D-I-V-O-R-C-E in Chicago, 1948

A man begging for his wife’s forgiveness inside Divorce Court
This has to be one of my Most Favourite Photos ever.
The year is 1948 and this desperate Dude is begging for his wife’s forgiveness for whatever nonsense he’s been up to.
The picture was taken right outside the Divorce Court in Chicago, Illinois.
But the look on the lady’s face and the dark glasses she’s wearing makes me think that his grovelling may fall on deaf ears.
Was it all staged?
Who knows…
Rod Parham

The Early days of Hollywood, 1920.

hollywood-boulevard-wet-night

Circa 1935 view of a wet Hollywood Boulevard decorated for the holidays. Courtesy of the California Historical Society Collection, USC Libraries.
In the early 1910s, native residents of Hollywood despised the movie makers because they brought their East Coast habits and customs with them.
Hollywood was a sleepy farm town until movie makers like Cecille B. Demille, Jesse Laskey, L.L. Burns and Harry Revier started leasing portions of peoples’ orchards to run their movie production companies.
clara-ii
The movies took off and more and more people came from the east to become famous and make some money in this new exciting medium.
Struggling Broadway actors saw this as their opportunity to finally make it, young attractive women came from their homes in Nebraska to be part of something and make a name for themselves.
Fabulous Photos of Famous Flappers (18)
Not everyone was happy about all the development, the local resident decried movies for sending “girls to hell as fast as can the German conquerors.”
Even before prohibition was passed, cigarettes, cigars and alcohol were all “banned” from studio lots (though this rule was not enforced), and Hollywood Boulevard had a strict 10:30 curfew.
Click to see more fantastic stuff via Vintage Hollywood in the 1920s.

Burlesque Queen Sally Rand.

Sally Rand, 1930s (1)

Sally Rand (1904 – 1979) was a burlesque dancer and actress, most noted for her ostrich feather fan dance and balloon bubble dance.
She also performed under the name Billie Beck.
Sally was interested in dance from an early age and, literally, ran away with a carnival as a teenager.
She later pursued such career opportunities as night club cigarette girl, artist’s model, and cafe dancer.
Sally Rand was the first burlesque dancer to become famous for her fan dance, and she was also arrested because of it.
Sally Rand, 1930s (15)
See more Images via vintage everyday: 28 Classic Portraits of Sally Rand – The Most Scandalous Burlesque Icon of the 1930s.

Screen Messages used in Movie Cinemas, c.1912.

The cinemas from the 1910s also used these informational messages to explain to the audience how to behave during the screening of a silent film.
A nice set of vintage pictures created in 1912 by John D. Scott and Edward Van Altena, and published today by The Library of Congress.
messages-cinemas-1910-15
via Etiquette – Vintage screen messages used in the movie theaters in 1910 | Ufunk.net.

‘Snack Foods’ from the Past.

artworks-000065337874-3hju8c-originalWhen you eat your Smarties do you eat the red ones last?” “How do you like your coffee? Crisp!” “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!” “Double your pleasure, double your fun!” “Taste the rainbow”.
You know what I’m talking about – snack food – and if the weather doesn’t let up, there may be more snacking happening than is advisable (hello, Fudgeos!)
Snack foods I believe are taking over the planet. They’ve certainly commandeered the grocery stores.
While all the good stuff can be found on the outside aisles of most supermarkets, the inner lanes look like set designs for a Willie Wonka sequel.
There are dozens of options for the serious snacker just on the potato chip shelves alone – barbecue, salt and vinegar, lightly salted, sour cream and onion, ketchup, baby back rib and the Lay’s Canadian contest winner for 2013, Maple Moose flavor (which I hear is being pulled because we really did not favour the flavour).
We like to think that we invented snacking – but the phenom has been with us for quite some time.
In the first decade of the last century, those World Fairs were starting to introduce all kinds of new foodstuff to a hungry public.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, waffle cones, Dr. Pepper and cotton candy (your carnival food staples) were making an impact not only during the expos, but certainly afterwards.
Pizza, our beloved fast food staple, first came to North America in 1905 when Lombardi’s opened its doors in New York City in 1905.
6a00d83451ccbc69e201a3fced05fe970b“America’s most famous dessert,” according to the Ladies Home Journal, jiggled its way onto plates back in 1897; Jell-o was a quick hit with strawberry and cherry flavors, while coffee and cola did not last out the year (Jell-o trivia alert – the company offered each new immigrant stopping at Ellis Island in New York harbour in 1903 a free bowl of the dessert as a “Welcome to America!” gift).
One candy that came from that decade that frankly should have gone the way of coffee Jell-o are those icky chalk conversation hearts that some poor soul still thinks is okay to give at Valentine’s.
80397169_large_9ak
The next decade saw the invasion of the Oreo cookie, originally sold as part of a three-pack (the other two were the Mother Goose and the Veronese, but they were soon let go as the real star was the chocolate sandwich cookie).
Oreos were sold in glass jars for twenty-five cents a pound.
Lifesaver candies also made their debut in 1912, but they did not get their hole-in-the-middle until 1925, which begs the question – how were they a lifesaver without the hole in the middle?
By the 1920s snacks were just gaining their stride. Prohibition was sucking the fun out of a lot of things, so naturally candy and chocolates stepped up to the plate.
Oh Henry’s, Mounds, Mike and Ike’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Nestles Drumsticks and Popsicles all became popular with a public whose sweet tooth was in full development.
Marshmallow Fluff and Kool-Aid rounded out the decade (and apparently many a behind).
Things were tough in the 1930s. The Great Depression was in full swing. Companies were motivated to create affordable food from cheap products and they were quite successful.
Twinkies, Snickers, Frito’s and Lay’s potato chips got their start during the height of the crisis.
Just a side note on potato chips – according to popular lore, in 1853, millionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt was lunching at a restaurant in Saratoga Springs (and acting like a royal pain in the you-know-where).
He ordered french fries but sent them back because he thought they were too thick – he did this little stunt no less than three times.
The by-now furious chef whipped out a potato peeler and proceeded the shave slim strips off a potato; he immersed these discs in hot oil, making them super crispy.
He doused them in salt and served them personally to the snooty millionaire who ate every one of them declaring they were the best thing he had eaten in years. The chef called his creation Saratoga chips and thus was born the potato chip industry.
Saratoga-Chip-Truck
via Looking back at the history of snack foods.

Hemingway creates a Reading List for a Young Writer.

Hemingway-Reading-List-e1369330871727In 1934 Ernest Hemingway wrote down a list of two short stories and 14 books and handed it to a young out-of-work writer Arnold Samuelson (many of the texts you can find in the Open Culture collection of Free eBooks):
“The Blue Hotel” by Stephen Crane
“The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Dubliners by James Joyce
The Red and the Black by Stendhal
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
Hail and Farewell by George Moore
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Oxford Book of English Verse
The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson
The American by Henry James
Read more of this great story via Ernest Hemingway Creates a Reading List for a Young Writer, 1934 – | Open Culture.