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 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?
When the photographer called her a living doll she didn’t suspect he’d turn her into one.
This is a really striking Technicolor lithograph. Produced by Corp. A. Fox (or Fox A. Corp, or Copr. Fox A.) in 1955, it could be mistaken at first glance for a painting, but it’s actually a retouched photo—the details in the towel give it away. Even though the image is arresting, we don’t think the photographer/artist quite got the look he/she was seeking. To us, there’s an unpleasant and sinister edge to the scene, mainly due to the model’s expression shading more into horror than mere surprise. Don’t think so? Take a closer look below. Now imagine that face when you turn out the lights to go to sleep tonight. But if you think she looks horrified now, just try to imagine her expression when she saw the final result and realized she’d been turned into a lifeless porcelain figurine.
Which came first—the nightgown or the nudity?
Above, two Technicolor lithographs of an unknown model against a blue velvet backdrop. These were published separately, with the bottom shot “Blue Mood” appearing in 1951, and the top shot entitled “Red Hot & Blue” appearing much later in 1966. Strange that the clothed image came later, but in any case they complement each other nicely, with the second featuring an almost “ta-dah!” pose from the model. It’s as if she’s saying, “You wanted the nightie gone—it’s gone.” Chronologically speaking, it would be more accurate to say she started naked and got dressed, but where’s the fun in that? Using old negatives was common practice for the makers of Technicolor lithos—Champion Line, U.I. Co., A. Scheer, J.S.I., Corp. A. Fox (also referred to as A. Fox Corp.), and others. It was Fox that published these, and we’ll have more of their output later. You can see about a dozen more Technicolor lithos by clicking here.
Take... picture quick. Can’t hold this pose… much longer.
Above, a familiar looking but as yet unidentified model posing for one of Corp. A. Fox’s Technicolor pin-ups. This makes the eleventh one of these we’ve shared and you can see the others by clicking its keywords below.
Update: It's Madeline Castle, who was a Playboy Playmate of the month back in October 1954 and a popular pin-up model for many more years. The shot above isn't the most flattering of her, so we've uploaded another one below, from Folies de Paris et de Hollywood #288, 1964. Yes, we know the two look like different women entirely, but they aren't, we promise. She just looks better below, and as a bonus she's smiling instead of grimacing.
Update on our update: Turns out she was under our noses the entire time. We shared a
Man's Life featuring Castle back in January 2013. You know when you have so much stuff you can't keep track of it? Yeah, exactly.
The more you see the more you crave.
We have another Technicolor lithograph this fine Sunday and this time it’s Jayne Mansfield. She appeared on at least three of these. Though the photo itself is famous and the bosom-hugging pose is one she used throughout her career, the actual pin-up, which was produced in 1965 by Corp. A. Fox, is rare. See more Technicolor action here.
I hope you aren’t disappointed I’m not a pot of gold.
Above, another Technicolor lithograph from Corp. A. Fox. This one dates from 1951 and features an unknown model.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1954—Communist Party Outlawed
In the U.S., during the height of the Red Scare, President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Communist Control Act into law. The new legislation bans the American Communist Party, and prohibits people deemed to be communists from serving as officials in labor organizations.
1968—France Explodes Nuke
a two-stage nuclear weapon, codenamed Canopus, on Fangataufa, French Polynesia.
1942—Battle of Stalingrad Begins
The Battle of Stalingrad, perhaps the most pivotal event of World War II, begins. It lasts for more than six months, spread across the brutal Russian winter, and ends with two million casualties. The Russian sacrifice reduces the powerful German army to a shell of its former self, and as a result Nazi defeat in the war becomes a simple matter of time.
1979—Alexander Gudonov Defects
Russian ballet dancer and actor Alexander Borisovich Godunov defects to the U.S. The event causes an international diplomatic crisis, but Gudonov manages to win asylum. He joins the famous American Ballet Theater, where he becomes a colleague of fellow-defector Mikhail Baryshnikov, and later earns roles in such Hollywood films as Witness and Die Hard.
1950—Althea Gibson Breaks the Color Barrier
Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American woman to compete on the World Tennis Tour, and the first to earn a Grand Slam title when she wins the French Open in 1956. Later she becomes the first African-American woman to compete in the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
1952—Devil's Island Closed
Devil's Island, the penal colony located off the coast of French Guiana, is permanently closed. The prison is later made world famous by Henri Charrière's bestselling novel Papillon, and the subsequent film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
1962—De Gaulle Survives Assassination Attempt
Jean Bastien-Thiry, a French air weaponry engineer, attempts to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle to prevent Algerian independence. Bastien-Thiry and others attack de Gaulle's armored limousine with machine guns, but after expending hundreds of rounds, they succeed only in puncturing two tires.
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