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My kind Of Girl

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Kicking her shoes off, smoking cigars and drinking  beer straight from the bottle. What more can you ask in a woman – Ted

Image found on one of Geoffe Haney’s albums on Flickr


Filed under: People, Photography Tagged: Beer, Cigars, Women

Not A Job For The Fainthearted

Sin Cities In The Fifties

The Retro DIY Project – Fold-Away End Table

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A digital recreation of a project published in Popular Science magazine, August 1941

page_illEnd tables are sometimes too much with us in the average room. We can, however, enjoy their convenience or dispense with them at will if they are of the folding type Shown here.

When the gate is open, it locks into a homemade wooden catch. The hinges are recessed into the underside of the top. Dowels are used at all the joints. The gate may in fact, be made with legs of 7/8" dowels instead of with the square ones shown. When closed, the swinging leg fits into notches cut into the top and bottom crosspieces.

Plans and description in
jpg & pdf format HERE


Filed under: Article, DIY project, Retro DIY projects Tagged: Carpentry projects, End Tables, Fold aways, Woodworking projects

This Week’s Retro Recipe – Ham Steak

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As you may have gathered already, I like to rummage round in jumble sales and street markets looking for cookbooks and recipe cut-outs and this one was also found this way. This one comes from an ad for French’s Mustard that someone cut out and saved sometimes back in the late fifties.

You’ll find the recipe HERE


Filed under: Food & drinks, Recipes, Retro advertising, The sixties Tagged: French's Mustard, Ham steak

Lily Elsie – Popular English Actress And Singer During the Edwardian Era

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Everyone agrees that Lily Elsie has the most
kissable mouth in all England

Lily Elsie (8 April 1886 – 16 December 1962) was a popular English actress and singer during the Edwardian era, best known for her starring role in the hit London premiere of Franz Lehár’s operetta The Merry Widow.

Beginning as a child star in the 1890s, Elsie built her reputation in several successful Edwardian musical comedies before her great success in The Merry Widow, opening in 1907. Afterwards, she starred in several more successful 443_lily_01operettas and musicals. Admired for her beauty and charm on stage, Elsie became one of the most photographed women of Edwardian times.

Life and career
Elsie was born Elsie Hodder at Armley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Her mother, Charlotte Elizabeth Hodder (1864–1922), was a dressmaker who operated a lodging-house. She married William Thomas Cotton, a theatre worker, in 1891, and Elsie became Elsie Cotton. The family lived in Manchester. Elsie was also the niece of Wilfred Cotton, who married actress Ada Reeve.

Child star
A precocious child star, Elsie appeared in music hall and variety entertainments as a child impersonator known as "Little Elsie". Nevertheless, she was reportedly painfully shy, even as an adult. By 1895–96, she appeared in concerts and pantomimes in theatres in Salford. In 1896, she played the role of Princess Mirza in The Arabian Nights at the Queen’s Theatre in Manchester. Then, at Christmas 1896–97, at the age of ten, she appeared in the title role of Little Red Riding Hood at the same theatre for six weeks and then on tour for six additional weeks. Her first London appearance was at Christmas 1898 in King Klondike at Sara Lane’s Britannia Theatre as Aerielle, the Spirit of the Air. Elsie then toured the provinces, travelling as far as Bristol and Hull for a full year in McKenna’s Flirtation, a farce 443_lily_04by American E. Selden, in 1900. She then played in Christmas pantomimes, including Dick Whittington (1901), The Forty Thieves (1902), and Blue Beard (1903) and toured in Edwardian musical comedies, including The Silver Slipper by Owen Hall, with music by Leslie Stuart (1901–02), and Three Little Maids (1903). From about 1900, she adopted the stage name "Lily Elsie".

Elsie then joined George Edwardes’ company at Daly’s Theatre in London as a chorus girl. In 1903, she took over the role of Princess Soo-Soo in the hit musical A Chinese Honeymoon and then in the flop, Madame Sherry, by Hugo Felix, at the Apollo Theatre. She also played the roles of Gwenny Holden in Lady Madcap, Lady Patricia Vereker in The Cingalee in 1904, Madame du Tertre in The Little Michus in 1905, and Lady Agnes Congress in The Little Cherub (during which, she was fired by Edwardes for giggling, but soon rehired), Humming Bird in See See and Lally in The New Aladdin at the Gaiety Theatre, all in 1906. From 1900 to 1906, she appeared in 14 shows.

Merry Widow and peak years
443_lily_03Elsie’s biggest success came in creating the title role in the English-language version of The Merry Widow in the London production. Edwardes took Elsie to see the original German version (Die Lustige Witwe) in Berlin. Elsie was at first reluctant to take on the demanding part, thinking her voice too light for the role, but Edwardes persuaded her to accept. Edwardes brought her to see the famous designer, Lucile, for a style coaching. Lucile later wrote, "I realised that here was a girl who had both beauty and intelligence but who had never learnt how to make the best of herself. So shy and diffident was she in those days that a less astute producer than George Edwardes would in all probability have passed her over and left her in the chorus." The production, with English lyrics by Adrian Ross, opened in June 1907 and ran for 778 performances at Daly’s Theatre. Elsie created the role at Daly’s and toured with it beginning in August 1908. The show was an enormous success for its creators and made Elsie a major star. One critic at the opening night praised "the youthfulness, the dainty charm and grace, the prettiness and the exquisite dancing with which Miss Elsie invests the part…. I share the opinion of most of the first-nighters, who considered it could not have been in better hands, and could not have been better handled…. The night was a genuine triumph for Miss Elsie, and she well deserved all the calls she received."

Lucile designed the costumes for Elsie in The Merry Widow (including the plumed hats that became an extraordinary fad) and thereafter used Elsie to promote her fashions, designing her personal clothes and costumes for several of her other shows. Lucile wrote, "That season was a very brilliant one, perhaps the most brilliant of the series which brought the social life of pre-war London to its peak. And just when it was at its zenith a new play was launched with a new actress, who set the whole town raving over her beauty…." Elsie’s image was in great demand by advertisers and on postcards, and she received unsolicited gifts of great value from many male admirers (and even bequests). Lucile commented, "She was absolutely indifferent to most [men] for she once told me she disliked the male character and considered that men only behaved tolerably to a woman who treated them coldly". Nevertheless, Elsie became one of the most frequently photographed beauties of the Edwardian era. According to the Atlanta Constitution newspaper in America, writing in 1915:

"Perhaps her face is nearer to that of the Venus de Milo in profile than to any other famed beauty. There are no angles to be found about her any place…. If she came to America, she would undoubtedly be called the most beautiful woman in America. Nature never made a more brilliant success in the beauty business than she did with Lily Elsie. It was mostly from the nobility that her suitors came. Everyone agrees that Lily Elsie has the most kissable mouth in all England… she possesses the Cupid’s bow outline with the ends curving upward delicately, all ready for smiles…. Strangely enough, the women of the land were among her most devoted admirers."

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Filed under: Actresses, Article, British, Models & starlets, Photography Tagged: English actresses, English singers, Lily Elsie

Jayne Mansfield (1933 – 1967)

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"A forty-one inch bust and a lot of perseverance will get you more than a cup of coffee – a lot more. But most girls don’t know what to do with what they’ve got."Jayne Mansfield

You can say what you like about Jayne Mansfield, but she sure knew how to get the best out of what she got – Ted

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Filed under: Actresses, Models & starlets, Quotations Tagged: American actresses, Jayne Mansfield

Grand-daddy’s Sauce – Part 21

The Lure Of The Mad Men – Part 1

The Lure Of The Mad Men – Intro

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I guess many of you have followed “Mad Men” that TV series about an Advertising Agency back when neither commercial artists nor copy writers had any rules or regulations to hinder their blatant lies about the products they were pushing.

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462_mad_men_intro_02Since I have in parts of my working career been working at such places, old ads from that time fascinates me, so since I’ve just finished the “Popular Music History 1945 – 1980” series, I’m starting a new series featuring all the meaningless nonsense those guys managed to push.

The Mad Men had and still have a wide scale of human emotions to play upon both in images and text; Insecurity, low self-esteem, bad self-image, scare, addiction, vanity, hope, the will to belong, wishful thinking, loneliness, despair, superiority and lets be honest good old envy.


Filed under: Advertising, Advertisments, Campaigns, Illustration, Photography, Quotations Tagged: Blue Master cigarettes, Mad Men

Fawlty Towers – My All Time Favourite TV Series

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Fawlty Towers is a British sitcom produced by BBC Television that was first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975 and 1979. Twelve episodes were made (two series, each of six episodes). The show was written by John Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth, both of whom also starred in the show.

The series is set in Fawlty Towers, a fictional hotel in the seaside town of 446_Fawlty Towers_04Torquay, on the "English Riviera". The plots centre around tense, rude and put-upon owner Basil Fawlty (Cleese), his bossy wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), a comparatively normal chambermaid Polly (Booth), and hapless Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs) and their attempts to run the hotel amidst farcical situations and an array of demanding and eccentric guests.

In a list drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted by industry professionals, Fawlty Towers was named the best British television series of all time.

Origins
446_Fawlty Towers_02In May 1971 the Monty Python team stayed at the Gleneagles Hotel (which is referred to in "The Builders" episode) in Torquay whilst filming on location. John Cleese became fascinated with the behaviour of the owner, Donald Sinclair, whom Cleese later described as "the rudest man I’ve ever come across in my life." This behaviour included Sinclair throwing a timetable at a guest who 446_Fawlty Towers_05asked when the next bus to town would arrive;[citation needed] and placing Eric Idle’s briefcase (put to one side by Idle while waiting for a car with Cleese) behind a wall in the garden on the suspicion that it contained a bomb (Sinclair explained his actions by claiming the hotel had ‘staff problems’). He also criticised the American-born 446_Fawlty Towers_03Terry Gilliam’s table manners for not being "British" (that is, he switched hands with his fork whilst eating). Cleese and Booth stayed on at the hotel after filming, furthering their research of the hotel owner. Cleese later played a hotel owner called Donald Sinclair in the 2001 movie Rat Race.

At the time, Cleese was a writer on the 1970s British TV sitcom Doctor in the House for London Weekend Television. An early prototype of the character that became known as Basil Fawlty was developed in an episode ("No Ill Feeling") of the third Doctor series (titled Doctor at Large). In this edition, the main character checks into a small town hotel, his very presence seemingly winding up the aggressive and incompetent manager (played by Timothy Bateson) with a domineering wife. The show was broadcast on 30 May 1971. Cleese parodied the contrast between organisational dogma and sensitive customer service in many personnel training videotapes issued with a serious purpose by his company, Video Arts.

Cleese said in 2008 that the first Fawlty Towers script, written with then wife Connie Booth, was rejected by the BBC. At a 30th-anniversary event honouring the show, Cleese said:

"Connie and I wrote that first episode and we sent it in to Jimmy Gilbert," the executive "whose job it was to assess the quality of the writing said, and I can quote [his note to me] fairly accurately, ‘This is full of clichéd situations and stereotypical characters and I cannot see it as being anything other than a disaster.’ And Jimmy himself said, ‘You’re going to have to get them out of the hotel, John, you can’t do the whole thing in the hotel.’ Whereas, of course, it’s in the hotel that the whole pressure cooker builds up."

Text from Wikipedia 

I have all episodes of Fawlty Towers both on DVD and video and twice a year I invite friends who love the series as much as me to a Fawlty Towers week-end where we eat well, drink well and do nothing else than watch Fawlty Towers from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Very popular events if I may say so myself – Ted

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Filed under: British, Humour, Television, The seventies Tagged: Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth, Fawlty Towers, John Cleese, Prunella Scales

Al Parker – American Artist And Illustrator

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Al Parker (1906–1985) was an American artist and illustrator, who was known as the "Dean of Illustrators".

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Parker’s display of talent as a teenager led his grandfather, a Mississippi River Pilot, to pay for Al’s first year in Washington University’s School of Fine Arts in St. Louis, Missouri in 1922. He also played in a jazz band to earn money for tuition. He married a fellow student, Evelyn, and later joined with several former classmates to open an advertising agency in St. Louis. The business did not do well during the Great Depression, and Parker moved to New York City in 1935.

Parker got a break when a cover illustration he did for House Beautiful won a national competition. He soon was producing illustrations for Chatelaine, Collier’s, Ladies’ Home Journal and Woman’s Home Companion. Starting in 1938, he produced a total of 50 covers over a 13-year period for the Ladies’ Home Journal. He also sold illustrations to Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Sports Illustrated, Town and Country and Vogue.

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Parker is credited with creating a new school of illustration and was much imitated. In an effort to distinguish himself from his imitators, he worked in a variety of styles, themes and media. In cooperation with the magazine’s art director, he secretly provided every illustration in an issue of Cosmopolitan, using different pseudonyms, styles and mediums for each story.

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Parker was one of the founding faculty members for the Famous Artists School. He was elected to the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame in 1965. A stamp commemorating his art was issued by the United States Postal Service on February 1, 2001 as part of the American Illustrators Issue series.

His son, Kit Parker, founded the film company, Kit Parker Films.

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Text from Wikipedia


Filed under: Art, Article, Illustration, Models & starlets, Nudes, Paintings, Pin-ups Tagged: Al Parker, American artists, American illustrators

I’ll Have Both Please

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Myrla Bratton and Helene Callahan in Moulin Rouge – 1933

A picture with at least one double meaning from a time with such photos were more innocent and more tasteful than to day and still manage to get your imagination wandering   – Ted

Image found at Peter J Aussie

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Filed under: Actresses, Models & starlets, Photography, The thirties Tagged: 1933, Helene Callahan, Moulin Rouge, Myrla Bratton

By The Way

The Sunday Comic – An Art Discussion

This Week’s Girliemag Article – Cover Girl

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A digital recreation of an article published in Jolie Magazine Vol1 No1 from 1962

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Take another look at our beautiful model. Does she look familiar to you? Can you think where you might have seen her before? We won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Her name is Lisa Carol. That doesn’t mean anything to you, but the reason she looks like someone you know is that she was recently the cover girl on six different magazines in the some month. That is a record. Most models think they have arrived when they do one cover. If they do two covers they are among the elite. Three covers at the some time is like winning the Pulitzer prize. But six covers at the some time on the stands has never been heard of before, and it will probably be an eon before it happens again.

Read the whole article and see
the naughty pictures HERE

Warning: Nudity do occur in this article. If you are under age or live in a country where watching images of nude women for some reason  are against the law  I take no responsibility if you click the link above. In other words you’re flying solo from here on – Ted ;-)

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Filed under: Article, Glamour, Nudes, Photography, The sixties Tagged: Glamor photography, Jolie Magazine, Lisa Carol

High On Sam

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I’ve been on a Sam Cooke high all week, and hardly played anything else on the turntables or the mp3-player. I’ve got twelve solo records with the man and four he did with The Soul Stirrers. 387 cuts. Some doublets, even triples, sure, but who cares. Anything the man did is worth listening to both two and three times – Ted

468_sam2 Title:
Artist:
Recording:
Recorded:
Released:
Genre:
Another Saturday Night
Sam Cooke
Portrait Of A Legend – 1951 – 1964
February 28, 1963
June 17, 2003
Soul, Rhythm ‘n’ blues

Download: sam-cooke-portrait-of-a-legend-1951-1964-25-another-saturday-night.mp3

468_sam2 Title:
Artist:
Recording:
Recorded:
Released:
Genre:
Twisting The Night Away
Sam Cooke
Portrait Of A Legend – 1951 – 1964
January 9, 1962
June 17, 2003
Soul, Rhythm ‘n’ blues

Download: sam-cooke-portrait-of-a-legend-1951-1964-22-twistin-the-night-away1.mp3

468_sam2 Title:
Artist:
Recording:
Recorded:
Released:
Genre:
A Change Is Gonna Come
Sam Cooke
Portrait Of A Legend – 1951 – 1964
January 30, 1964
June 17, 2003
Soul, Rhythm ‘n’ blues

Download: sam-cooke-portrait-of-a-legend-1951-1964-29-a-change-is-gonna-come.mp3

On December 11, 1964, Cooke was fatally shot by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 33. At the time, the courts ruled that Cooke was drunk and distressed, and that the manager had killed Cooke in what was later ruled a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been widely questioned.

This is 50 years ago now, and still Sam Cooke’s music is vibrant, alive and able to fill at least my mind with a deep respect and my heart with joy – Ted

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Filed under: Music, Rythm and blues, Soul music Tagged: Afro American artists, Sam Cooke

Marià Josep Maria Bernat Fortuny i Marsal – Spanish Painter

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Marià Fortuny i Marsal (complete name Marià Josep Maria Bernat Fortuny i Marsal, in Spanish: Mariano José María Bernardo Fortuny y Marsal; June 11, 1838 – November 21, 1874), known more simply as Marià Fortuny or Mariano Fortuny, was the leading Catalan painter of his day, with an international reputation. His brief career encompassed works on a variety of subjects common in the art of the period, including the Romantic fascination with Orientalist themes, historicist genre painting, military painting of Spanish colonial expansion, as well as a prescient loosening of brush-stroke and color.

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Biography
He was born in Reus, a town near Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain. His father died when Marià was an infant, and his mother by the time he was 12. Thus, Marià was raised by his grandfather, a cabinet-maker who taught him to make wax figurines. At the age of 9, at a public competition in his town, a local painter, teacher and patron, Domènec Soberano i Mestres, encouraged further study. At the age of 14 he moved to Barcelona with his grandfather. The sculptor Domènec Talarn secured him a pension allowing him to attend the Academy of Barcelona (La Llotja school of art). There he studied for four years under Claudio Lorenzale (es) and Pau Milà i Fontanals (es), and in March 1857 he gained a scholarship that entitled him to two years of studies in Rome starting in 1858. There he studied drawing and grand manner styles, together with Josep Armet i Portanell, at the Academia Giggi.

In 1859, he was called by the Government of the Province of Barcelona (Diputació de Barcelona) to depict the campaigns of the Spanish-Moroccan War. He went to Morocco from February to April of that year, making sketches of landscapes and battles, which he showed in Madrid and Barcelona when he returned. These would later serve him as preliminary sketches for his monumental piece, The Battle of Tetuan

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Since the days of Velázquez, there had been a tradition in Spain (and throughout Europe) of memorializing battles and victories in paint. On the basis of his experiences, Fortuny was commissioned by the Council of the Province of Barcelona (Diputació de Barcelona) to paint a large canvas diorama of the capture of the camps of Muley-el-Abbas and Muley-el-Hamed by the Spanish army. He began his composition of The battle of Tetuan on a canvas 15 metres long; but, though he worked on and off on it during the next decade, he never finished it.

The greater influence of this travel on Fortuny was his subsequent fascination with the exotic themes of the world of Morocco, painting both individuals and imagined court scenes. He visited Paris in 1868 and shortly afterwards married Cecilia de Madrazo, the daughter of Federico de Madrazo, who would become curator of the Prado Museum in Madrid. Together, they had a son, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, who became a well-known fashion and tapestry designer. Another visit to Paris in 1870 was followed by a two years’ stay at Granada, but then he returned to Rome, where he died somewhat suddenly on November 21, 1874 from an attack of tertian ague, or malaria, contracted while painting in the open air at Naples and Portici in the summer of 1874. One of his pupils was Attilio Simonetti.

Text from Wikipedia


Filed under: Art, Article, Nudes, Paintings Tagged: Bernat Fortuny, Marià Josep Maria Bernat Fortuny i Marsal, Spanish painters

Victorian Inventions – Part 22

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From “Victorian Inventions” by Leonard De Vries published by American Heritage Press in 1972part1_035_ill

Professor E. J. Marey in Paris, who is engaged on the study of the way in which birds move, has hit upon the idea of making a kind of photographic machine-gun with which a series of pictures of a bird in flight can be obtained within a very short space of time. The difficulty here was not the sensitivity of the bromide of silver and gelatine layer on which the pictures must be formed, but in the speed with which the sensitive plate must move in order to come into the focal spot of the lens. Marey succeeded in constructing a device the size of a hunting-rifle which photographs the object aimed at twelve times in one second, each picture requiring a pose of only 1/720 second. The barrel of the rifle is a tube containing the camera lens. At the rear there is a cylindrical drum attached to the butt of the rifle and containing a clockwork motor.

The system of gear-wheels which imparts the necessary speed to the various parts is set in motion by pulling the trigger. These parts are attached to a shaft which rotates twelve times per second. First, there is a metal disc containing a tiny window which permits the light from the lens to enter twelve times per Second, and for rto second each time. Behind this is a second metal disc which has twelve apertures, against which the sensitised glass plate is placed. This second disc and the glass plate rotate only once per second, stopping briefly after each rotation so that the image of the bird can enter through the window in the first metal disc twelve times in succession . and fall on different parts of the glass plate.

After some aiming practice, Marey obtained very satisfactory photographs in which each complete beat of a seagull’s wing was depicted in three exposures. Marey considered this inadequate and doubled the speed at which the glass plate and the metal discs rotated. In this way he obtained very good pictures, despite the fact that the light impression of the bird’s image then struck the sensitive silver layer for only li40 second.

Marley is now building up a large collection of various species of birds in flight, both hovering and flapping their wings, and in differing conditions of wind direction and velocity, varying from absolute calm to storm force. He has even succeeded in photographing bats despite the lateness of the hour at which they fly and the unpredictable nature of their flight. He hopes that a close study of these pictures will help him to cast a new light on the way in which winged creatures are able to rise into the air and fly. This may also prove useful with respect to the, so far consistently unsuccessfulattempts made by man to create flyingmachines.


Back in the Victorian days I would think you should be very careful about who you pointed the photographic rifle at. It would be a pity getting shot because you were merely taking someone’s picture – Ted

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Filed under: Article, Facts, Photography, Retro technology, Vintage Science Tagged: Photographic rifle, Victorian inventions

XXth Century Health & Pleasure Resorts Of Europe – Part 8

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From the 33rd edition of “XXth Century Health And Pleasure Resorts Of Europe” published in 1933

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THE OFFICIAL ENTERTAINER

It has been the custom for many years in Winter sport resorts to engage an "official entertainer " to organise dances, games and entertainments with a view to roping in all visitors desiring sociability. This, as a rule, tends to make guests feel at home and prevents loss of time in their making the acquaintance of "kindred spirits". Why should the functions of this persona grata not be extended to sightseeing and excursion centres? The "organiser " would be invaluable in forming parties to visit the theatres, opera, cafes and restaurants in large cities, more especially for ladies who dislike evening outings unaccompanied. There is little pleasure to be gained even for a man from a solitary evening outing. A great deal of insight into local life and amusement could be added to the traveller’s itinerary by a tactful, educated "organiser " attached to a hotel or a group of hotels.

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Filed under: Article, Facts, Holidays, The thirties, Traveling Tagged: 1933, Official entertainers