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Where Did the French Maid Outfit Come From?

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Do maids in France really wear those skimpy outfits while keeping house?

Of course not. A mini-skirt, stiletto heels, and fishnet stockings is not the most practical outfit when it comes to vacuuming floors or scrubbing toilets. Depending upon the formality of the household, a traditional European maid or housekeeper might wear a knee-length blue, black, or grey dress with a white apron (not unlike The Brady Bunch’s Alice). And if she values her spine, she’ll wear nurse’s oxfords or athletic shoes rather than high heels.

So where did the stereotype of the slinky French maid uniform come from? During the late 19th century, the high-kicking Can-Can dancers of Paris were considered scandalous and were often the cause of nightclubs being shut down for “public nudity” (that being the exposed bit of thigh between the top of the stocking and the edge of the underpants the dancers revealed when they lifted their skirts).

It became an American burlesque cliché to stage a comedy skit featuring a hapless, uncomprehending, lithe young French housekeeper in scanty clothing finding herself in compromising situations. Her dress, naturally, was a skimpy version of the black and white outfit a standard French housekeeper would wear. It was just risqué enough to titillate audiences without getting closed down by the censors, and the character of the French maid stuck around long enough to become responsible for the ubiquitous costume of the same name.

Text and image from mentalfloss


Filed under: Facts, Models & starlets Tagged: French Maids, Maid outfits

Jayne Taking A Bath

The 1910 Edition of Ward Lock & Co’s “Illustrated Guide Book to London”– Part 3

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cover_nyere_flatBack in 2013 I posted a series of posts based on the 1930 edition of Ward Lock & Co’s “ Illustrated Guide Book to London”. For those who have followed this blog for a while it should come as no surprise that I also have in my possession the 1910 edition of Ward Lock & Co’s illustrated guide book for the same city. And just for the record, I have the 1948 and 1956 editions too.

This will be the first post based on the 1910 edition which is surprisingly enough more richly illustrated than the one from 1930. And we start of course with the introduction and work our way through the most interesting parts of the book – Ted

Preliminary Information – A-B

ExplanatoryIn this section, arranged alphabetically, information is given respecting a number of matters of interest and importance both to visitors and residents.

Accidents

The number of accidents in streets within the Metropolitan police district has of late years, owing to the development of more rapid modes of locomotion, increased to an alarming extent, and the matter is receiving the earnest attention of the authorities.

It is not that the taxi-cabs and motor omnibuses are themselves so dangerous, as the fact that the varying speeds of the different classes of vehicles makes it difficult for the pedestrian to judge the rate at which he should cross the road.

The best advice is, Keep a sharp look-out, especially where there are converging thoroughfares or turnings at right angles. At some of the most crowded crossings, as at the Bank and the northern end of Blackfriars Bridge, subways have been constructed for pedestrians; and at all important centres constables are stationed to regulate the traffic.

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Horse drawn Omnibuses

If making your own way, use a mid-street refuge wherever available. Be especially careful if the roads are greasy. Above all, do not get flurried. The rule is for vehicles to keep to the left, pedestrians to the right. In all the principal thoroughfares are ambulance stations, or ambulance “ calls,” and the police are trained to render first aid.

In entering trams and Omni-busses, especially motor-buses, hold firmly to the rail till you are either inside or safely on top. This is quite as important if the vehicle is stationary as if moving, for the jerk caused by a sudden start may send you headlong. In alighting, follow the same rule, and if you must jump off while the vehicle is in motion – it is against the rules,- but most people do it–jump in a forward direction. It is as well, too, to make quite sure that nothing coming from behind will obstruct your passage to the pavement.

Americans In London

Speaking at a dinner in London, the Hon. J. H. Choate, then American Ambassador, made the following suggestions:

“An American lately arrived in London should trace out in this great City those memorials and things of interest pertaining to America of which England and London are full. If he lands at Plymouth, his feet rest upon those mysterious figures at the dock, ‘1620’- the very place where, nearly 300 years ago, our pilgrim fathers embarked in the Mayflower to try their fortunes in the wilderness, and lay the foundations of the great nation which we now represent.

If by chance he lands at Gravesend, in the chancel of St. George’s Church he will drop a tear over the tomb of Pocahontas, the American Indian Princess,  whose father, Powhattan, was king in Virginia when the great Elizabeth still sat on the throne of England.

Coming up to London, if he will allow me to take him ‘ a personally-conducted tour,’ I will conduct him to St. Saviour’s Cathedral, in Southwark, where is recorded the baptism of John Harvard, who gave his name, his library and half his fortune for the foundation of that college in America which has become the leader of education for half a sphere.

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Old houses, Holborn

At the Charterhouse will be found associations of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, and the apostle of toleration. In the National Portrait Gallery is a representation of Sir Henry Vane the younger, Governor of Massachusetts in 1636, who, after the Restoration, lost his head as the penalty for devotion to the cause of the Commonwealth. But greater names and greater forms appear in that asylum of truly famous British men.

There were George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Benjamin West of Philadelphia, who took such an active part in the creation of the Royal Academy, and succeeded Sir Joshua Reynolds as president. In another part of the City will be found a statue of George Peabody, the philanthropist.

There are also the memorials of George Thompson, Phillips Brooks, Abraham Lincoln, James Russell Lowell, and, in Westminster Abbey, of Longfellow.”

To this we may add that at the Church of All Hallows, Barking, the entry of the baptism of Wm. Penn (October 23, 164.4), who was born on the adjacent Tower Hill, is still to be seen in the registers, and that John Quincy Adams was married in the same fane on July 26, 1797.

The registers of St. George’s, Hanover Square, contain the not less interesting record of the marriage of Theodore Roosevelt (December 2, 1886). In the church of St. Sepulchre, Newgate Street, is the tomb of the redoubtable Captain John Smith, sometime Governor of Virginia.

Bath And Bathing

Swimming and private baths, maintained by the local authorities, are to be found in nearly every quarter. The St. George`s Baths, 88, Buckingham Palace Road, the Westminster Baths, 22, Great Smith Street, and the Holborn Baths, B road Street, may be mentioned. An open-air swim can be had in the Serpentine, Hyde Park, before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.; at the Ponds on Hampstead Heath, and elsewhere.

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Of Turkish Baths, the best known are the Charing Cross (Nevill’s), Northumberland Avenue (3s. 6d.; after 7 p.m. 2s.) ; the Savoy, Savoy Street (2s.6d.; after 6 p.m. 1s.6d.);the Hammam, 76, Jermyn Street, W. (4s. ; after 7 p.m. 2s.) ; Bartholomew’s, 23, Leicester Square ; Broad Street, Broad Street House, E.C. (Nevill’s) ; and others. In nearly all the charge is reduced after 6 or 7 p.m.


Filed under: London, The 1910s Tagged: 1910, Illustrated Guide Book to London, Preliminary Information, Ward Lock & Co

Albert Joseph Pénot–French Painter

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Albert Joseph Pénot
(1862–1930) was a French painter known for female nudes. Today, he is more popularly and specifically recognized for a subset of paintings centring on women of darker, more macabre themes.

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Styles and themes

Pénot was concerned first and foremost with anatomically accurate portrayals of women. Singular female forms were the implicit focus of his work, whereas the worlds surrounding his characters are seldom realized beyond misty atmospheres and patches of shadow and light. Environments are incidental and are typically shrouded in haze, giving the figures themselves explicit priority. However, Pénot was more versatile in his artistry, and was not confined exclusively to female nudes: church figures were another of his subjects, in addition to occasional compositions depicting scenes of men and women from high society in narratives framed by more conventional settings.

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Text from Wikipedia


Filed under: Art, Models & starlets, Nudes, Pin-ups Tagged: Albert Joseph Pénot, French painters

The 1947 Moskvitch 400

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The Moskvitch 400-420 was a car introduced in 1947 by the Soviet manufacturer Moskvitch.

Between 1940 and 1941, the Russians had independently made 500 units of the KIM 10-50, a loose copy of the similarly sized four-door Ford Prefect, but national priorities changed with the German invasion of Russia in Summer 1941, and the production of the Ford inspired car was not resumed after the war. It was Joseph Stalin who personally chose in June 1945 a four-door Kadett to become a first mass-produced popular Soviet car, so plans and tooling of a four-door version had to be reconstructed with help of German engineers, who worked upon them in a Soviet occupation zone.

Development began in 1944, following a prewar plan to produce a domestically built car able to be used and maintained by citizens living outside major cities. The KIM factory was selected to build the car, with the prewar KIM 10-52 (not built due to the Second World War) as a basis, with production approved in May 1945 and prototypes intended to be ready in December; by the end of May, however, these plans had faltered.

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At war’s end, the Soviet Union deemed the plans and tooling for the 1939 Opel Kadett K38 as part of the war reparations package, since the tooling in the Rüsselsheim factory was largely intact; residents dismantling the Kadett production tooling and loaded fifty-six freight cars, bound for Moscow and the newly built "Stalin Factory" (ZIS). However, according to recent Russian sources, the Kadett plans and tooling were in fact not captured from the factory, because they did not survive there (and what survived was appropriate for producing a two-door model).

In any event, after KIM was renamed MZMA (Moscovskiy Zavod Malolitrazhnyh Avtomobiley, Moscow Factory for Making Small Cars) in August 1945, the new car was ready for production before the end of 1946 (somewhat behind the planned June deadline): the first 400-420 was built 9 December, "400" meant a type of engine, and "420" the (saloon) body style. With unitized construction, independent front suspension, three-speed manual transmission. and hydraulic brakes, it was powered by a 23 hp (17 kW; 23 PS) 1,074 cc (65.5 cu in) inline four (with acompression ratio of 5.6:1). Acceleration 0–50 mph (0–80 km/h) took 55 seconds, and achieved 9 L/100 km (31 mpg-imp; 26 mpg-US) (the best of any Soviet car at that time). With a wheelbase of 2,340 mm (92 in)) and ground clearance of 200 mm (7.9 in)), it measured 3,855 mm (151.8 in) long overall 1,400 mm (55 in) wide, 1,550 mm (61 in) tall. Approved for mass production by the Soviet government on 28 April 1947, 1,501 were built the first year, with 4,808 for 1948 and 19,906 in 1949, the same year a mesh oil filter was introduced. In 1951, synchromesh was introduced on the top two gears, and the gear lever relocated to the steering column.

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In 1948, a prototype woodie wagon, the 400-422, with an 800 kg (1,800 lb) payload, was built, but never entered production. Neither did the similar 400-421 estate or pickoupe. The 400-420A cabriolet debuted in 1949.

Most of the Opel tooling removed to Russia was for the two-door Kadett model, and the Russians converted this into a 4-door configuration that visually was near identical to the original Kadett 4-door. Although Opel was U.S. property, GM did not recover control of the factory until 1948 and were therefore unable to contest the transfer.

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The 400 went on sale in Belgium in October 1950, making it a very early Soviet automotive export product, priced at 349: below the Ford Prefect and Anglia, and well below the Morris Minor. Motor praised its engine’s quietness, the caliber of its finish, and the quality of the ride.

The 100,000th Moskvich was built in October 1952.

Several prototypes were also built. In 1949, proposal for an improved 26 hp (19 kW; 26 PS) 401E-424E and a 33 hp (25 kW; 33 PS) 403E-424E saw only six examples built. Following this, in 1951, the factory produced the 403-424A coupé with a 35 hp (26 kW; 35 PS) four. The "stunning" 404 Sport of 1954 used a new 58 hp (43 kW; 59 PS) overhead valve hemi engine.

My family’s first car when I was a kid was an Opel Kadet K38 – Ted

Text from wikipedia


Filed under: Article, Automobiles, The forties, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: 1947, Moskvitch 400, Russian car

Butlin’s Holiday Camp In Filey, North Yorkshire, 1949

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In this story from Mining Review 2nd Year No.12, we join Durham miner Tom McDonagh, his wife and their triplets on a family break to Butlin’s holiday camp in Filey, North Yorkshire. The very first Butlin’s opened 75 years ago in Skegness, with Filey following in 1945 after postponement during WWII. All the communal games and activities you would expect of this classic British holiday are here, introduced by a suitably jolly narrator, but as you may notice poor Mum hasn’t quite escaped the domestic drudgery.

Text and movie from British Film Institute BFI’s Youtube pages


Filed under: British, Holidays, Movies, The forties Tagged: 1949, Butlin's Holiday Camps, Filey, Mining Review, North Yorkshire

The Flying Cloud

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Flying Cloud was a clipper ship that set the world’s sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco, 89 days 8 hours. The ship held this record for over 100 years, from 1854-1989.

Flying Cloud was the most famous of the clippers built by Donald McKay. She was known for her extremely close race with Hornet in 1853; for having a woman navigator, Eleanor Creesy, wife of Josiah Perkins Creesy who skippered Flying Cloud on two record-setting voyages from New York to San Francisco; and for sailing in the Australia and timber trades.

World record voyage to San Francisco during Gold Rush

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Within six weeks of launch Flying Cloud sailed from New York and made San Francisco ’round Cape Horn in 89 days, 21 hours under the command of Captain Josiah Perkins Creesy. In July, during the trip, she ran the following nautical mileage, 284, 374 and 334 for 992 nautical miles total over the three consecutive days. In 1853 she beat her own record by 13 hours, a record that stood until 1989 when the breakthrough-designed sailboat Thursday’s Child completed the passage in 80 days, 20 hours. The record was once again broken in 2008 by the French racing yacht Gitana 13, with a time of 43 days and 38 minutes.

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In the early days of the California Gold Rush, it took more than 200 days for a ship to travel from New York to San Francisco, a voyage of more than 16,000 miles.Flying Cloud’s better-than-halving that time (only 89 days) was a headline-grabbing world record that the ship itself beat three years later, setting a record that lasted for 136 years.

Woman navigator

Flying Cloud’s achievement was remarkable under any terms. But, writes David W. Shaw, it was all the more unusual because her navigator was a woman, Eleanor Creesy, who had been studying oceanic currents, weather phenomena, and astronomy since her girlhood in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She was one of the first navigators to exploit the insights of Matthew Fontaine Maury, most notably the course recommended in his Sailing Directions. With her husband, ship captain Josiah Perkins Cressy, she logged many thousands of miles on the ocean, traveling around the world carrying passengers and goods. In the wake of their record-setting transit from New York to California, Eleanor and Josiah became instant celebrities. But their fame was short-lived and their story quickly forgotten. Josiah died in 1871 and Eleanor lived far from the sea until her death in 1900.

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Loss of the ship

On June 19, 1874, Flying Cloud went ashore on the Beacon Island bar, Saint John, New Brunswick, and was condemned and sold. The following June she was burned for the scrap metal value of her copper and iron fastenings.

Text from Wikipedia


Filed under: Article, Maritime history Tagged: California gold rush, Clipper ships, Eleanor Creesy, Female navigators, SS Flying Cloud

SMY Hohenzollern II

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SMY Hohenzollern II was built by AG Vulcan Stettin, it was 120 m long, 14 m wide and 5.6 m deep, and had 9,588 HP.

It was in use as Imperial Yacht from 1893 to July 1914. Emperor Wilhelm II used it on his annual prolonged trips to Norway. In total he spent over four years on board.

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The Emperor with members of his family on board of the imperial yacht Hohenzollern

At the end of July 1914 it was put out of service in Kiel. The ship became property of the Weimar Republic in 1918, was struck in February of 1920 and scrapped in 1923.


Filed under: Facts, Maritime history, WW I Tagged: Emperor Wilhelm II, SMY Hohenzollern II, The Weimar Republic

Edwardian Bathing Suit

Shanklin Chine

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Shanklin Chine is a geological feature and tourist attraction in the town of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight, England. A wooded coastal ravine, it contains waterfalls, trees and lush vegetation, with footpaths and walkways allowing paid access for visitors, and a heritage centre explaining its history.

Geology

A chine is a local word for a stream cutting back into a soft cliff. Formation of the Chine, which cuts through Lower Greens and Cretaceous sandstones, has taken place over the last 10,000 years. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, stones were laid at the top of the waterfall to arrest this progress. There are a continuous series of spring lines on the cliff faces in the Chine. The Isle of Wight has a number of chines, but the largest remaining is Shanklin. With a drop of 32 m (105 ft) to sea level, and a length of just over 400m (a quarter of a mile), the Chine covers an area of approximately 1.2 hectares (three acres).

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History

Prior to the Victorian era Shanklin was merely a small agricultural and fishing community, the latter nestling at the foot of the chine, and it was not until the early 19th century that it began to grow. Like most of the chines on the south of the Island, Shanklin Chine was well-used by smugglers.

A romantic landscape

The Chine became one of the earliest tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight, with records of the public visiting the site to view it as far back as 1817. Keats found inspiration for some of his greatest poetry while staying at Shanklin in 1819 and wrote: "The wondrous Chine here is a very great Lion; I wish I had as many guineas as there have been spy-glasses in it." It was a favourite subject for artists including Thomas Rowlandson and Samuel Howitt. Descriptions of the site at the time are surprisingly similar to the present day:

‘The delightful village of Shanklin. In this sequestered spot is a good inn, fitted up for the accommodation of visitors. The object of attraction at Shanklin is the Chine, (which is situated at about ten minutes walk from the inn. This phenomenon of nature is a combination of beauty and grandeur; it is formed by the separation of a lofty cliff, whose height is 280 feet perpendicular, and 100 feet wide at the top. On entering the Chine from the shore, we pass along one side, rugged and barren; through which a winding path has been cut by a poor fisherman; while below the rippling stream urges its way to the ocean, which pours its rolling waters at its feet, and spreads its boundless expanse before it. On the other side the cliff is fertile, covered with hanging wood and bushes, adorned with a neat cottage, and having a little rustic inn. About the middle of the Chine is a small Chalybeate: and the path now conducts by a serpentine course to a scene of awful grandeur, formed by stupendous masses of matter on each side, and the rustling of a small cascade, which falls from the head of the Chine, and passes between the dark and overhanging cliffs.

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Extract from Beauties of the Isle of Wight published by S Horsley 1828

And if you’re wondering whether I’ve been there, the answer is yes – Ted ;-)

Text and images from Wikipedia


Filed under: Places Tagged: England, Isle Of Wight, Shanklin Chine

On This Day In 1950 – Ski Jumpers Soar Over Hampstead Heath

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Visitors to Hampstead Heath in north London could have been forgiven for thinking they had somehow taken a wrong turn and ended up in Norway this afternoon. The unexpected sight of a nearly full-size ski jump, complete with real snow and skiers, on a sunny March day in southern England, was enough to make the most broad-minded of observers do a double-take.

The snow, and most of the skiers, were indeed from Norway, but the ski jump was the creation of the Central Council of Physical Recreation, alongside the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Oslo Ski Association.

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The team of 25 Norwegian skiers brought the snow with them – 45 tons of it, packed in wooden boxes insulated by dry ice.The jump itself was supported by a tower of scaffolding 60ft (18.29m) high, giving skiers a 100ft (30.48m) run-up to the jumping point, 12ft (3.66m) above the ground.

We are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features

Event official

Modern ski jumps reach 200ft – 300ft (60m – 90m), but skiers on Hampstead Heath only had enough room to jump to about 90ft (27.43m).

The London ski jumping competition, as it is known, held a trial contest yesterday evening involving only the Norwegian skiers. The event the crowd was waiting for, however, was this afternoon’s contest between Oxford and Cambridge University. Tens of thousands of people gathered in the sunshine to watch the University Challenge Cup.

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It was the first time ski jumping had been seen by most of the crowd. A broadcast commentary on the competition kept everyone informed of the quality of each jump. Spectators, however, seemed to be more interested in how deep each skier disappeared into the straw laid at the bottom of the run.

In the end, the Oxford team, captained by C. Huitfeldt, won the competition, while the London challenge cup – open to all competitors – was won by Arne Hoel of Oslo. An official said of the event, "This exhibition has been such an unqualified success that we are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features."

In Context

The ski-jump competition was never held again, despite several attempts to revive it.

The ski-jump on Hampstead Heath was among the last major events to use real snow to re-create ski conditions.

The first artificial snow was made two years later, in 1952, at Grossinger’s resort in New York, USA.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay


Filed under: Article, British, London, Norwegians, Sports, The fifties Tagged: 1950, Hampstead Heath, Ski jumping, The Central Council of Physical Recreation, The Oslo Ski Association, The Ski Club of Great Britain

Spicy, Saucy Sleepytime Stunners

Naughty Ann-Margret

On Hip Replacements

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Or you could come to Norway, get a job which gives you the right to social services and get the hip replacement for free. I know I’m queuing up for one – Ted ;-)


Filed under: Facts Tagged: Hip Replacements, Social services

Tender Is The Night – Twice

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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby (his most famous), and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with age and despair.

Fitzgerald’s work has been adapted into films many times. His short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, was the basis for a 2008 film. Tender Is the Night was filmed in 1962, and made into a television miniseries in 1985. The Beautiful and Damned was filmed in 1922 and 2010. The Great Gatsby has been the basis for numerous films of the same name, spanning nearly 90 years: 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000, and 2013 adaptations. In addition, Fitzgerald’s own life from 1937 to 1940 was dramatized in 1958 in Beloved Infidel.

Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded songs such as "These Days", "The Pretender", "Running on Empty", "Lawyers in Love", "Doctor My Eyes", "Take It Easy", "For a Rocker", and "Somebody’s Baby". In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

In 1971, Browne signed with his manager David Geffen‘s Asylum Records and released Jackson Browne (1972) produced and engineered by Richard Orshoff, which included the piano-driven "Doctor My Eyes", which entered the Top Ten in the US singles chart. "Rock Me on the Water", from the same album, also gained considerable radio airplay, while "Jamaica Say You Will" and "Song for Adam" (written about Saylor’s death) helped establish Browne’s reputation. Touring to promote the album, he shared the bill with Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell.

His next album, For Everyman (1973) – while considered of high quality – was less successful than his debut album, although it still sold a million copies. The upbeat "Take It Easy", cowritten with The Eagles’ Glenn Frey, had already been a major success for that group, while his own recording of "These Days" reflected a sound representing Browne’s angst.

Texts from Wikipedia


Filed under: Facts, Literature, Music Tagged: Clyde Jackson Browne, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, Tender is the night

Queen Elizabeth, Buckingham Palace Garden By Cecil Beaton, 1939

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Beaton struck up an instant rapport with the Queen. His diary reveals that she was an active participant in the staging of her romantic portraits, suggesting suitable dresses and accessories. Here, Beaton combined a painterly eye with the elegant style of his Vogue fashion studies. Like those, each royal portrait would be carefully retouched under Beaton’s instruction, to define facial features and trim silhouettes.

From the Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton exhibition  at  Victoria and Albert Museum [ 8 February – 22 April 2012]

Image and text from Oh! so 30s


Filed under: People, Photography, The thirties Tagged: 1939, Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II

Carole Lombard Breakfasting In The Bath

An Unfortunate Cyclist

The fourth Anglia Model, The 105E

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The fourth Anglia model, the 105E, was introduced in 1959. Its American-influenced styling included a sweeping nose line, and on deluxe versions, a full-width slanted chrome grille in between prominent "eye" headlamps. (Basic Anglias featured a narrower, painted grille.) Its smoothly sloped line there looked more like a 1950s Studebaker (or even early Ford Thunderbird) than the more aggressive-looking late-’50s American Fords, possibly because its British designers used wind-tunnel testing and streamlining. Like late-’50s Lincolns and Mercurys and the Citroën Ami of France, the car sported a backward-slanted rear window (so that it would remain clear in rain, according to contemporary marketing claims).

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In fact, this look was imported from the 1958 Lincoln Continental, where it had been the accidental result of a design specification for an electrically opening a121288_anglia_03(breezeway) rear window. As well as being used, by Ford, on the Consul Classic, this look was also copied by Bond, Reliant and Invacar, for their three wheelers. The resulting flat roofline gave it excellent rear headroom. It had muted tailfins, much toned-down from its American counterparts. An estate car joined the saloon in the line-up in September 1961. The instrument panel had a red light for the generator and a green one for the oil pressure.

The new styling was matched by a new engine, something that the smaller Fords had been needing for some time—a 997 cc overhead valve (OHV), straight-4 with an oversquare cylinder bore, that became known by its "Kent" code name. Acceleration from rest was still sluggish (by the standards of today), but it was much improved from earlier cars. Also new for British Fords was a four-speed (manual) gearbox with synchromesh on the top three forward ratios: this was replaced by an all-synchromesh box in September 1962 (on 1198 powered cars). The notoriously feeble vacuum-powered windscreen wiper set-up of earlier Anglias was replaced with (by now) more conventional windscreen wipers powered by their own electric motor. The Macpherson strut independent front suspension used on the 100E was retained.

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In October 1962, twenty-four-year-old Tony Brookes (see also Ford Corsair GT) and a group of friends took a private Anglia 105E fitted with the £13 Ford Performance Kit to Montlhèry Autodrome near Paris and captured six International Class G World Records averaging 83.47 mph (134.33 km/h). These a121288_anglia_05were 4,5,6 and 7 days and nights and 15,000, and 20,000 kilometres. The Anglia’s strength and durability meant that no repairs were required whatsoever other than tyre changes.

The car’s commercial success has subsequently been overshadowed by the even greater sales achieved by theCortina: in 1960, when 191,752 Anglias left Ford’s Dagenham plant in the 105E’s first full production year, it set a new production-volume record for the Ford Motor Company. From October 1963, production continued at Ford’s new Halewood plant at Merseyside alongside the newly introduced Corsair models. The Anglia Super introduced in September 1962 for the 1963 model year shared the longer stroke 1198 cc version of the Ford Kent 997 cc engine of the newly introduced Ford Cortina. The Anglia Super was distinguished by its painted contrasting-coloured side stripe.

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A new Anglia saloon tested by the British Motor magazine in 1959 had a top speed of 73.8 mph (118.8 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 26.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of 41.2 miles per imperial gallon (6.86 L/100 km; 34.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £610 including taxes of £180.

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The old 100E Anglia became the new 100E Popular and the four-door Prefect bodyshell remained available as the new Ford Prefect (107E) which had all 105E running gear, including engine and brakes, while the 100E Escort and Squire remained available, unchanged. In 1961 the Escort and Squire were replaced by the 105E Anglia estate. Both cars are popular with hot rodders to this day, helped by the interchangeability of parts and the car’s tuning potential. The 100E delivery van also gave way to a new vehicle based on the 105E. Identical to the Anglia 105E back to the B post, the rest of the vehicle was entirely new.

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Filed under: Article, Automobiles, British, The fifties, The sixties, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: British cars, Ford Anglia 105E

1939 Pontiac Built of Plexiglas

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For the 1939-1949 World’s Fair in New York, Pontiac had a special surprise in store. Working in collaboration with chemical company Rohm & Haas, who had just developed a new product called “Plexiglas”, they created an entire body shell for a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six. It was soon dubbed the “Ghost Car.”

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When the car was first featured at General Motors’ “Highways and Horizons” pavilion, it was a massive hit. Most people wouldn’t have seen Plexiglas before, so a transparent material with that many curves was almost unheard of. Here you could look through the body of the car to see all its internal workings exposed. For aesthetic purposes all structural metal was given a copper wash, while the hardware and even the dashboard were covered in chrome. All the rubber elements in the car were made in white, including the tires.

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The final price for the car? In the days when a new Pontiac was just about $700, this beauty cost $25000 to build. When this car was auctioned by RM Auctions in 2011, it went for just a little more than its original price. The one-of-a-kind car sold for $308,000.

Images and text found on Visual News – And a big thanks to Disperser from Disperser Tracks for pointing me to the link.


Filed under: Article, Automobiles, The forties, The thirties Tagged: 1939, Plexiglas, Pontiac, The Ghost Car, World’s Fair in New York