Upon close inspection everything looks ship shape.
Model and actress Mara Corday, née Marilyn Watts, captains this nautical 1953 Corp. A. Fox Technicolor lithograph. Corday is one of those vintage actresses who has a cult following today, which in her case mainly derives from starring in three cheesy sci-fi films—Tarantula, The Giant Claw, and The Black Scorpion. She also appeared in some thrillers and noirs, but her stardom was truly cemented when she was Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for October 1958. That centerfold may be one of the most demure the magazine ever published, but the issue sold well, owing to Corday's status as an established movie star. She's still with us at age eighty-eight, and these images are nice mementos from a time when legions of fans were willing to sail anywhere with her.
She has your grandma's hair, but the similarities end there.
One of your older relatives definitely sports this look. We mean from the neck up. In 1959, when this Corp. A. Fox Technicolor lithograph was made, short hair was the rage and remains so for women of this era that are now senior citizens. There's nothing senior about the rest of this model, though. We're unable to identify her, but we suspect she was at least semi-famous. A. Fox models often were. If you recognize her drop us a line.
When you toast them the aroma is mouthwatering.
Since we neglected to share any Technicolor lithographs for several months before we got back to them recently, here's another one close on that one's heels entitled “Fair and Warmer,” from A. Fox Corp., circa 1955, with an unidentified model. We've wondered in the past whether a single ass comprised one bun or two buns. For example, should our header be “bun warmer” or “buns warmer”? It's a subject that requires deep exploration, and we've already put substantial thought into it.
A Dors of a different color.
Diana Dors is the star of the above Technicolor lithograph, which was tinted pink for fun by the vendors at Corp. A. Fox, an outfit that churned out thousands of similar prints during the mid-century period. They picked up the images wherever they were able, and this one was originally made as a promo for the 1957 film noir The Unholy Wife, without the garish pink tinge. Dors had already been in movies for ten years, so she wasn't actually a new box office figure, as the promo declares, but maybe she was newish to U.S. audiences. The photo was also sold as a horizontally oriented lithograph, again without the overdone blush, also below. You can see a couple dozen more prints featuring various known and unknown models from A. Fox and other litho companies by clicking the keywords at bottom. We also shared a Dors litho from 1964, which you can see here. And you can read about The Unholy Wife here.
First you need my shirt, now my pants? I believe you when you say we'll go faster. My question is faster at what?
Technicolor lithograph queen and nudist icon Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey returns on this print from A Fox. Corp from 1957 entitled “Clear Sailing Ahead.” We've shared three other lithos of hers, which you can see here, here, and here, and we have a couple more in reserve we'll get up later.
They say less is more, but in this case more is less.
Our ongoing exploration of mid-century Technicolor lithographs continues with this nice image from A. Fox featuring an unknown model in lingerie that simultaneously covers nearly her entire body yet is sheer enough to show nearly everything. The image is titled “Naughty Nightie” and it dates from around 1960. If you want to see dozens more of these just click the appropriate keywords below.
Bad news: the dye job was expensive. Good news: she has the same hair color today for free.
An unidentified model appears above on two 1965 Technicolor lithographs, the first of which, from A. Fox Corp., is called “How Nice,” and the second of which, from KLM, is called “Silver Siren.” The model sports striking silver hair in both, and we've noticed this trend has gotten pretty big of late, so these serve as a reminder that, once again, your grandmother beat you to it.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
Above, a Technicolor lithograph, entitled “Aim To Please,” starring an unknown model looking for something to kill with her longbow and quiver of arrows. This is dated 1959 and comes from Corp. A. Fox.
A touch of velvet.
Above is a Technicolor lithograph from Corp. A. Fox, aka A. Fox Corp., of an unknown model posing on a comfy looking velvet sofa. The image is titled “Captivating” and dates from 1969. As always, if you recognize the model drop us a line, because we don’t. See more Technicolor lithographs at this link.
A bouquet so nice it needed to be delivered twice.
Does this model look familiar? She might, if you visit here frequently. She’s the same unidentified star of an undressable Technicolor lithograph we shared around Christmas time. In the above image her pose is almost—but not quite—identical to that in the December image. You can compare them by looking here. The earlier shot was from K.L.M., while the one above was published by J.S.I. Both of them are from the early 1950s. Now look below. Yes, you’re seeing double. Well, almost. The print down there came from Corp. A. Fox in 1956. If you look closely you’ll see that the logo at lower right and title at lower left are different than above. The above shot is titled “Secret,” as in secret admirer, we presume, and the below shot is titled “Remembrance,” as in we hope the florist remembered to remove the thorns.
The change of logo and title shows how these images spread from company to company. Possibly each publisher bought the rights for a short time, leaving the owner free to peddle the same shots again later. Alternatively, K.L.M. bought the negs for a long period but was absorbed by A. Fox at some point. We wouldn’t doubt it—there were many publishers of these shots, and it seems unlikely they all thrived. Buying out a failing company and acquiring its images would be good business. It gets complicated, though, because as we now know, some of these pin-ups come from negatives owned by Playboy and were printed with the bunny logo, which suggests licensing deals. We’re still doing research on that aspect of the industry, so maybe we’ll know more later. In meantime, anyone recognize the model?
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1937—Carothers Patents Nylon
Wallace H. Carothers, an American chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont Corporation, receives a patent for a silk substitute fabric called nylon. Carothers was a depressive who for years carried a cyanide capsule on a watch chain in case he wanted to commit suicide, but his genius helped produce other polymers such as neoprene and polyester. He eventually did take cyanide—not in pill form, but dissolved in lemon juice—resulting in his death in late 1937.
1933—Franklin Roosevelt Survives Assassination Attempt
In Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara attempts to shoot President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, but is restrained by a crowd and, in the course of firing five wild shots, hits five people, including Chicago, Illinois Mayor Anton J. Cermak, who dies of his wounds three weeks later. Zangara is quickly tried and sentenced to eighty years in jail for attempted murder, but is later convicted of murder when Cermak dies. Zangara is sentenced to death and executed in Florida's electric chair.
1929—Seven Men Shot Dead in Chicago
Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone's South Side gang, are machine gunned to death in Chicago, Illinois, in an event that would become known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Because two of the shooters were dressed as police officers, it was initially thought that police might have been responsible, but an investigation soon proved the killings were gang related. The slaughter exceeded anything yet seen in the United States at that time.
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