to be smiling in them. Yikes.

Photography was a very scarce occurrence during those early decades and due to that having one’s photo taken was a very serious affair. It was also less expensive than traditional oil portraiture so that even people of lesser financial stature could have own a “portrait” of themselves or their family. In the case of the Nebraska mug shots it’s not hard to draw the conclusion that of all the the occasions to have your photo taken your first mugshot wasn’t really a time to smile for the camera. 

Of the bad guys and girls in this post the one I find most unnerving is the flat-out smiling mugshot of George H. Ray (pictured at the top of this post) who must have been pleased that he was about to do ten years in the Nebraska State Penitentiary for manslaughter. Another oddball among these various ne’er–do–wells is the curious case of Bert Martin (below) a convicted horse thief. As it turns out Bert Martin was actually “Lena” Martin—a woman masquerading as a man so she could work as a cowboy.
 

Bert Martin aka, ‘Lena” Martin, 1901
 

Murderer Frank L. Dinsmore, 1899
 
More mugshots after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Gruesome and bloody Chinese torture methods from the distant past
07.28.2016
11:46 am

Topics:
Art
History

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Execution of a Chinese prisoner by beheading
 
In China, over many, many centuries, dating back more than two thousand years, two philosophies known as Confucianism and Legalism have played out an extended battle in the public realm as to the nature of human beings. Confucianism, which is fairly well known in the West, emphasizes virtue as the key to a healthy society—its counterpoint, Legalism, argues that human beings, motivated entirely by self-interest, are more inclined to do wrong than right. In a general way, the Western analogues for Legalism are Machiavelli and Hobbes, although those two men lived many centuries after the original Legalist writers such as Han Fei and Li Si.

For reasons I don’t fully understand, the pessimism of Legalism led to Chinese dynasties practicing punitive measure of torture that were almost comically exaggerated, including the practice of lingchi or “death by 1000 cuts,” which actually meant anywhere from 100 to 3,000 cuts depending on what century it was happening. Yikes!!

Here’s Li Si arguing in favor of extraordinarily harsh punishments for even very lenient crimes:
 

Only an intelligent ruler is capable of applying harsh punishments to light offences. If light offences carry heavy punishments, one can imagine what will be done against a serious offence. Thus, the people will not dare to break the laws.

 
Amusingly, the two great Legalists Han Fei and Li Si knew each other, and their relationship ended in a manner reminiscent of a Tarantino movie: Han Fei was poisoned by his envious former classmate Li Si, who in turn was killed, according to the law that he had introduced, by the aggressive and violent Second Qin Emperor that he had helped to take the throne. Oh well!

The remarkable thing about these incredibly severe punishments is that they lasted for centuries. The bizarre images found here all date from the 1850s, but they document practices that had scarcely changed over the previous thousand years.
 

A Chinese torturer disembowels a decapitated man
 

A Chinese woman being tortured by two men
 
Many more of these ghoulish images after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘You Are What You Eat’: Bonkers hippie-era relic featuring Tiny Tim
07.28.2016
09:14 am

Topics:
History
Movies
Music

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Given how widely-beloved disjointed counterculture films like 200 Motels and Head are, it’s kind of surprising that Peter Yarrow’s insane You Are What You Eat has remained so tenaciously underground.

Yarrow was the “Peter” in Peter, Paul & Mary, one of the most massively successful exponents of the folk scene that appeared poised to take over ‘60s pop music before Beatlemania came along—their 1980s PBS concert still gets rerun during pledge drives, so reliably does it haul in that fat boomer cash—and in 1968 Yarrow used some of his money and pull to finance a montage film of flower children freaking out to a lot of badass music. It was directed by one Barry Feinstein, who’d also worked on that year’s Monterey Pop documentary, ostensibly to document the fragmentation and identity crisis of the American youth movement post-Summer of Love. It’s hard to tell if that was what was intended, because complete versions of the film don’t seem to exist, and even complete versions would surely be as messy and disjointed. From a 2007 entry on WFMU’s Beware of the Blog:

Contradictions abound in regards to who and what are contained in the film. This stems from very few complete prints having survived. Many have claimed that Frank Zappa, Improv maven Del Close, nor Harper’s Bizarre are[n’t] even in the film and that the assertions and apocryphal. Others can describe these scenes with precise detail. All three are listed in the closing credits. The film’s “official” VHS release of the mid-nineties disappeared into obscurity almost immediately. That release, however, was still missing several minutes. The soundtrack LP also omits the sounds of several performances that appeared in the picture. All of these factors have contributed to speculation. The only known complete print of YAWYE has been doing the tour of the Cinematheque circuit for the past couple of years and has is housed in Berkeley, California. Columbia’s soundtrack LP was re-issued on CD in 1997, but only in Japan (naturally). The album remains generally elusive in North America.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Teenage Sophia Loren was deemed ‘too provocative’ to win the title of Miss Italy, 1950
07.19.2016
10:59 am

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion
History
Superstar

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The path to success is often circuitous, filled with detours, wrong turnings, dead ends and log-jammed highways. Perseverance and a great desire to succeed are requisite. Where one starts off is sometimes far removed from where one arrives.

Sophia Loren was a mere fifteen-year-old when she stood in line with the other young girls hoping to win the glittering prize of Miss Italy in Rome 1950. The Miss Italy beauty contest was devised as a “pick-me-up” for the defeated and beleaguered Italian nation after the Second World War in 1946.

Many of those early Miss Italia winners and contestants became well known in Italy and abroad. In 1947 alone there were four contestants who later went on to Italian entertainment fame: Lucia Bose (the winner that year), Gianna Maria Canale (second place), Gina Lollobrigida (third), and Eleonora Rossi Drago (fourth).

In 1950 the competition was broadcast live on radio. This was the year Miss Loren made her appearance under the name Sofia Scicolone.  However, the teenage beauty was considered “too provocative” to win the contest and the judging panel awarded Miss Loren the specially devised title of “Miss Eleganza 1950.”

Maria Bugliari won the title of Miss Italy but her success was small potatoes when compared to the long and brilliant career Sophia Loren achieved as an actress from then on.
 
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More early photos of Sophia Loren, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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