Intl. Notebook Mar 28 2018
FUN KIST


This nice pin-up style sticker was painted by legendary illustrator Rolf Armstrong for Kist Soda around 1930. Kist was created in 1922 by Citrus Products Company of Chicago, and was soon being manufactured in orange, ginger ale, lemon, and grape flavors. By the time Armstrong was brought in Kist had been licensed by the Quality Beverage Company, also based in Chicago. There's a bit of conflicting information online concerning the whos and whens, as always, but we just wanted to show you this very rare and pretty piece of Armstrong memorabilia.

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Hollywoodland Oct 26 2015
THE BIG SCREENLAND
Screenland was one of the earliest and biggest cinema magazines.


Actress Claire Windsor appears on the front of this October 1923 issue of Screenland magazine, one of the U.S.’s most venerable celeb publications, launched in Los Angeles in 1920 and surviving, under the control of several owners, until finally folding in 1971. The beautiful cover was painted by Rolf Armstrong, and within the magazine’s sprawling 108 pages are Gloria Swanson, Rodolph (aka Rudolph) Valentino, Phyllis Havers, and many other personalities, plus art from John Held, Jr. and writing from Delight Evans and Robert E. Sherwood. You can download your own copy of this here.

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Intl. Notebook Mar 16 2014
LUCKY PENNIES
Winning against the Odds.

Punchboards such as the one you see above originated during the 1700s, and by the early 1900s were being produced at a rate of millions per year. They hit the peak of their popularity during the 1930s and 1940s and were generally found in bars and other places of merriment. So, what were they? Basically, you’d pay pennies to select numbers and if you punched out the right one you’d win something. That something used to be money, which made these similar to lottery tickets, but when that type of gambling came under legal pressure from state governments, the prizes became goods such as beer, cigarette lighters or, in this case, cigarettes. What makes this Odd Pennies punchboard particularly collectible is the art by pin-up king Rolf Armstrong. Probably 1940-ish on this item. 

Update: We got an email from Joe R., who writes: "RE: the Lucky Pennies post, the Lucky Strikes package went from green to white in 1942 (the famous "Lucky Strike Green has gone to war" ad campaign), so there's a good possibility that this punchboard goes back to the 1930s.

Joe: Thanks for writing in. Now that you mention it, we think you're right. We took a detailed look around the interwebs and some of the other punch boards Armstrong illustrated actually go all the way back to the late 1920s, apparently. So mid-1930s seems like a good deduction on the date here.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 3 2013
DEAL US IN
What do you say we scope out some girls?

In 1894 a motion picture device called Mutoscope was invented. It worked by flipping a series of cards printed with still photographs. The cards featured slightly different versions of the same scene shot in sequence, and viewing them in rapid succession created a motion picture. Basically, the Mutoscope was an arcade attraction, and the films, viewed by one customer at a time through a peephole, often featured racy material. Much later, during the 1940s, a company called the International Mutoscope Reel Company began publishing what it called mutoscope cards. These were never meant to be used in actual Mutoscopes—instead they were cheaply printed pin-up paintings that people bought as novelties. We came across a set at an auction site recently, and so you see some here. These are collectible today because the artists were luminaries such as Earl Moran, Zoe Mozert, Billy Devorss and Gil Elvgren, and we have examples from those four and others below. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 22 2013
FUNNY SIDE UP
So these two fraternity brothers walk into a bar...


Below are five more covers of College Humor magazine with art by Rolf Armstrong. During the 1920s and 1930s, Armstrong made his income illustrating sheet music covers and magazines, and later he became known as a portraitist, painting likenesses of Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, and Boris Karloff, among others. He also worked in advertising for RCA, and was a sought after calendar artist. We’ll have more from him soon, and you can see our previous post of five College Humor covers here
 


 
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Vintage Pulp Sep 25 2012
SCHOOL GIRLS
Learning to have a good laugh.

Above, five covers of the American humor magazine College Humor, which ran from the 1920s to 1940s and counted among its contributors Robert Benchley, Groucho Marx, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, and many other leading literary personalities of the age. This group, with covers by pin-up artist Rolf Armstrong, appeared between 1928 and 1930. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 21
1918—The Red Baron Is Shot Down
German WWI fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron, sustains a fatal wound while flying over Vaux sur Somme in France. Von Richthofen, shot through the heart, manages a hasty emergency landing before dying in the cockpit of his plane. His last word, according to one witness, is "Kaputt." The Red Baron was the most successful flying ace during the war, having shot down at least 80 enemy airplanes.
1964—Satellite Spreads Radioactivity
An American-made Transit satellite, which had been designed to track submarines, fails to reach orbit after launch and disperses its highly radioactive two pound plutonium power source over a wide area as it breaks up re-entering the atmosphere.
April 20
1939—Holiday Records Strange Fruit
American blues and jazz singer Billie Holiday records "Strange Fruit", which is considered to be the first civil rights song. It began as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, which he later set to music and performed live with his wife Laura Duncan. The song became a Holiday standard immediately after she recorded it, and it remains one of the most highly regarded pieces of music in American history.
April 19
1927—Mae West Sentenced to Jail
American actress and playwright Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for the content of her play Sex. The trial occurred even though the play had run for a year and had been seen by 325,000 people. However West's considerable popularity, already based on her risque image, only increased due to the controversy.
1971—Manson Sentenced to Death
In the U.S, cult leader Charles Manson is sentenced to death for inciting the murders of Sharon Tate and several other people. Three accomplices, who had actually done the killing, were also sentenced to death, but the state of California abolished capital punishment in 1972 and neither they nor Manson were ever actually executed.
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