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Vintage violence and the ‘dance of death’: Wild images of the ‘Apache’ dancers of Paris
05.11.2017
11:03 am
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Two ‘Apache’ dancers hanging out in a cafe in Paris in 1938.
 
I’m going to roll the clock back to my earliest recollection of seeing what was essentially a version of the “Apache” dance that was featured on, of all things one of the original installments of the Popeye the Sailor cartoon series that I saw on TV as a child during the 1970s. The short in question was the seventeenth ever produced, in 1934, called “The Dance Contest.” In it Popeye and his gangly girlfriend Olive Oyl enter a dance contest which of course Popeye’s nemesis Bluto attempts to disrupt. When Bluto finally gets his chance dance with Olive he recklessly and abusively hurls her around—much in the style of an Apache dance. Naturally, Popeye is having none of that and after downing a can of his famous spinach, he takes over the lead dancer role with Bluto who he then essentially beats to a pulp while his famous theme plays out in the background. The cartoon itself, as you may recall, was already notoriously violent so it made perfect sense to incorporate one of the most popular and viciously aggressive dance crazes of the time into its storyline. But all of that would have gone over the head of pretty much any kid watching the show several decades later and it wasn’t until I was conducting my very important “research” for this post that I actually realized that the old-timey cartoon was riffing on what some referred to as the “Dance of Death” or the “Dance of the Underworld,” aka, “the Apache dance.”

If you are not familiar with this style of dance then it’s important to note that female dancers played a pivotal part in creating the savage scenarios in the dance by helping to develop its complicated choreography. The word “Apache” was derived from a name given to members of Parisian street gangs who were formerly known as “no goods.” After a particularly heinous crime involving the murder of a man who was found with his face, nose, and neck pierced with several women’s hat pins, the news reported the story with the headline “Crime Committed by the Apaches of Belleville.” From that point forward, the dance, its dancers, as well as teenage hooligans (who were often one and the same) became synonymous with the name. The earliest known appearance of the Apache was in the 1900s, perhaps as early as 1902. Like many dances, it is thematic in nature with storylines involving arguments between two lovers or perhaps a prostitute and a john. There were full-fledged stage productions involving complexly choreographed dance numbers. Dancers, especially amateurs, would often break bones and sustain other injuries during the heated and violent routines. Some routines were so egregious looking it was difficult to tell if something wasn’t actually going very fucking wrong while everyone sat back swilling booze, smoking cigarettes and watched. The craze dominated Paris for nearly 30 years and would also be featured in several films including one from the wildly popular Charlie Chan series, 1935’s Charlie Chan In Paris.

LIFE magazine wrote a rather extensive piece on the Apache dance craze/culture in 1946, and interviewed female dancers regarding their feelings about the dance. They said they “liked being thrown around,” which at face value appears to describe an act of domestic violence, only set to a jazz soundtrack. Which brings me to another important distinction about the Apache—it’s not just the ladies who get roughed up. No. In the Apache, the female dancers also get to gracefully kick the shit out of their male counterparts. So you see, everyone wins when they do the Apache dance at one point or another.

I’ve posted some gorgeous images of Apache dancers hanging out around Paris as well as some incredible footage from Charlie Chan in Paris featuring an Apache dance scene with actress Dorothy Appleby that you just have to see. I’ve also posted that Popeye the Sailor short I referenced at the beginning of this post because, well, why not?
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.11.2017
11:03 am
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The gorgeous lesbian erotica of Gerda Wegener
03.16.2017
11:18 am
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Gerda and Einer Wegener posing in front of one of Gerda’s paintings, 1925.
 
After moving to Paris from Copenhagen in the early 1900s, the work of then 26-year-old Gerda Wegener garnered the attention of the liberal and experimental art scene thriving in the adventurous city. Though she was already a successful artist in her former hometown well known for her lush illustrations for fashion magazines, a nearly unprecedented event involving her husband Einer would send the pair off to Paris with the hope that their unconventional partnership would be better accepted in the more permissive city.

If Wegener’s name is familiar to you, it is most likely because the extraordinary lives of the groundbreaking artist and her husband were the subjects of the 2015 film, The Danish Girl which was based on a fictional novel from 2000 of the same name by David Ebershoff. If you’ve not read the book or seen the film, the Wegeners’ story is an incredibly compelling tale of love, acceptance, bravery and of course sex. As I don’t want to provide every detail of their extraordinary tale as not to spoil it for anyone, I’ll share a few points of interest as they pertain to Gerda’s spellbinding erotica.

According to historians, Einer’s interest in exploring his true sexuality began after a model failed to show for a sitting with his wife. After she jovially mused that Einer should put on a pair of thigh-highs and heels so she could still paint, he agreed. Unbeknownst to fans of her work, the image of a mysterious dark-haired beauty who would be a reccurring subject in her paintings was actually Einer who had become the primary focus and muse for his wife.

In 1930 after living much of his life as “Lili,” at the age of 47 Einer would travel to Germany to forever transition to a woman and would be one of the first men to go through gender-reassignment surgery. Wegener’s erotic, lesbian-themed paintings caused quite a stir—including the occasional public riot due to their graphic nature. Her less controversial works would grace the pages of Vogue for years as well as other fashion publications.

I’ve included an array of images from Wegener’s vast catalog of erotic works below which, as you might have guessed, are beguilingly NSFW.
 

1926.
 

1925.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.16.2017
11:18 am
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The heart-wrenching ‘teary-eyed’ dolls of Leo Moss
01.30.2017
07:18 am
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A trio of dolls made by Leo Moss, early 1900s.
 
An article published in The New York Times on January 9th, 1978 about avid doll collector and author Myla J. Perkins provided some background on Leo Moss, a doll maker from Macon, Georgia. As the article alleges, many doll collectors—even those who primarily collected dolls with black “skin” had never heard of Moss or his incredibly poignant dolls until the 1970s.

According to this vintage piece from the Times, Moss would make “white” dolls in the image of the white children who lived in his neighborhood, and would then trade them for whatever he needed to create his black dolls and food for his family. The vast majority of Moss’ dolls were based on members of his own family, including his children. A jack-of-all-trades, Moss started making his paper maché dolls back in the late 1800s through the early part of the 1900s. In order to make his black dolls, Moss used discarded doll parts and soot from chimneys as well as boot dye to color their skin, and his wife Lee Ann made the delicate doll clothing. Moss also bought rejected or defective doll parts from a white man who worked for a New York toy supply company. And according to the folklore associated with Leo Moss, the helpful salesman was apparently the reason as to why many of Moss’ dolls faces are filled with sadness and authentic looking tears. Because at some point Lee Ann ran off with the New York doll parts dealer, taking the couple’s youngest child Mina along with her.

While this is about the most depressing thing I’ve read in awhile, author and historian Debbie Behan Garrett noted an equally sad explanation for Moss’ unhappy dolls in her 2008 book Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion. According to Garrett if one of Moss’ young models was unhappy or crying while he was trying to capture their image, he added the tears. Moss’ dolls are extremely rare and perhaps only 100 of them still exist today. Highly sought after by collectors the dolls sell for thousands of dollars, with one selling in 2010 for $10,350.

More photos of Moss’ dolls can be seen below.
 

1920.
 

‘Cleo.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.30.2017
07:18 am
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The photographs of pioneering Japanese surrealist Kansuke Yamamoto
01.23.2017
01:01 pm
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A photograph by Kansuke Yamamoto, 1950.
 
Future photographer Kansuke Yamamoto’s father, Goro Yamamoto, was a talented photographer himself. The elder Yamamoto had an affinity for “Pictorialism,” or the artistic practice of distorting or manipulating a photograph in perhaps a painterly manner. Yamamoto didn’t initially follow in his father’s footsteps when it came to photography, and preferred to spend his young years writing poetry. At the age of seventeen Kansuke relocated from his birthplace of Nagoya to bustling Tokyo to pursue studies in French Literature at Meiji University. Already a huge fan of surrealist-style poetry, at this time it is very likely that the young artist first saw the various surrealist works of art that had just started to make their way to museums and galleries in Japan. Inspired by what was happening around him he would quickly become the co-founder of the Dokuritsu Shashin Kenkyukai or “Independent Photography Research Association.” The organization was formed due to the disdain many Japanese-based photographers had for the limitations of Pictorialism. The group’s magazine Dokuritsu (or “Independent”) would be the first publication to showcase the young Yamamoto’s photographic works.

It is important to note that the artists who produced surrealist-style work during this time were routinely persecuted by the Japanese government and ran the risk of jail and imprisonment if they were deemed annoying enough by the authorities. Despite this, Yamamoto had already fallen under the spell of surrealism and it would become his artistic calling card for the rest of his life. When Japan removed itself from the League of Nations in 1933, harsh rules such as the “Peace Preservation” laws were put in place. If you’ve ever heard the term “Thought Police” used before, its origins can be traced back to this time in Japan as this moniker was used to describe the law enforcement, or the “Tokko,” whose members worked tirelessly to remove freedom of the press, free speech, and free assembly. Undaunted and unafraid of the consequences, Yamamoto and others would carry on.

Until his death in 1987 at the age of 73, Yamamoto would form many more surrealist-based groups and became a mentor and inspiration to aspiring artists who were members of the Chubu Photography Federation of Students. Much of Yamamoto’s work is included in the 2013 book Japan’s Modern Divide: The Photographs of Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto. I’ve included examples from Yamamoto’s vast body of work dating from 1932 to 1970 below. Some are gorgeously NSFW.
 

Self-portrait, 1950.
 

‘Stapled Flesh,’ 1949.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.23.2017
01:01 pm
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Girls and guns: Brave female freedom fighters from around the world on the battlefields of war
11.30.2016
10:47 am
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The first female combat veteran Margaret Corbin helping to load a cannon being shot by her husband John Corbin during the Battle of Fort Washington on Manhattan Island, 1772. Though Corbin is depicted in the painting above wearing a dress she disguised herself as a man in order to contribute to the efforts on the battlefield.
 
During the Revolutionary War it was commonplace for the wife of a soldier to accompany her husband to war only to mostly perform activities such as doing laundry, preparing meals and attending to he injured. Though this is exactly what Margaret Corbin did initially when she joined her husband John as a member of the Pennsylvania military at the age of 21, four years later Corbin would disguise herself as a man to help her husband load his cannon during the Battle of Fort Washington on Manhattan Island. During the fighting John was killed leaving Margaret alone to “man” the cannon. Which she did until she nearly lost her left arm due to British army fire. Corbin would survive and for her participation in the Battle of Fort Washington she was officially recognized as the first woman “combat veteran” and subsequently became the first woman to receive a military pension.

Many other women would follow in Corbin’s pioneering footsteps including Deborah Sampson who dressed as a man in order to fight in George Washington’s army in 1782. Sampson’s heroic charade lasted for a year until she became injured and was no longer able to hide the fact that she was a woman and was honorably discharged. During the Civil War and the Spanish American War in 1898 there are several accounts of women masquerading as men in order to fight on the front lines along with their male counterparts, as well as serving their country assisting with war related activities such as espionage. Though women would participate in WWI and WWII and lose their lives as a result, it was not until 1976 that women were allowed to enlist in the military. Instances of women fighting in other wars and acting as snipers, and members of resistance efforts in places like France during WWII were common.

Speaking of snipers, the story of Red Army sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko is a compelling one. Pavlichenko was an expert female sniper from Ukraine who fought the Nazis during WWII and was credited with killing 187 Germans during her first 75 days as a member of the Soviet resistance. That number would grow to 309 with 36 of her total kills being German snipers, though it’s widely believed that her actual kill count is likely much higher as there was not always a third-party to witness them all. The German army was rightfully so terrified of Pavlichenko they took to broadcasting appeals over loudspeakers to have the 25-year-old killing machine join their troops instead of wiping them out. Pavlichenko would of course turn down the offer (which according to historians included the promise of “candy”). There were 2000 female snipers who fought with the Red Army during WWII—and Pavlichenko would be one of the 500 who walked away with their lives.

Below, I’ve included some pretty stunning images of women taking up arms. I’ve also posted the trailer for the 2015 film based on Lyudmila Pavlichenko’s brave exploits Battle for Sevastopol. Stay strong, sisters.
 

Red Army sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko.
 

Armenian guerilla fighters during the Hamidian massacres, 1895.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.30.2016
10:47 am
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Bend me, shape me: The art of contortionism makes a comeback
11.21.2016
10:06 am
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Contortionist ‘Ben Dover’ (born Joseph Späh) striking the ‘Hairpin Pose,’ early 1900s. Dover was one of the 62 survivors of the crash of the Hindenburg in 1937.

Optional soundtrack to this post.

The art of body contortion can be traced back to the 13th century BC in Greece, Egypt and Mexico until it started to decline in popularity during the Middle Ages. The start of the 20th century would bring about a revival of sorts of the ancient art of bending your body into impossible positions for entertainment in circuses and burlesque shows around the world.

In the 2016 book The Path of Modern Yoga: The History of an Embodied Spiritual Practise author Elliott Goldberg writes that contortionists performing during the vaudeville era were lumped into the category of “dumb acts” along with jugglers, dancers and acrobats as their shows didn’t involve any speaking. When it came to the appeal of watching a contortionist silently fold their limbs in ways that defy all logic, Goldberg had this fascinating insight into why people can’t seem to look away from other humans performing these incredible physical feats:

We’re delighted by the gracefulness of the movements and poses, yet we are also repulsed (or at least made uncomfortable) by the seemingly haphazard, violent and gruesome arrangement of body parts. And we’re also turned on. By violating some natural law of how bodies twist and bend contortion seems to especially transgress normative sexual practises. We’re sexually stimulated by performers seeming to strut their stuff as an invitation to kinky, delirious sex.

Some of these images may remind you of the more formidable poses in yoga like the “Sirsa Padasana” or the “Head to Foot Pose” (which looks like this) and others are amusing plays on activities such as enjoying cocktails with friends or spinning a few records on a Saturday night. That said some of the images in this post are slightly NSFW.
 

Burlesque dancer and contortionist Barbara Blaine, 1934.
 

 
More contortions after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.21.2016
10:06 am
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Antique erotic cigarette cases from the early 20th century
11.11.2016
11:24 am
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Erotic-themed cigarette case from Sweden, 1910.
 
In order to protect the somewhat delicate hand-rolled cigarettes that were sold during the early part of the 20th century, fashionable cigarette cases crafted in gold, silver or other precious materials started popping up in the hands of elite members of society all around the world.

These cases became a venue for artists to use their handiwork to produce images that would appeal to all kinds of customers, including those who enjoyed gazing at erotic images while enjoying a relaxing smoke. Born out of function cigarette cases became decadent pieces of art. Even the posh egg-man Peter Carl Fabergé designed cigarette cases in the late 19th century that were ornately decorated with precious jewels such as diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. While Fabergé‘s fancy cigarette cases were fit for the gentry or royal crowds, the “erotic” themed cases in this post were probably not flashed around by members of the upper-class or aristocracy while in mixed company.

Due to their age they are quite hard to come by and the exquisite cases have been known to fetch anywhere from $3000 to $9000 when they come up for auction at Christie’s or Sotheby’s. Occasionally these authentic era-specific cases do pop up on sites like Etsy and eBay but even then they can run several hundred dollars a pop. I’ve got a number of beautiful erotic cigarette cases for you to look at below—that said, though they are incredible works of vintage art (some of which are over 100 years old), they are NSFW.
 

Germany, early 1900s.
 

Vienna, 1913.
 

 

Germany, 1910.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.11.2016
11:24 am
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Slither sisters: Vintage images of female circus snake charmers and their reptilian friends
09.29.2016
09:23 am
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A vintage snake charmer and her friend.
 
The allure of the “snake charmer” as an attraction in circus sideshow or perhaps as a part of a freak show was as common as other circus staples like the really tall man, bearded ladies and sword swallowers. And like other roles in the circus there were lots of women who took on the snake charmer role and played it to the hilt.

Some of the images of female snake charmers in this post date back to the 1800s such as the image above of a woman billed as the “Mexican Rattle-Snake Queen” above. By the turn of the century female snake charmers were common attractions and perhaps two of the best known and most photographed of them all was a woman known as “Octavia” who performed with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show under the title of the “Yankee Snake Charmer,” and “Miss Uno” who in addition to her snakes was well known for her out of control hair best described as a wind-blown Afro not unlike that of another well-known snake charmer Zoe Zobedia. Though Zobedia was a snake charmer she was also a part of another popular early-19th century attraction in circuses called “Circassian Beauties” who were known for their exotic hair who would style their “Moss Hair” by teasing it into massive Afro-like hairdos. But I digress from the reptilian point of this post.

Unlike their male counterparts female snake handlers were usually sexualized and would often be dressed in attire that was considered incredibly risqué as women were still wearing bathing suits that looked like dresses to the beach at that time. That said, a few of the images in this post could be considered NSFW due to some partial nudity. Of course for those of you who suffer from ophidiophobia (a fear of snakes) or herpetophobia (a phobia of reptiles, lizards and other kind of vertebrates) you have my condolences as it’s safe to assume that this post is full of pictures of girls and snakes.

And since we’re talking about pretty girls and snakes, I’ve also included footage of the gorgeous Debra Paget as “Seetha” trying to charm a cobra from director Fritz Lang’s 1959 film Das indische Grabmal or The Indian Tomb (also known as Journey to the Lost City).
 

The ‘Mexican Rattle-Snake Queen,’ 1800s.
 

‘Miss Uno.’
 

‘Mademoiselle Dorita,’ 1930s.
 
More snakes and the women who charm them, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.29.2016
09:23 am
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Beyond Thunderdome: Vintage images of the death-defying sport known as ‘Auto Polo’
09.23.2016
10:49 am
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A day in the life of some ‘auto polo’ players
 
According to the book Bain’s New York: The City in News Pictures 1900-1925 the idea for playing the traditional game of Polo with automobiles was the brainchild of a Ford from Topeka, Kansas with the snappy name of Ralph “Pappy” Hankinson. Originally Hankinson’s idea was intended to be a way to boost sales of the Ford Model T that the company had started producing in 1908.
 

 
Not only did Hankinson’s plan work, it quickly became a hugely popular sporting event in which not only the participants were at risk of injury or death but so were the spectators who flocked to such events. The matches were held across the country and the world, with the very first major auto polo exhibition being held in Washington D.C. in 1912. The outright brutality of the uncompromising sport also meant that cars would have to be routinely replaced since they would often give up the ghost in the middle of a match and because the main attraction of the sport was the very high probability that cars would crash into each other.

In other words auto polo was a bit like the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome only with cars operated by those insane enough to careen them around an arena armed with ball-smashing mallets at 40 miles per hour. So dangerous was the game of auto polo that an actual surgeon was onsite during the matches just in case anyone was injured (which according to most historical resources on the topic was shockingly rare). But deaths on the field did happen and those infrequent occurrences caused the sport to be banned in numerous states despite its rabid fan base. As I was looking through the images I found of matches that were held from 1912 until the early 1920s I noticed a distinct lack of protective equipment worn by the players who would drive the cars without seat belts as they were supposed to jump out of the moving car if it tipped over.  Which makes it even more surprising that more of the sports manly participants survived to ride another day which the following mayhemic images in this post will reinforce.
 

 

 
More mechanical mayhem after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.23.2016
10:49 am
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Get in the ring: Vintage images of female bodybuilders and ‘strong women’ showing off
09.02.2016
10:35 am
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Strong woman and acobat Louise Leers (aka Luise Krökel), 1930s.
 
Some of the images of the badass strong women in this post date all the way back to the very early 1900s however the female “strong woman” was an attraction as long ago as the early 1700s where women such a the “Female Italian Samson” and the “Little Woman from Geneva” would perform impressive feats of strength such as bearing massive amounts of weight on their backs or effortlessly hoisting several men in their arms.
 

The ‘Great Sandwina’ aka, Katie Brumbach.
 
Sometime in the late 1800s the appearance of strong women became more prevalent in sporting events and were also a common attraction in circuses where they would showcase their superhuman strength. This in turn paved the way for other rule-breaking girls such as female wrestlers and bodybuilders. One of the best known super women was Katie Brumbach called the “Great Sandwina.” Hailing from Vienna, Brumbach’s parents were also circus performers and it would appear that she was the combination of her father (who stood 6’ 6”) and her mother (who was herself a strong woman of sorts, sporting biceps that measured 15 inches around). She not only inherited her parents physical prowess and she performed with them, as well as many of her fourteen siblings. Brumbach would go on to wow audiences by lifting her husband (who reportedly weighed 165 lbs) over her head with only one arm and 300 pounds of weights with both. In her later years Brumbach joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a powerlifter where she snapped iron bars with her bare hands. At the age of 57 she was still able to pull to hoist her husband above her head with only one arm.

Another notable strong woman Kate Roberts went by the intimidating name “Vulcana.” In addition to her muscular build and ability to lift heavy weights (allegedly 181 lbs with one arm) she has some fascinating superhero-style folklore attached to her. In addition to saving a couple of drowning kids, Roberts dragged an unfortunate would-be purse snatcher who tried to steal her handbag all the way to the police station by herself. According to various historians Roberts also freed a wagon that had become stuck in a ditch in front of a crowd of awestruck Londoners. I’ve included images of other kick ass women in this post such as Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton (who was a notable member of the “Muscle Beach” crowd in the 1940s), and Joan Rhodes who enjoyed bending iron rods with her teeth and breaking nails with her bare hands.  There’s also a video of Rhodes showing off her strength in a cabaret act called the “Iron Girl in a Velvet Glove.”
 

‘Vulcana’ (aka Kate Roberts).
 

Abbye ‘Pudgy’ Stockton.
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.02.2016
10:35 am
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Mugshots of grinning miscreants, murderers and malefactors from the late 19th century
08.01.2016
12:01 pm
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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…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.01.2016
12:01 pm
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Blow-out: Bizarre sci-fi looking vintage hair dryers from the early 1900s
06.20.2016
06:32 pm
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A massive hair dryer from 1934.
 
Some of our readers will recall a time when it seemed like a good idea to strap a plastic bag to your head (when it was still wet mind you) then hook it up to a large device that would blow hot hair into said bag in order to dry your hair. Sometimes I really do believe it is a fucking miracle that more people born in decades preceding the 1970s didn’t die after putting hot plastic bags on their wet heads. Even as a kid back in the 70s I thought on more than one occasion that I was going to come out with a perfectly red ring around my skull after sitting under a soft-bonnet style hair dryer. But that never happened. Thanks, Mom!
 

A drawing of the first hair dryer invented by Alexandre Godefoy in 1888. 
 
Some of these space-aged looking contraptions date as far back as the early 1920s and could be found in public bath houses. In 1930, German hair care company Wella debuted a motorized dryer that looked like it was straight out of a scene from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (pictured directly below). Others are just too wacky for words but as a girl with long hair—I get it. Before the advent of the hair dryer women would dry their hair by a fire (yikes!) or just let it dry on its own. The first hair dryer originated in 1888 in a beauty salon in France owned by Alexandre Godefroy (pictured above) that attached to a pipe for a chimney or a gas stove and blew hot air through a giant alien-looking metal helmet. In the words of those Virginia Slim ads “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” when it comes to hair maintenance. Lots of images of far-out looking hair dryers of yesteryear follow.
 

Wella’s first motorized hair dryer from 1930.
 

1920s.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.20.2016
06:32 pm
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‘Satan at Play’ and other vintage movie magic from early 1900s

0_1A1devpla24.jpg
 
While not exactly dangerous this early film Satán se divierte by Segundo de Chomón is certainly amusing and a work of art. De Chomón was a Spanish filmmaker whose pioneering work in camera tricks and optical illusions was to influence generations of filmmaker. Many of his “tricks” are still used today.

De Chomón is often compared to that other giant of early cinema Georges Méliès—the great French filmmaker whose works included A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904). While there was undoubtedly a rivalry between the two men—with Méliès taking the tape for innovation—de Chomón made his mark by developing a mechanical stencil-based film tinting process that was known as Pathécolor. He also diversified his filmmaking talents into documentaries, dramas and special effects for other directors.

Satán se divierte or Satan at Play aka The Red Specter (1907) is a superb example of De Chomón’s work with its camera tricks—some of which would be later revisited in films like Bride of Frankenstein—stage show magic and beautiful color stencilling.
 
Watch ‘The Devil at Play’ plus ‘Haunted House’ and ‘Voyage to the Planet Jupiter,’ after the jump…
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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.17.2016
08:27 am
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Diabolic vintage illustrations of ‘spanking machines’
02.19.2016
11:02 am
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An illustration of a
“Strafraum” (“penalty”). A German illustration of a “spanking machine,” 1930s
 
Now before you read any further into this post, you should know that I’m not at all a fan of corporal punishment. However, I am very much a fan of the great lengths inventors and perhaps sometimes kinky “free-thinkers” are willing to go to when it comes to building an automated contraption that does things that a human would normally do.
 
Illustration for a spanking machine, 1800s, UK
Illustration from the UK of a “spanking machine,” early 1800s. The clown is a nice touch, yes?
 

“The cane and the whip in the 19th century,” 1899
 
That said, the “spanking machines” you are about to see in this post, probably never became reality. Is it possible some of them were real? Sure, it’s possible. Whatever the case may be, it appears that as early as the 1800s, a great many people from Australia to Russia and of course the UK and U.S. were dreaming up new ways to spank the crap out of people’s asses. Sometimes for pleasure and sometimes as punishment. While the words pleasure and punishment can be interchangeable in some circles (I don’t judge and neither should you), I can assure you that the vast majority of people in the following images don’t look especially thrilled about what’s happening. That said, I’d consider some of what follows NSFW. Which is usually what you’re going to get if the title of a post includes the words “spanking machines.” Duh.
 
The
The “Rub A Dub Dub” spanking machine. An illustration by fetish artist, John Willie (aka John Alexander Scott Coutts), the founder of ‘Bizarre’ magazine . 1940s
 
More retro spanking contraptions after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.19.2016
11:02 am
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The super-kinky illustrations of the mysterious French fetish artist known only as ‘Carlo’
01.26.2016
10:09 am
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A book cover for a fetish publication called “Dolly Slave” by Carlo, late 1920s/1930s

I’m sad to say that I wasn’t able to dig up much information about the artist featured in this post, a French fetish illustrator from a century ago who went by the moniker, “Carlo.” However, Carlo’s illustrations themselves are very well-known in the world of vintage fetish. His strong sadomasochistic images and bondange-themed drawings adorned erotic magazines and the covers of naughty novels. Carlo’s first illustrations may have been seen in French erotic print as far back as 1909, and he was fairly prolific from about that time, and well into the 1930s.
 

“Slave” a fetish book cover illustrated by Carlo, late 1920s/1930s
 
Here’s what I do know about the somewhat mysterious “Carlo”—he was French and he seemed to be very, very well acquainted with the world of hardcore BDSM. His style is very much in line with another French erotic illustrator who was active at the same time known as “Esbey.” Both artists’ work appeared in several publications put out by Select-Bibliothèque, one of the very first publishing houses to put out fetish-oriented material, as well as other French publishing houses that catered to the thriving fetish community in Paris back in the very early 1900s (”spanking fiction” was especially popular back in those days, mon dieu!).
 
A fetish book cover illustrated by Carlo
 

“The Dominator”
 
When I first saw Carlo’s work, it was hard to conceive that this kind of high-level kink was a thing so long ago. I mean, we’re not just talking whips, chains and stilettos here (although there is no lack of those accessories, either): Carlo’s world as he portrayed it to be in his illustrations is full of sophisticated bondage contraptions, and S&M gear and scenarios that would make Caligula blush. And if it would make Caligula blush, it’s safe to assume what you are about to see is NSFW.

If this is your kind of thing (I don’t judge and neither should you), try to track down the 1984 book Carlo, by Robert Merodack.
 
Bondage fetish illustration by Carlo
 

“The Triumphant Leather”
 
Fetish illustration by Carlo
 
More vintage BDSM smut from ‘Carlo’ after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.26.2016
10:09 am
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