Feelin' bad about yourself? I CAN MAKE YOU FEEL WORSE!

Remember that dreadful song that won the Academy Award a few years ago, something about "It's Hard Out Here Being a Pimp"? Seriously? Is it? I would hope so. But what about just being a woman? Now that's hard! Sometimes it just makes you want to throw your head back and scream like a banshee!

Here are two companies that first want to make you feel really bad about yourself and then, by the end of their copy, they'll try to build you back up if you use their products. And please note, in this case both have to do with your mouth. Other body parts will be dealt with in later posts.

First up Ipana toothpaste. Is it still made? I don't know. But one thing you find in a lot of magazines from the early part of the 20th century are ads warning against "pink toothbrush". In other words, bleeding gums, gingivitis. Now imagine having pink toothbrush AND being a "plain girl". How could you even drag your plain ol' self out of bed each morning. I mean... you're so...so...plain!
"You think beauty is all-important? Well--look around you, plain girl! Just look at those who are wearing solitaires...getting bridal showers...being married!"
Ummmmmmm...yeah, they're the same ones filing for divorce in 6 years. Okay, some don't, but Ipana is not the answer to life's problems. It's not just white teeth, or lack thereof that's the problem. No, there's a more heinous problem...que dramatic organ music...
"...your gums are spongy, tender--robbed of exercise by today's creamy foods."
What the...? I have to exercise my gums too? Who knew? Did I miss the memo? When I was at that 5 start spa resort a few years ago was gum massage included in the full body massage?
"Just massage a little extra Ipana onto your gums every time you clean your teeth. That invigorating "tang" means circulation is quickening in the gum tissue--helping gums to new firmness."
Okay, just a thought, and I know this might offend some people, but...can I apply Ipana to other body parts to increase firmness? This is something worth checking out. So I wonder what Ipana smells like because if I'm slathering this on other body parts I don't want to smell anything less than minty.

Click on image to see it larger...otherwise you'll never know how bad this is.

Okay, so you're lying in bed massaging your gums, worrying about life, and the fact you can't find Ipana at any store. The more you worry, the more you massage. For cryin' out loud...GET OUT OF BED PLAIN GIRL AND BANG THAT PIANO! All is not lost...unless you don't use the next product which is still available.

What makes you want to use a mouthwash more than the mere thought of your name on a headstone? I never realized that halitosis was a death sentence. (Note to self: read fine print of HMO contract to see if they will prevent me dying from halitosis or is that considered a pre-existing condition?)
"Everybody in town liked Ivy. Then behind her back they begain to give her a sinsiter nick-name. It was "Poison Ivy"--and every one knew what it meant but Ivy herself. Slowly but certainly that nasty whispered epigram became her epitaph. Socially she was simply finished. Men no longer sought her company. Too often for her peace of mind she was left out of parties that in the past she could have counted on."
Oh Ivy...Ivy...Ivy. You know those guys at the Tip-Top Lounge? They don't care what your breath smells like when it's 1 am and you suddenly look like Monroe in their drunken haze. Those guys will never notice your breath until the next morning and by that time theirs will be just as bad as yours. It's up to you Ivy. Swig back some Listerine or some Jack Daniels. You have to decide what it is you want in life.
"Simply use Listerine Antiseptic night and morning and between times before social and business engagements at which you would like to appear at your best. If you want others to like you, never, never, omit this delightful precaution."
Okay, just stop right there! I personally never, never, found Listerine to be delightful. Especially the original recipe. I remember swirling that around my mouth as a child from the old glass bottles and it tasted bad. I'm not commenting on todays recipe. Have no idea what it tastes like. And if you do what they say won't you become sort of a neurotic Listerine addict? According to their instructions you're going to be slugging this stuff back all day long. Good for their pocketbooks, bad for yours.

Okay, well now I'm just depressed. I had garlic for dinner. I'm thinking I need to start checking out a nice granite headstone. You know, just as a backup. Or maybe I'll just throw my head back and scream like a banshee.

It's hard out here being a woman!

Listerine ad_1942_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Sex, Drugs, and BASKETBALL

Chesterfield_Basketball Jubilee_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

When did they stop using wholesome looking girls to sell vices? What was the cutoff point? When did they all start looking like those inflatable vacuous women that live with Hefner making fish pouty mouth faces, plastic from head to toe? I've never been able to pinpoint the year. Vices no longer attempt to hide their lack of worth.

For some reason when I look at this ad really fast I keep seeing the words "Bette Midler" instead of "Milder Better"? Never mind. I also see Kim Basinger flinging a basketball. Time for some shut eye.

Particularly odd ad from the back cover of the March 1942 Cosmopolitan.

UPDATE: I did find another version of this ad as a sign available at Live Auctioneers site. Same style shirt, but different colors for the Chesterfield Basketball Jubilee. This woman has more of a young Monroe look.


LANA TURNER was staring back at me

Imagine opening a box that had sat in your closet for years and finding this staring back at you. I don't even know how or when I got this magazine. But finding it in the bottom of a box in the back of the closet had me dumbstruck. I simply couldn't believe I owned this and had no memory of it. Time to get past my mental block and deal with reality.

Bradshaw Crandell_Lana Turner_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

This is Lana Turner on the cover of the March 1942 Cosmopolitan, illustration by Bradshaw Crandall.

John Bradshaw Crandall was born on June 14, 1896 in Glen Falls, New York. Following high school he moved to Chicago where for 6 months he attended classes at the Art Institute. He then enrolled in Weslyan University until the U.S. entered World War II. He then enlisted in the Navy and served as a machinists 1st mate. Following his discharge he moved to New York City where he began studying at the Art Students League. These studies, like those in Chicago, were only for a few months.

Crandall's first major work was a cover illustration in 1921 for a magazine called Judge. I have not been able to find this image online.

Eventually Crandall was producing cover art for various major magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Colliers.
In 1925 he opened "shop" at 405 Lexington Avenue and simply called it John Bradshaw Crandell Studios. Crandell himself only recalled producing one editorial or "story" illustration. That was produced for Redbook magazine "early in his career." There were countless advertising illustrations produced for a variety of "elite" clients and products. The images usually depicted an attractive woman or couple engaged in some glamorous or exciting activity. He became widely recognized for his Old Gold ads and point of purchase displays. Crandell's depictions of beautiful women were the staple for Palmolive skin soap advertising campaigns during the early 1930's. However, it was his Cosmopolitan magazine covers that made Bradshaw Crandell a household name.

By 1935, Crandell dropped the "John" from his name,moved to a new penthouse studio at 400 East 52nd Street (he would maintain this location until August of 1965), and was at the beginning of his 12 year run as the cover artist for Cosmopolitan. He also produced covers for Ladies' Home Journal and various other "Curtis" publications. During WWII Crandell produced a variety of war effort illustration art. In 1939 he provided the artwork for the Salvation Army fund drive, and also produced numerous illustrations for General Motors Pontiac Division, depicting workers and their roles in producing aircraft.

Cosmopolitan was known for it's beautiful covers portraying Hollywood's most popular and attractive movie stars. It was imperative that these depictions not only be recognizable, but more beautiful and glamorous than the camera or "real life" could present. There was an abundance of infinitely skilled illustrators in those days. Few however had the ability to draw and paint a "pretty face" like those produced by Bradshaw Crandell. In fact, over the years there have been but a handful of artists with this uniquely aesthetic ability.

When Carole Lombard posed for Crandell in 1935, she was at the height of her acting career and popularity. In the image conscious movie industry of the 1930's to the 1950's anything less than perfect would not be tolerated nor accepted. This alone is a testament to Crandell's considerable abilities and influence within the studio system of yesterday. Movie stars of today are forced to embrace the public's fascination with candid reality. Somewhere along the line, the elements of fantasy and innocence have been lost.

By the late 1940's Bradshaw Crandell had turned over the reigns of producing the covers at Cosmopolitan to Jon Whitcomb. Crandell himself had been Harrison Fisher's beneficiary in the 1930's. However the decade of the 1950's brought a new direction for Crandell. Throughout his career, Crandell had used pastel as his primary media for it's spontaneity and lack of a required drying time for managing deadlines. However he was ready for a change. He had taught himself to paint with oils, and with his unwavering dedication was producing work that would rival his magnificent pastel illustrations.

Crandell was now in his preferred element. Although he achieved immense success as a cover artist, it was only after he left the commercial field and began to concentrate on painting portraits, that he truly felt happy. He loved working with people directly. Crandell's models sat for him. He did not work from photo reference. He instinctively knew that was the only way to make a great picture. Crandell never analyzed a subject to bring out the true nature of the sitter. He painted what he saw, where the real person came to life. Choosing to only see the good in people, he would capture his subjects at their best.

(PHOTO SOURCE: Smithsonian Institute)

In 1954, Crandell made Madison, Connecticut his permanent residence. It had been his summer home for many years. He would maintain his East 52nd Street studio in New York for another eleven years. It was during this time that his status as a renowned portrait artist was established. Now instead of movie stars, his commissions were numerous Governors; heads of state; and society women. His career had come full circle. He was now fulfilled, producing art in the tradition of the masters he had long admired.

Throughout his life and career, Crandell had been at the top of his field. He received many of the accolades due a man and artist of his caliber (among other things you could walk into The 21 Club, or The Stork Club and order concoctions titled "Red Head" and "Bachelor Girl", inspired by Crandell's work). Along with many associations, he was a member of The Society of Illustrators (quite remarkably, Crandell has been overlooked for this institution's Hall of Fame); the Artists and Writers Association; and the Dutch Treat Club. Crandell was also an excellent and skilled chef. He was a member of the American Society of Amateur Chefs; as well as serving as President of the Property Owners Association in his hometown of Madison, Connecticut.

Sadly, by 1965 Bradshaw Crandell had contracted cancer. Reviewing letters written by him at this time, one finds no remorse or bitterness as a result of his condition. There is merely grateful appreciation for the innumerable admirers of his work. He passed away in the comfort of his home January 25, 1966 at the age of 69. (SOURCE: Helium)
To see other examples of Crandell's beautiful work click here. Crandell was inducted into the Society of Illustrator's Hall of Fame in 2006.

As to lovely Lana Turner. For anyone who doesn't know who she was I simply say run don't walk to rent the film The Postman Always Rings Twice starring Turner and John Garfield.
Born Julia Jean Turner in Wallace, Idaho, she was the daughter of John Virgil Turner, a miner from Hohenwald, Tennessee, and Mildred Frances Cowan, a sixteen-year-old Arkansas native.

Until her film career took off, she was known to family and friends as "Judy". Hard times eventually forced the family to re-locate to San Francisco, where her parents soon separated.

On December 14, 1930, her father won some money at a traveling craps game, stuffed his winnings in his left sock, and headed for home. He was later found dead on the corner of Minnesota and Mariposa Streets, on the edge of Potrero Hill and the Mission District in San Francisco, his left shoe and sock missing. The robbery and murder were never solved. Soon after, her mother developed health problems and was advised by her doctor to move to a drier climate. With her ten-year-old daughter, she moved to Los Angeles in 1931.

Mildred and Lana were very poor, and Turner was sometimes separated from her mother, living with friends or acquaintances so that the family could save money. Her mother worked as a beautician to support them. After Turner was discovered, her mother became the overseer of Turner's career.

Turner's discovery at a Hollywood drug store is a show-business legend. As a sixteen-year-old student at Hollywood High School Turner skipped a typing class and bought a Coke at the Top Hat Cafe located on the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and McCadden Place (not Schwab's Pharmacy), where she was spotted by William R. Wilkerson, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter. Wilkerson was attracted by her beauty and physique, and referred her to the actor/comedian/ talent agent Zeppo Marx. Marx's agency immediately signed her on and introduced her to film director Mervyn LeRoy, who cast her in her first film, They Won't Forget (1937). She also appeared as an extra that year in A Star Is Born—a part of the crowd at a boxing match, and in the Andy Hardy movie Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938).

Turner earned the nickname "The Sweater Girl" from her form-fitting attire in a scene in They Won't Forget. In late 1937, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and graduated high school in between takes. Her first starring role for MGM was scheduled to be an adaption of The Sea-Wolf, co-starring Clark Gable, but the project was eventually canned.

Turner reached the height of her fame in the 1940s and 1950s. During World War II, Turner became a popular pin-up girl due to her popularity in such films such as Ziegfeld Girl (1941), Johnny Eager (1942), and four films with Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer's "king of the lot," Clark Gable. The Turner-Gable films' successes were only heightened by gossip-column rumors about a relationship between the two. Turner even had a B-17 Flying Fortress—the Tempest Turner—named after her.

After the war, Turner's career continued successfully with the release, in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), which co-starred John Garfield. The now-classic film noir marked a turning point in her career. Reviews of the film, and in particular, Turner's performance, were glowing. While not exactly giving up her pin-up credentials, Turner established herself as a skilled actress.

Turner was well known inside Hollywood circles for dating often, changing partners often, and for never shying away from the topic of how many lovers she had in her lifetime.

Turner was married eight times to seven different husbands:

Bandleader Artie Shaw (1940) Married only four months, Turner was 19 when she and Shaw eloped on their first date. She later referred to their stormy and verbally abusive relationship as "my college education".

Actor-restaurateur Joseph Stephen Crane (1942–1943, 1943–1944) Turner and Crane's first marriage was annulled after she discovered that Crane's previous divorce had not yet been finalized. After a brief separation (during which Crane attempted suicide), they re-married to provide for their newborn daughter, Cheryl.

Millionaire socialite Henry J. Topping Jr. (1948–1952) Topping proposed to Turner at the 21 Club in Los Angeles by dropping a diamond ring into her martini. Although worth millions when they married, Topping suffered heavy financial losses due to poor investments and excessive gambling. Turner finally divorced Topping when she realized she could no longer afford to keep them in the lavish lifestyle to which they had grown accustomed.

Actor Lex Barker (1953–1957), whom she divorced. In a book written by Cheryl Crane, Crane claimed that he repeatedly molested and raped her, and that it was after she told her mother this that they divorced.

Rancher Fred May (1960–1962)

Robert P. Eaton (1965–1969); who later went on to write The Body Brokers, a behind-the-scenes look at the Hollywood movie world, featuring a character named Marla Jordan, based on Turner.

Nightclub hypnotist Ronald Pellar, also known as Ronald Dante or Dr. Dante (1969–1972). The couple met in 1969 in a Los Angeles discotheque and married that same year. After about six months of marriage, Pellar disappeared a few days after Turner had written a $35,000 check to him to help him in an investment; he used the money for other purposes. In addition, she later accused him of stealing $100,000 worth of jewelry.

She later famously said, "My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out to be the other way around." (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Looking at this illustration I can't imagine why anyone found her attractive. Seriously, this illustration is stunning! To read more about Lana, including the murder of her thug boyfriend Johnny Sompanato, click here.

I think I need to go digging a little deeper into that closet. Who knows what I'll find. I mean, Lana Turner and Archie the Boy Wonder. What a weekend!


AMAZE FRIENDS or maybe lose them

I knew I had this ad tucked away somewhere in a box. I hadn't seen it for years. I found it yesterday and thought, "Now why did I keep this?" It's from a 1978 TV Guide. Then I started reading it. It still strikes me as odd/absurd/silly/strange, etc.

Click on image to see it larger.

Just think, for only $2.95 + $1.00 shipping (buy two for $7.60 total!) you could learn how to really annoy people at parties. Imagine how many people bought these things and then showed up at a family gathering dragging pathetic Archie the Boy Wonder (a wonder for all the wrong reasons) or the exceedingly creepy Dumbo the Clown (who looks like he has a whole life going on without the handler) with the plan of surprising relatives with their new found talent.
"Oh no."
"Look who's coming up the walkway."
"Oh, please, not again."
"When is he going to find a nice girl?"
"Not as long as he has Archie and Dumbo."
"It's just so sad. He always seemed normal as a child."
"You call hanging onion rings from your ears for 5 hours normal?"
"Well, it's better than the cheese cubes he stuck up his nose at your wedding when he was 19."
"Hi Jerry. I see you've brought your little friends."
"Hi cousins! I thought when things slowed down this evening I'd just pop these fellas into action."
"Okay, yeah, sure don'tcha know. You have a good time Jerry."

And once again, Jerry was left standing at the front door with Archie and Dumbo as a path magically cleared for him to the buffet table where people were praying he'd stick cheese up his nose and hang onion rings from his ears.
Now, just in case you choose not to click on the image to make it larger let me just point out a few of the things that still make me laugh. The copy. The copy is funny and each sentence makes you pause and think "Ummmmm...yeah, and the alternative is?"
"Full length 16-inch dummy with hidden control to operate mouth and move head."
I've always found the "full length" part strange. Full length in comparison to what?
"Make him stand, sit, even dance and act alive!"

They're just getting into the creepy zone here with that exclamation point following "alive!" And thank goodness it comes fully dressed. Don't even want to think about it arriving naked. Not going there, especially with Dumbo. Dumbo looks too much like an inanimate object that would enjoy sitting around naked.

But the best line for me is in paragraph two:
"Fool people even without a dummy!"
Was there a money back guarantee with this because I'm guessing there were a lot of people who thought the person pretending to make a bowl of spaghetti talk WAS the dummy.

So, do you think it paid to advertise in TV Guide? I don't know, but this company, Johnson Smith Company, has been in business since 1914.
The Johnson Smith Company™ is one of America's oldest catalogs companies. In 1905, our founder, Alfred Johnson Smith, started selling his novelties and practical jokes in Australia. The company was officially founded in the U.S.A. in 1914, when Mr. Smith shipped his first package from Chicago.

Australia to Chicago was to be the first of several moves...

The Johnson Smith Company relocated to Racine, Wisconsin in 1926. Nine years later the company made a mid-depression move to Detroit, Michigan with the intention of starting a Canadian subsidiary across the Detroit River. Those plans were abandoned with the outbreak of World War II. The company remained near the Detroit riverfront for nearly 35 years, until it moved to Mt. Clemens, Michigan (a Detroit suburb) in the early 1970s.

In 1986 the company made an exciting move to Bradenton, Florida, to a specially-designed building that enables us to serve our customers with state-of-the-art technology and service!

Our story is not without sociological aspects and influences. During the 1920s and 1930s, practical jokes and home hobbies provided an escape for people wracked with economic struggle brought on by WWI and the Great Depression. Our 700-page catalog provided hours of "escape," fun and fantasy for the depressed nation, even without having to place an order! Even today we hear from people who remember our catalog and the "relief" we provided! Today, the Johnson Smith catalog is known as Things You Never Knew Existed (TYNKE) and still brings hours of enjoyment to people across the country. (SOURCE: Johnson Smith Company)
This reminds me a bit of the post I did on the butterfly card made by the S. S. Adams Company, inventor of the hand buzzer.

And don't forget to read outside the lines. Note the show listed above Archie:
"The history of cheese."
Or perhaps to the left of Archie:
"obot Peepo encoun-
ous life forms that
and body
And it says above it that it was a children's show. Does anyone remember a children's show with a robot named Peepo? Oh geez, was Peepo a friend of Dumbo? I really get the feeling Peepo and Dumbo were cut from the same piece of plastic.

Okay, it's useless ephemera. I will put it back in the box and perhaps find it again in another 20 years. Let us hope I am not blogging then because most likely my mind will be in another universe and I dread to know what I'll think about Dumbo then.

Update: I have looked online hoping to find a color photo of Archie or Dumbo. Nada. But I did find this. An ad for both of them from a June 1980 Boy's Life magazine. Please take a good look at Archie. Ummmmm...his arms come nearly down to his ankles. I'm imagining a kid buying one of these and then opening the box and thinking, "What the...? It's a freak in a box! MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM!" All the while Dumbo maintained his creepy sideway glance and snicker. Were these two the inspiration for the Chucky movies? I have a friend who was in two Chucky movies. That's all I'll say.

You can see the ad in context amongst other ads here. And do scroll the pages of ads. Quite a retro treat.

I just noticed that in this second ad Archie appears to have a comb over. He lost his hair between 1978 and 1980! But...but...IT'S PLASTIC HAIR for cryin' out loud!

UPDATE: A reader, Russell S., recently sent me some full color images of Archie and Dumbo. They are just as creepy as I imagined they'd be.

The first few images he found on the net, but there's no reference source for them. Should these belong to someone who wishes I take them down let me know by providing links as proof.

Then there's the amazing visual story of what became of Dumbo the Clown. That's one creepy clown in need of a 12 step program.

Thank you Russell!


AARON MARC STEIN, The Dead Thing in the Pool

"The dead thing in the pool" is actually something I've said more than once in my life. I've come in from the backyard and said, "Hey, did you see the dead thing in the pool?" which is usually followed by, "What is it?" "I don't know. Gopher/frog/possum/what-cha-ma-call-it. It's bloated and disgusting."

From everything I've read online, Aaron Marc Stein was a good mystery writer. Unfortunately, the first time I ever heard of him was when I found this book with the questionable jacket. He's one of those writers whose work is now nearly forgotten. Few writers go down in history maintaining the following they had when they were alive. People today who crave fame in all aspects of their lives might want to remember that. Here today, gone tomorrow.

A couple weeks ago I featured some old book jackets from books that had sat on the shelves at the family cabin for over 30 years. All those times I was in the cabin during snow storms, unable to get out to go skiing, a bit bored out of my mind, and I never once considered reading any of these books because the jackets were so bad. I also never threw them away because...the jackets were so bad. The jackets made me laugh. Okay, I'm older now, hopefully a bit more mature, and I'm betting some of these might have been interesting books to read. The jackets invariably are what kept me away. They were designs of their time and often times really bad. This one is from 1952.

The Dead Thing in the Pool_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

I'll let you decide for yourself the merits of this particular jacket. I have a feeling the designer, Doris Reynolds, was at the mercy of the advertising department and some bad editors. Then again, maybe the author had too much input. That happens way too often thanks to the fine print in contracts.

First I'll deal with Doris Reynolds, what little I can find about her. She was born in 1912 and died in 1978. She lived in New York where she studied at the Art Students League. According to AskArt.com, provided by Kayne Slotnick:
Doris Reynolds did many illustrations for books published by Doubleday & Co. She was also an exhibiting artist, having work shown at the Krausharr Gallery in New York in 1949.

Other exhibitions include: Wilmington Museum, Delaware 1940-45; Maracaibo 1936-39; Barbizon Plaza, NYC 1940; Lake Placid Club, NY 1940, etc. She studied at the Art Students League with Jules Gotlieb, Bridgman & Brackman. During World War II, she was one of Jackie Corcorano's Girls, ferrying airplanes throughout the United States.
Well, isn't that interesting? She ferried planes during World War II. I just did a post about women pilots of WWII on March 12. Once again, I never know where ephemera will take me.

I'm actually guessing that though the jacket design was done by Doris Reynolds this doesn't mean she did the jacket art. Looking at a few examples of her work at AskArt.com you'll see little similarity between what I'm showing here and what they have. The truth is I just don't know.

As to author Aaron Marc Stein (1906-1985), who also published under the names George Bagby and Hampton Stone:
Stein was born in 1906 in New York City. He attended Princeton University, graduating with a degree in archaeology and also summa cum laude . His early avante-garde novels came to the attention of Theodore Dreiser and were published, but he did not gain much fame till he moved into writing mysteries. In addition to Bagby, he also published mystery novels under his own name, and under the pseudonym "Hampton Stone."

He held a position as a radio critic for a New York newspaper in the 1930s, and then went to work for Time magazine. During World War II he worked as with the US Army. His army work may have involved cryptography or language translation.

Over 100 novels by Stein eventually saw publication, and for his lifetime achievements the Mystery Writers of America awarded him as a Grand Master in the 1979 Edgar awards. His final book was published in 1984, entitled "The Garbage Collector". Stein died at the age of 79, of cancer, on August 29, 1985.

Primary works
In addition to the hero of most of the Bagby novels, Inspector Schmidt, Stein also created a New York City Assistant District Attorney named Jeremiah Gibson for the books published under the Stone pseudonym, and archaeologist detectives Tim Mulligan and Elsie Mae Hunt, as well as engineer Matt Herridge, for the mysteries published under his own name. 1930 was the year of the publication of Stein's first novel. His first mystery was published in 1935, "Murder at the Piano." The first novel written as Stone was entitled "The Corpse in the Corner Saloon." It was reviewed in the New York Times in 1948, though, when the series was republished in 1968-1971, "The Corpse in the Corner Saloon" was labeled as book 10 in the series. (SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA)
Writing under the name Bagby:
Bagby's focus was on police investigators, especially the fictional Inspector Schmidt, Chief of Homicide for the New York Police Department. In the Schmidt novels, mystery-writer Bagby himself appears as "the Watson to Schmidt's Holmes, following him on cases, and acting as biographer." A number of his novels have been translated into other languages, including German, French and Spanish. (SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA)
I also found this piece written by Francis M. Nevins at Mystery File where they also include a few old cover/jacket designs:
by Francis M. Nevins

There’s a general rule to which the most conspicuous exception in our genre is Agatha Christie: when an author dies, his work dies too. Certainly Aaron Marc Stein’s has. He was born in 1906, graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, wrote a couple of avant-garde novels which were published thanks to endorsements from Theodore Dreiser, then turned to mystery fiction under the pseudonym of George Bagby and, a few years later, under his own name too.

He quickly learned how to parlay his day jobs and other activities into backgrounds for the early Bagby novels, using his time as radio critic for a New York paper to create his own station in Murder on the Nose (1938), dipping into his memories of apparently liquor-soaked Princeton reunions for The Corpse with the Purple Thighs (1939), employing his stint at the madhouse known as Time magazine in Red Is for Killing (1941).

During World War II he abandoned fiction to serve as an Army cryptographer, but after the war he became a full-time author and wrote so prolifically and skillfully that in the early 1950s, when he was turning out four or more titles a year, New York Times mystery critic Anthony Boucher called him the most reliable professional detective novelist in the United States.

Between 1935 and his death half a century later he produced an astounding 110 book-length mysteries: 51 as Bagby chronicling the cases of the NYPD’s sore-footed Inspector Schmidt; 18 as Hampton Stone about New York Assistant District Attorneys Gibson and Mac; 18 under his own name with the archaeologist-detective duo of Tim Mulligan and Elsie Mae Hunt as protagonists and, when his publishers demanded stronger beer in their Steins, 23 with adventurous civil engineer Matt Erridge in the lead.

Factor in his one non-crime novel as Bagby plus one stand-alone crime novel under his own name and those two early literary experiments and you have a total of 114 books. He also wrote occasional short stories, which cry out to be collected. Most of his Bagby and Stone novels are set in and around New York, which Aaron knew and loved and characterized as vividly as any of his human beings, while most of his orthonymous books feature exotic locales in Central and South America or Europe.

I had been reading him since my teens but never got to spend quality time with him until the mid-1970s when we both joined the board of the University of California’s Mystery Library, and we remained friends for the rest of his life. In 1979 he received the Grand Master award from Mystery Writers of America. Later he and I served together on the board of Bantam s Collection of Mystery Classics.

His health was failing but he continued to turn out a book or two a year well into his seventies. Acclaimed by colleagues and connoisseurs, he never attained the popular success he so richly deserved. He died of cancer in 1985. That was almost a quarter century ago but I still remember him fondly.

Since the early 1960s he had lived in a co-op on Park Avenue and 88th Street with his sister Miriam-Ann Hagen (who also wrote a few whodunits of her own) and her husband Joe. They had bought it for $34,000 which they’d won gambling at Las Vegas in a single night. At the time of his death the unit was worth well over a million. In effect he had an apartment inside the apartment, and after he and Miriam had died Joe invited me to stay in Aaron’s quarters whenever I was in New York – which allowed me the unique experience of reading several of Aaron’s later novels in the room where he’d written them.

For most readers today his huge body of work remains an undiscovered treasure. Any who care to remedy that loss would do well to begin with his books from the years when he earned that accolade from Boucher: perhaps the Bagby titles Drop Dead (1949) and Dead Drunk (1953), or The Girl with the Hole in Her Head (1949) as by Stone, or Days of Misfortune (1949) under his own name. I still reread him regularly and with pleasure.
Many of his original manuscripts are archived at the Princeton University Library. In fact it says they have:
14 linear feet (29 archival boxes, 1 oversized flat box)
I'm wondering why they didn't include weight. I'm kidding.

To see a complete list of his work click here. And to see some 1970s cover art for books published under the name Hampton Stone click here.

And as you can see by the flap copy, this book was one that featured archaeologist detectives Tim Mulligan and Elsie Mae Hunt.

Click on image to see it larger.

Perhaps I've now exposed you to an author you've never heard of. Next time you're in a used bookstore or flea market keep your eyes open for Aaron Marc Stein. And for your reading pleasure, page one.

The Dead Thing in the Pool_pg1_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.


HOTEL EMPIRE, San Francisco

You'll never guess the history of this place.

Hotel Empire_San Francisco_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

It seems funny that a hotel would put out a postcard and then not provide any location information. There is nothing on the back other than "POST CARD" and "PLACE STAMP HERE". I guess they thought the mere mention of its name would be enough.
"Excuse me cabbie, take me to the Empire."
"Sure thing bud."
Well, what if the same guy got in the cab and said:
"Hey cabbie, take me to that church/hotel."
The cabbie, in 1930, would have driven here. Yes, folks it's a church...it's a hotel...it's a church...it's a hotel...it's two...two...two things in one.
Religion: San Francisco Skyscraper-Church
Monday, Mar. 17, 1930

When city land becomes too expensive to build churches upon, a solution is to combine churches and skyscrapers. The Chicago Temple (First Methodist Episcopal Church plus offices, stores) and Manhattan's Broadway Temple (Methodist Episcopal Church plus apartment houses, hotel, stores) are examples. San Franciscans now have a brand new 30-story pyramidal skyscraper-church-hotel to admire —the William Taylor Hotel and Temple Methodist Episcopal Church, on the busy corner of McAllister and Leavenworth Streets.

A greystone tower with a suggestion of Gothic ornament, it is named for Forty-Niner William ("California") Taylor who chose the longest way to the gold fields— around the Horn. In 1849 that route was safely traversed by 108 vessels. Most of the passengers sought gold. Few of them became either rich or famous, many returned East. William Taylor took a cargo of cut timber with him to build a church. An overpowering man with a stentorian voice, he wore a big, warm beard instead of a shirt. He had been Methodist Bishop of Africa. When he arrived in San Francisco he put his Bible on an overturned whiskey barrel in the middle of Portsmouth Square, bellowed and sang until the saloons emptied to hear him. For diversion he swam regularly across San Francisco Bay, a procedure still regarded as something of an athletic feat. He founded the College of the Pacific (Methodist Episcopal college in Stockton, enrollment about 970), wrote more than 20 books, thundered his old-time religion at Gold Coast sots and socialites.

The building which bears his name cost $2,800,000, contains 500 guest rooms and 32 tower apartments, a famed French chef, a glossy array of electric stoves, refrigerators, semi-modernistic furniture. It is floodlighted at night, has a tapestried lobby. Its seven elevators can reach the roof in 30 seconds.

The church proper, in the Gothic style, will seat 1,500, with a chapel seating 125 more. Two assembly halls may be combined to hold an audience of 1,100 for athletics or theatricals. Four Methodist churches combined to form the new congregation. The pastor is Dr. Walter John Sherman, who devoted ten years to the scheme. Laymen prominently involved: Fred D. Parr, president of Parr Terminal Co.; John H. McCallum, lumberman, president of the San Francisco Y.M.C.A. (SOURCE: TIME)
The depression was not kind to the William Taylor Hotel:
Full of zeal and optimism, in San Francisco ten years ago Methodists of four of the city's biggest churches—Central, California Street, Wesley, Howard Street—sold their properties, pooled $800,000 to form a superchurch which they called Temple Methodist. Their optimism the Methodists expressed by building a 27-story hotel, highest on the Pacific Coast, at Leavenworth & McAllister streets in downtown San Francisco. The William Taylor Hotel, with a cathedral-like, 1,300-seat church concealed in its second, third and fourth floors, would support Temple Church, everyone felt, retire its $1,550,000 in first mortgage bonds at maturity. But more funds were needed and before the hotel was completed in 1930 the Methodists floated a $150,000 second mortgage issue, borrowed $100,000 privately, obtained $534,000 more through mortgages sold to the Methodist home missions board.

Installed in its fine quarters. Temple Church prospered spiritually, but William Taylor Hotel moved into the red, remained there. For a time the Methodists paid interest charges totaling, $135.000 from their own pockets, then let a $500,000 debt accumulate. A bondholders' protective committee foreclosed, bought in the property last November for $750,000. The Methodists, their investment lost for good, were invited to move out of the hotel, their quarters to be used for more lucrative operations, including a garage. Temple Church was as homeless and penniless as any evicted tenement family, but it had kind neighbors. Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco's largest synagog, offered the use of its building on Sundays. A small Methodist church offered the Templers a place to worship in between regular services. And San Francisco's most vigorous Congregational church made what Temple's pastor called an offer of "marriage." Temple accepted. Last Sunday for the first time Methodists mingled with Congregationalists in First Church (2,500 seats), downtown near the swank St. Francis Hotel. (SOURCE: TIME)
In a 1937 auction, new owners acquired the William Taylor for $750,000, changed its name to the Empire and promoted its penthouse as the Empire Sky Room.

Eventually, the Empire also failed. By 1942, it was sold to the federal government and became an office of the Internal Revenue Service.

Since 1978, the once prestigious William Taylor Hotel has been a dormitory for Hastings College of the Law students. (SOURCE: SF Gate)
To see a postcard showing an illustration of the Sky Room click here. Can't guarantee that this link will last for long because it's a card for sale at CardCow.com.

If you are wondering who William Taylor was, wellllllll...
William Taylor (1821-1902) was an American Missionary Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1884. Taylor University, a Christian college in Indiana, carries his name.

Taylor was born 2 May 1821 in Rockbridge County—home to Sam Houston (b.1796), Robert E. Lee (b.1807), and Stonewall Jackson (b.1824)—in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was the oldest of eleven children born to Stuart Taylor and Martha Hickman. In his autobiography, Story of My Life (1896), Taylor describes his grandfather, James, as one of five brothers who were “Scotch-Irish of the Old Covenantor type…who emigrated from County Armagh, Ireland, to the colony of Virginia, about one hundred and thirty years ago” (i.e. 1766). The Hickman family was of English ancestry and settled in Delaware in the late 1750s. Both families “fought for American freedom in the Revolution of 1776” and afterward emancipated their slaves. Taylor’s father, Stuart, was a “tanner and currier—a mechanical genius of his times”; his mother was “mistress of the manufacture of all kinds of cloth.” Both parents, he says, were of “powerful constitution of body and mind…their English school education quite equal to the average of their day.”

Conversion to Christ
Before William was ten years old, his grandmother had taught him the Lord's Prayer and explained that he could become a son of God. He longed for this relationship, but was unsure how to obtain it. Overhearing the story of a poor Black man who had received salvation, he wondered why he could not, also. He recounts in his autobiography,

"soon after, as I sat one night by the kitchen fire, the Spirit of the Lord came on me and I found myself suddenly weeping aloud and confessing my sins to God in detail, as I could recall them, and begged Him for Jesus' sake to forgive them, with all I could not remember; and I found myself trusting in Jesus that it would all be so, and in a few minutes my heart was filled with peace and love, not the shadow of a doubt remaining."

He entered the Baltimore Annual Conference in 1843. Bishop Taylor traveled to San Francisco, California in 1849, and organized the first Methodist church in San Francisco. Between 1856 and 1883 he traveled in many parts of the world as an evangelist. He was elected Missionary Bishop of Africa in 1884, and retired in 1896.

Books he wrote include:
Seven Years' Street Preaching in San Francisco (1857)
Christian Adventures in South Africa (1867)
Four Years' Campaign in India (1875)
Our South American Cousins (1878)
Self-Supporting Missions in India (1882)
The Story of My Life (1895)
Flaming Torch in Darkest Africa (1898)
(SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Taylor died in 1902 in Palo Alto, California and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. (SOURCE: Taylor Univeristy)

Now, seriously, what do you think this fellow would have thought about having a hotel such as this with his name above the door? With a penthouse! I don't know how many members they had, but this is surely a sort of odd version of a mega-church. A glowing mega-church that looks like Batman should be standing on top of it.

Oh, and by the way, apparently the address is 100 McAllister Street in case you're ever in San Francisco and want to experience it's wonderfulness without the psychedelic sky. To see a current photograph and read a brief blog post about the building click here.

And to think I started to bed a couple hours ago thinking I'd post this card with "Hey, does anyone know anything about this place?" as my message. Why, oh why couldn't I have just scanned a Travel Lodge in Kansas. I'd have been in bed for hours!



A postcard of an old hotel in San Francisco called the Stewart Hotel at 353 Geary Street, San Francisco. Usually when you go in search of old buildings they're gone. A developer had a better idea than those that came before. Apparently this time the building has been saved. I'm guessing from the cars in the street that this is either late 1930s to 1940s.

If you look closely you can see a Union Pacific sign hanging on the front. And I get a kick out of the dress shops on the right.

Hotel Stewart_Geary Street_SF_tatteredandlost

Hotel Stewart_Geary Street_SF_bk_tatteredandlost
Click on images to see them larger.

I can't find any history of the Stewart Hotel, but what stands in its place now is the same building, I believe, renovated, and now called the Handlery Union Square Hotel. The photo to the left is from Google showing the building in 2009.

To see a few photos of the interior of the old hotel go to Alamedainfo.com and scroll down to midway on the page.

Note that this is a Curt Teich card.

UPDATE: I received the following from a reader. Click on the link to see a vintage menu from the hotel.
Here is a breakfast menu from Hotel Stewart that is part of a menu collection recently donated to Johnson & Wales University Library, Providence, RI. Based on the scope of the collection, I would guess this is probably from the 1940s. 
Menu link  for Johnson & Wales University Library

New book available on Amazon.
Tattered and Lost: Forgotten Dolls

This one is for those who love dolls!

Snapshots from the last 100+ years of children and adults with dolls. Okay, there are a couple of dogs too.

Perfect stocking stuffer!


Well, this is THE PITS

Okay, title is too obvious, isn't it? I was also thinking of "I believe this lady needs a spotter!" but thought only my best friend and I would get that.

Taken from the 1929 Cosmopolitan magazine. I know Nonspi was still available in the 1940s because I found an ad online in an old issue of Life. I especially like the part where they say:
Nonspi destroys the odor and diverts the underarm perspiration to parts of the body where there is better evaporation--and need to be used on an average of but two nights each week.
Okay, what body part is this perspiration going to move to? Perhaps your shoulders which would be just above the pits? Wouldn't be the bottom of your feet because, well, this oh so wise perspiration would recognize you're wearing shoes so it's trapped again. Perhaps forehead? Ohhhh...Richard Nixon's upper lip. Yup, that's it. He used Nonspi and that's why he perspired so profusely over his upper lip. And what would it mean if a President were to be using a product called Nonspi which could easily be prononunced as Non Spy? Hmmm...I think perchance I'm over thinking this.

Seriously, if we all walk around with our right arm over our head grabbing our right breast with our left hand I don't think perspiration is the first thing people are going to notice. But hey, I haven't tried it yet. I mean, she looks happy! And these days don't we have to find happiness where we can?

Now I need to acknowledge that yesterday I was tagged by Vintage Postcard Gallery with the Sunshine award. Thank you. Very nice to be acknowledged. I in turn need to tag others. I don't expect any of them to feel the need to pass this along. I will simply use this as a chance to tell people about some blogs and sites I really enjoy. In no particular order:

Bear Swamp Reflections: I like this woman. I like the way she thinks. I'd like her living next door.

Creating Pictures in My Mind: Laurie runs several blogs that are always entertaining.

elohssanatahw You know that neighbor you're just not sure about that you adore? The one who tells the best stories and will either tell you to go away today or come in? I love dropping by here.

Pieces of the Past Personal history and wonderful photos. I feel comfortable here listening to the stories.

Female Illustrators of the Mid-2oth Century A very new blog that is growing fast. It's so wonderful that the fellow started this. For years he has run another wonderful blog called
Today's Inspiration also about illustration. If you enjoy finding out, often in-depth, about the illustrators of the past 50 years these are the two sites to bookmark.

Spotty Dog LOVE LOVE LOVE her joyful drawings.

Live from the Surface of the Moon Robert, I believe, is a fellow traveler through time. Nuff said. The man likes the moon landing and so much more. Bookmark him. He finds interesting things all the time.

One Man's Treasure In depth knowledge and images from the past. You won't go away disappointed.

Scrap for Joy I don't do scrapbooking, but if I did I'd want to be watching every clever move she makes.

Jacolette A wee bit of Irish history through vintage images.

Serial Crafter I enjoy seeing where her crafty mind takes her next.

Do drop by and visit these sites. All nice people. All different perspectives. A real grab-bag of what I enjoy.


MANITO PARK, Spokane, Washington

This is sort of an odd postcard. The colors are a bit over the top. The staging is WAY over the top. Things look out of proportion. I have another card from Washington state that is posed in this manner. It's of harvesting. I will eventually post it. For now, we'll focus on Manito Park in Spokane.

Manito Park, Spokane WA_1914_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

This card was published by Edward H. Mitchell in San Francisco and has a postmark of 1914. Other than that you can easily see why this ended up at a place called Tattered and Lost.

I've never been to the park. Only stopped in Spokane once, and I think it was for a grocery store, though I do recall going into a used bookstore and buying a stack of mystery books. That's the extent of my personal knowledge. Thanks to the folks at Wikipedia I can actually tell you a bit more.
Manito Park and Botanical Gardens is a 90-acre (0.36 km2) public park with arboretum, botanical gardens, and conservatory, located at 17th Ave and Grand Blvd in Spokane, Washington.

The park was originally a public recreation area called Montrose Park. In 1903 its name was changed to Manito, said to mean Spirit of Nature in the Algonquian language. A park commission was formed in 1907 with annual funding, and in 1913 the famed Olmsted Brothers firm completed their landscaping plans for Spokane parks, including Manito Park. The Park was at one time a zoo until 1932 when the zoo closed down because of the lack of funding during the Great Depression. Today some remnants of the zoo can still be seen, such as an iron bar sticking out of a rock that was once part of the bear cages.

Aside from the gardens, Manito is home to more common park fare. The park has two play structures, one in "Upper Manito" and the other by the Duck Pond at "Lower Manito". The Duck Pond is located at the Northern End of the park, and is home to many ducks, swans and geese. The Park Bench Cafe is a small cafe serving drinks and snacks during the Summer. Much of the park that is not a garden is left wild, with trails for bicycling and hiking. During the winter, the grassy hills of Manito are popular destinations for sledding. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
What I'm really curious about is the Native American style dwelling on the little island. I'm not finding any reference or photos of it anywhere. The fact that it looks out of proportion to the people standing along the fence...well, I said the card was odd.

To see other images of the park and read more about visiting click on their official site, Manito Park.

UPDATE: A nice post from Larry Cebula about the park. Thank you Larry and to your student.

Hi, I am a history professor who lives a few blocks from this park. One of my students did a lot of research on the city parks recently.
It is tricky to match this image with the modern park because the landscape has been changed. The duck pond has been moved around a few times--I think that the same area is a playground now, and the modern pond is a bit to the west. I believe that white house still stands, hidden in the trees--I need to go check it out.
I don't know anything about the hut on the island, but it is not an Indian structure. Manito was established at the height of the Arts and Crafts movement, and many of the surviving structures are of a purposely rustic design. I am sure that was the case here. 
Here is some of the information my student gathered about Manito Park:
The pond: http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/47
Entrance: http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/115
You can find more at Spokanehistorical.org


Before breakfast don't forget to SUCK ON A SPUD

First there was Spud on a date. Now we have Spud as soon as you awaken. Seriously? Do smokers do this? Do they really have a cigarette BEFORE getting out of bed? For those who like to "inhale before breakfast" and actually I thought we all did that every few seconds...

Spud cigarette ad_1929_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Please notice...he's alone. Nuff said.


Dreams of being a WASP

Let's hear it for the women who came before us who opened the doors even if they were shut again for decades.

It was so wonderful to see the women of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II finally get recognition this week. Of course it took far too long to acknowledge them with so many having passed on already.
The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), and the predecessor groups the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) and the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) (from September 10, 1942) were pioneering organizations of civilian female pilots employed to fly military aircraft under the direction of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. The female pilots would end up numbering a little over thousand, each freeing a male pilot for combat service and duties. The WFTD and WAFS were combined on August 5, 1943 to create the para-military WASP organization. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Today approximately 300 are still alive. Three of them met this week with President Obama to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. What took so long? Well, history wasn't kind to them.
All records of the WASP were classified and sealed for 35 years, so their contributions to the war effort were little known and inaccessible to historians. In 1975, under the leadership of Col. Bruce Arnold, son of General Hap Arnold, the WASPs fought the "Battle of Congress" in Washington, D.C., to belatedly obtain recognition as veterans of World War II. They organized as a group again and tried to gain public support for their official recognition. Finally, in 1977, the records were unsealed after an Air Force press release erroneously stated the Air Force was training the first women to fly military aircraft for the U.S. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
So I ask you, why was the government twiddling their thumbs when in 1943 Merrill Publishing Company issued this beautiful paper doll set to honor these women?

Girl Pilots of the Ferry Command_ft_tatteredandlost
Girl Pilots of Ferry Command_bk_tatteredandlost
Click on images to see them larger.

38 WASP were killed during the war.

To read more about these amazing women click on any of the links below:

And yes, this is my personal mint set.


Phyllis Haver, when STARS BURN OUT

As too often happens when I scan something I find that what I figured was going to be a quick flippant post ends up being something else when I start digging. A short post suddenly needs more in order to do justice to what I'm showing.

This ad for Maybelline is from a 1929 Cosmopolitan. I thought upon seeing it, "Oh, cool. The woman looks vampy like Mae West. I can slap this on the blog, make a few snarky comments, and get back to work." That would be cruel.

Maybelline_Phyllis Haver_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger. And yes, somebody drew all around her hair, eyebrows, and dress with a pencil.

First, Maybelline. When I started buying makeup in the late '60s I always thought of Maybelline as the cheap-o product. They ran horrible ads in the magazines. They were never the hip product to buy. Yardley had that market with Jean Shrimpton as their model. And then the '70s came along and Maybelline was stuck in the early '60s with horrible ads showing women wearing blue eye shadow when nobody was wearing blue eye shadow. I kept thinking there had to be something wrong with the company. How was it they couldn't see what was going on all around them? Each year I mentally relegated them to the cheap-o bin. That's what advertising can do. Then suddenly they changed. Somebody woke up at the wheel right before it seemed they'd crash. The days of the ads of a woman's closed eyes with long lashes and blue eye shadow were gone. Suddenly they knew their market and were advertising for the woman of today, not twenty years in the past. Turns out over the years the company went through a lot of owners. Some apparently were clueless, unlike the original owner who recognized a market and went after it.

Seeing this ad gave me a new perspective. When I think of Hollywood and make-up I've always thought of Max Factor. Maybelline would never have crossed my mind. But Maybelline has a history I never knew about.
The Maybelline Company was created by New York chemist T.L. Williams in 1915. Williams, then in his early 20s, noticed his younger sister applying a mixture of Vaseline and coal dust to her eyelashes to give them a darker, fuller look. He adapted it in his small laboratory and produced a product sold locally called Lash-Brow-Ine. The product was a local hit, but the awkward name held it back. His sister, who inspired the product, was named Maybel. So T.L. Williams re-named it Maybelline, a combination of Maybel and Vaseline. It is under this name that Maybelline has achieved its now legendary status in the field of cosmetics. In 1917 the company produced Maybelline Cake Mascara, "the first modern eye cosmetic for everyday use" and Ultra Lash in the 1960s, which was the first mass-market automatic mascara. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
I had no idea they were the first company to market mascara. I ask you...coal dust and Vaseline? Who knew? We'd probably all be better off using coal dust and Vaseline instead of the myriad of chemicals we now use on those little wands.

So I learned something about Maybelline and cosmetics. Fine and dandy. Let's move on to the babe coyly looking over her shoulder with the vampy eyes, Phyllis Haver. Sorry, never heard of her. But I figured if she was featured so prominently in an ad she must have been somebody. Maybelline was going after a market and she was the image they chose.

Phyllis Haver was born Phyllis O'Haver in Douglass, Kansas on January 6, 1899. When she was young her family moved to Los Angeles. She attended Polytechinc High then, according to Wikipedia, she got work playing piano as an accompanist for silent films in local theaters. At some point she auditioned for Mack Sennett, the famous film director.

Sennett was known for his comedies, specifically the Keystone Cops. Several people started their film careers working for him, such as Gloria Swanson and W. C. Fields. He was also famous for the Sennett Bathing Beauties, of which Phyllis Haver was one, as was Gloria Swanson. To see photos of Haver and Swanson cavorting as Bathing Beauties click here. Without Max Sennett would she have ever done an ad for Maybelline?
Fresh out of Los Angeles Polytechnic High, Phyllis Haver paid a visit to the Mack Sennett studios, hoping to get a job as an actress. According to Haver, her "audition" consisted of having the attractiveness of her knees assessed by a bored Mack Sennett. Slightly more talented than most of the Sennett bathing beauties, Haver quickly worked her way up to leading roles, then left 2-reelers for a substantial career in silent features. Among her best roles were accused murderess Roxy Hart in the first film version of Chicago (1927) and the no-better-than-she-ought-to-be Shanghai Mabel in What Price Glory? (1927).
So now I'm thinking, "Hmmmm...Roxy Hart. I knew of the Roxy Hart film starring Ginger Rogers, but had no idea there was a silent film called Chicago. Looking at the face in the ad I thought, "Yeah, I can see it." She's got a Roxy vibe going on. And apparently the film will be re-released sometime this summer on DVD.

So Phyllis was doing really well in silent films from 1914 until her retirement in 1930, one year after this ad. If you check her listing at IMDB you'll find a list of 106 films. Now, many of them were Sennett Shorts, not full length films. Apparently talkies came along and either she decided to end her career or talkies did. I'm not finding anything definitive. But I did find the following:
Sensing that her career would end when talkies began, Haver retired in 1929 to marry a New York millionaire. According to one story, she invoked the "act of God" clause in her contract, cracking "if marrying a millionaire ain't an act of God, I don't know what is." (SOURCE: Fandango.com)
The millionaire she married was William Seeman, the White Rose Tea tycoon. Okay, I have no idea who that is. Never heard of the company. Apparently it is well known in New York. Anyway, they divorced in 1945. They had no children. She left the marriage with enough money to live in:
...wealthy retirement, appearing before the cameras one last time during a 1954 TV testimonial to her old boss Mack Sennett. (SOURCE: Fandango.com)
Sadly, life proved empty for Phyllis Haver, and on November 19, 1960 she committed suicide at her home in Connecticut by taking an overdose of barbiturates. Below is an account of her death from the November 20, 1960 Sunday Herald. You can see the full newspaper at Google News.

Phylis Haver Obit
Click on image to see it larger.

Once again ephemera took me someplace I never expected.


I think I'm having a BREAKDOWN!

Breakdown! Oh no, never mind. Not me. I'm fine, but this poor fellow seems to be in bad shape.

Patrick Marsh_Breakdown_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.
Breakdown by Patrick Marsh, published in 1953 by Longmans, Green and Co.

This is one of the books in the bag from the cabin. Have not read it. It sat on the shelf for decades. And doing a search online it does not appear he wrote any other books, at least they don't show up in any search. The only thing I can find online is that it was turned into a BBC drama in 1961:
While A for Andromeda was still running, the BBC presented a 75 minute adaptation by William Best and Donald Bull of Patrick Marsh's Breakdown novel. In The Test, Dr John Armstrong (Nicholas Selby), is engaged on defence work involving forces of appalling power, and grave fears of a miscalculation - with terrifying consequences - are added to the considerable strain he is under over his turbulent private life, his wife, Mary (Sheila Ballantine), having fallen in love with a colleague. The Times thought Alan Bromly's production, "though never failing to interest us, did not hold us spellbound or make us feel that human emotions were under any greater strain than usual as a result of the dangerous forces involved." While in Number Three (1953) the subject of the scientist's researches was the raison d'├ętre of the play, The Test was essentially a study of one man's mental breakdown, with the science-fiction elements a mere cipher - he could just as easily have been the stressed-out designer of a new (conventional) aircraft, for example. At the time of writing it is not known if a recording of the play survives, but given other productions of the same vintage this is unlikely. (SOURCE: British Telefantasy)
Now the artist that drew the cover art is a slightly different story. His name, Rus Anderson, does show up. Not a lot, but several times for children's books, including one for Disney, The Shaggy Dog. I have the actual Shaggy Dog book around here somewhere in my children's book collection, but of course can't find it right now. But I also have some of the illustrations in an old Disney compilation volume, Walt Disney's America. It seems Rus had the job of twice doing illustrations of men having breakdowns. One a scientist with romance problems, the other a boy turned into a dog with romance problems. I'm seeing a pattern.

When you work in publishing you take whatever job comes along.



Okay, technically this is not a cover, it is a jacket. This, along with a bag of books that have been in the garage for years, used to be up at the cabin. It has a copyright of 1951, first edition, published by Little Brown. I have no idea if it's good or not. I've never read it. It sat on the bookshelf at the cabin for around 30 years. A woman whose husband was the caretaker in the development gave my family a bag of books. I'd forgotten I even had these. Now I must decide whether to toss them or keep them.

The Iron Virgin_James M. Fox_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

I'm not finding much about the author, James. M. Fox, other than what follows.

There is a book which consists of letters James M. Fox and Raymond Chandler wrote to each other. According to a site where the book is for sale:
Fascinating correspondence spanning the years 1950 to 1956 between the two genre authors, who met at a party at mystery collector Ned Guymon's house. Fox eventually dedicates his book DARK CRUSADE to Chandler. Chandler, as ever, writes a superb letter. (SOURCE: Mystery and Imagination Online Bookstore)
And then I'm finding this brief biographical information:
James M. Fox: pseudonym of Johannes Matthijs Willem Knipscheer: California-resident naturalized American-citzen author born in The Hague, Netheralnds; attorney (commercial law); legal advisor to Minister of War of Netherlands Government-in-Exile:
* 21 mystery/detective novels with series characters Steve Harvester, Sergeant Jerry Long and Sergeant Chuck Conley, John Marshall (Johnny and Suzy Marshall) (SOURCE: Magic Dragon)
So my question is, would you buy this book based on this jacket? Would you think "Geez, this is so cheesy that:
  1. I have to have it because it's soooooooo cheesy
  2. This is tooooo cheesy. I don't read books like this
  3. What do I know? The babe is wearing a table cloth and I collect table cloths.
What's the book about? Here's the front flap:

The Iron Virgin_flap_Fox_tatteredandlost

And here are the first two paragraphs:
The hypodermic needle punctured my gum at a spot that felt like several inches away from the lower right molar the dentist had been poking at with corkscrew, chisel, claw hammer and air hose full of stale cold iodoform. I grunted, more in disgust than in pain, and determinedly focused my eyes through the window on a patch of dust-blue afternoon sky in the ragged pattern of November rain clouds, torn to piece by a blustery southwester that came rocketing across from the Pacific through the distant yellow canyons of the Baldwin Hills.

Dr. Elmer B. Wittles chuckled cozily. "On target," he assured me. "Yes sir, Marshall, we have got that baby bracketed and roadblocked off as nice as pie. This isn't gonna hurt one teensy little bit." He stepped away from me, and checked the empty syringe with a glance against the lights, and favored me with a moonfaced, blandly professional smile.
As far as the jacket designer, Lew Keller...all I'm coming up with are sites about 1950s animation. I have no idea if the artist that did this design also worked on Mister Magoo. Maybe someday someone will find this post and fill-in the details for me.

Now, to keep or not to keep, that is the question.