Vintage Pulp Apr 1 2015
THE HAIR UP THERE
Mind if we use Elmer’s glue to set this?

Above you see one of the most curious Technicolor lithographs we’ve come across so far. It’s entitled “A Work of Art,” but is the name a reference to the creation on the wall, or the creation sitting atop the model’s head? The copyright on the print is 1952, which would make her ’do the effort of a visionary seer into the future, because hair didn’t look like that in 1952—but it did around 1977 (Farrah example at right). Way back we documented the transition from normal to crazy hair—the theory we proposed, if we remember correctly, is that years of ’60s acid usage lingered in brain tissue and altered everyone’s aesthetic sensibilities sometime around 1972 (and who’d be affected first—and more—than hairdressers, who are well known to vacuum drugs like dustbusters?) Sadly, this print ruins our theory—crazy hair predates the psychedelic era. Amazing what you can learn about history from nudie photos, right? We’ve been documenting Technicolor lithographs for a couple of years, and you can see all of them by clicking the keywords just below. Oh, and as always, anyone who can identify the model please e-mail us at the usual place.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 22 2015
COMING UP ROSES
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?

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Vintage Pulp Mar 6 2015
FOLDABLE FATALES
Americans may have perfected the art, but the French got there first.

During the last few months we shared three Technicolor lithographs with glassine overlays of clothing that could be peeled back to reveal a nude model, and mentioned we thought the technique originated in France with Paris-Hollywood, a cover of which see above. The magazine began publishing déshabillable—i.e. undressable—pin-ups in 1950, whereas the American undressables we’ve found date from no earlier than 1953. Though Statesiders may have been latecomers to the party, once they got the technique down they churned overlay pin-ups out by the hundreds. You can see three here, here, and here, and we’ll share more later.

The artist responsible for painting the centerfold in this issue of Paris-Hollywood was Roger Brard, and he was the brush for most of those the magazine featured, but at least one other artist was involved too. Elsewhere in the issue you get showgirls, showgirls, and more showgirls, including a three page spread on la vagabonde Cirque Z dancer and world traveler Katrina, a Venice carnival-inspired set involving a model wearing a lace mask (she also gets the back cover), and a weird photo essay with knives and six-shooters. All of this is from 1952. We have twenty scans below, and you can see many more issues of Paris-Hollywood by clicking its keywords at the bottom of this post.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 4 2015
PRIVATE PRACTICE
We have no idea what she’s doing, but she’s really good at it.

This Technicolor lithograph from Champion Line is entitled “Practice Session.” We don’t know what the unidentified model is practicing, though. The panca pose from Ashtanga yoga? The funky worm? Whatever she’s doing she looks good. No year on this one, but figure around 1960 (actually 1953 or 1954 on the original shot, with the print coming sometime later—see below).

Update: We got an e-mail from Marcos: "I just wanted to say that the woman in your post is American model and former Playmate Diane Hunter. She was first known as Donna Hunter, and her real name is Gale Rita Morin. She appeared two times in Playboy magazine. She was first featured in the last page of the debut issue of the magazine in 1953 (the iconic Marilyn Monroe issue). She also posed as the centerfold in 1954, becoming the first Miss November ever. She is still alive and she is a wonderful woman.
 
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Femmes Fatales Mar 2 2015
TOUCHY FEELY
Idle hands are a woman’s playthings.

It seems about time for another image of Swedish actress Christina Lindberg, so here’s one we picked up a while back that’s never been seen online before, as far as we can tell. We think it was made as a promo for her 1973 sexploitation flick Anita, but don't quote us on that.

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Sex Files Feb 27 2015
SOPHIA'S CHOICE
Straight to the toplessness.


This issue of the Swedish magazine FIB Aktuellt appeared today in 1973 and its cover star, Sophia Loren, is exposed inside in exklusivt! photos from her 1951 campfest Era lui... sì! sì, aka It’s Him!... Yes! Yes! You probably know the story by now. Loren described the decision that led to her toplessness this way: “The scene involved several girls like myself in harem costume and, for the Italian version it was all right to wear clothes. The director asked that we do one take topless for the French version. I did not want to, but I was hungry. The other girls obliged him and, after a moment’s hesitation, I did too.” Loren said later that in general she couldn’t bear to be naked. “I’m not exactly a tiny woman. When Sophia Loren is naked, this is a lot of nakedness.”

It’s interesting that the photos are labeled exclusive by FIB Aktuellt, considering images from Era lui... sì! sì! had been floating around for years. We shared a page from the low rent Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963 featuring the same topless shot you see above. But we suppose in the days before the global internet the images were a scoop each time a new magazine acquired them. Playboy made a big deal of printing them in 1966. Loren’s nudity remained mildly controversial for decades due to her superstar status, but time marches on, and in 2011 she appeared on prime time television on Italy’s RAI 1 with a humungous topless still from Era lui... si! sì! in the background. That’s progress.  


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Vintage Pulp Jan 30 2015
A PERFECT CAPER
Caper presents its genteel vision of American eroticism.


Caper is an American nudie mag that was launched in 1956 by Humor Magazines, Inc., of Derby, Connecticut, and ran until 1980. This issue published in January 1960 features cover model Judy LaPree, and interior models Beth Marlboro (in the centerfold), Jamie O’Neil, and the ubiquitous June Wilkinson. Some of the photography is by Ron Vogel, who we last saw contributing images to the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963, and you also get some pretty nice art, numerous cartoons, and a bit of fiction. As always when we look at one of these magazines, we can't help but note the modern day shift away from gentleness in erotic imagery. It’s still out there, of course. There are hundreds of blogs alone, many run by women and focused on female desire, that remain faithful to ideas of imagination, mystery, and mutual pleasure. But those are simply trampled by the many gigantic outlets that feature near-violent insertions of every known object and organ into every known orifice and crevice.

To be clear, we aren’t knocking explicitness. Explicitness has a place, and in any case it was there long ago—modern porn has only just caught up to the 1930s Tijuana bibles we share here on occasion. No, when we say erotic material has shifted away from gentleness, we’re thinking of the actual, physical aggression of modern mainstream porn. It’s pervasive, and while a curious phenomenon in itself, when lumped with all modern media, we see that heightened aggression is a standard feature of today's America—from argumentative cable news to transgressive horror and procedural novels to the mega-slaughter of modern action movies. We could even go so far as to add non-media aspects of society to the equation. Seen from the wider perspective, nobody could reasonably expect porn to be an exception to the current wave of violent expression, though it would be nice if it were. This early Caper is an interesting—and welcome—reminder just how genteel erotic material used to be.  

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Vintage Pulp Jan 23 2015
RED VELVET VARIATIONS
Monroe’s famous photo changes like a chameleon.

We’ve shown you a couple of Technicolor lithographs with overlays. Before we get off the subject for a while we want to show you one more—this effort featuring Marilyn Monroe. The image is best known as the centerfold of the debut issue of Playboy from December 1953, but it actually hit the market as part of a 1952 calendar, which means it went on sale in late 1951. The only text featured on those original calendars was the title “Golden Dreams,” but the above lithograph has both a title and Monroe’s name because it was a re-release designed to take advantage of her growing fame. That fame had waned since a favorably received role in 1948’s Ladies of the Chorus, but had been rekindled when she admitted to newspapers in early 1953 that she had posed nude. The Playboy centerfold further turbocharged her ascent, and the famous velvet photo kept appearing over and over again, mainly as calendar shots in 1955, 1956, and 1958, and at least three times with different types of obscuring overlays. In all those images, as well as the one above, Monroe is facing the opposite direction from the photo that appeared in Playboy. However, the Playboy centerfold is reversed from the original calendar shot, so it was Hugh Hefner who flip-flopped her. But from whichever direction you look at her, and in whatever garb she appears, Monroe is still exquisitely Monroe. 

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Femmes Fatales Jan 20 2015
UNCUT GEMSER
Rare jewels look best unadorned.

We featured Indonesian actress Laura Gemser as a femme fatale not long ago, and shared some eye-opening stills from one of her softcore romps even more recently—but then we came across this frontal 1973 shot from the Dutch magazine Chick. So we brought her back. That is all.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 11 2015
SEX A-PEEL
The top layer looks nice, but in the end it’s really just in the way.

Above, another Technicolor pin-up that undresses when you peel back a glassine overlay, which as we mentioned before, was probably pioneered by the French magazine Paris-Hollywood. This particular pin-up from the company KLM featuring an unidentified model is entitled “Dreaming of You,” and the original, unobscured version dates from 1950. The overlay was added for a republication of the shot, probably around 1953 or later. 

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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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