James Bond 007 Thunderball Action Figure by Gilbert

Vintage Toys: James Bond 007 Thunderball Action Figure

Here’s a dashing action figure likeness of Sean Connery as James Bond from the 1965 film Thunderball. The movie was released in 1965 so I’m assuming the action figure — produced by Gilbert — was as well. Dig that sweet SCUBA outfit, complete with fins, snorkel, and super-snug bathing trunks!

James Bond 007 Thunderball Action Figure by Gilbert

The Thunderball line turned out to be almost the last hurrah for Gilbert (known officially as the A.C. Gilbert Company), which closed for good in 1967 after almost 60 years in business. Gilbert, incidentally, introduced the world-famous Erector Set in 1913.

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Vintage 1930s wire photo service transmission machine

And Through the Wire — A Single-Topic Tumblr

Vintage 1930s wire photo service transmission machine

I’ve been collecting wire photo images from the internet for several months, and I’ve been struggling with just how to best share my favorites with all of you out there. I thought about creating a new section in the Ephemera section of this site, and I may still do that, but not now. I also thought about putting them on my Flickr feed, and I’ll still do that for some — but that’s more of a personal storehouse than anything else.

What I’ve settled on for now is a brand new, single-topic Tumblr feed. It’s called And Through the Wire, and yes that’s a reference to the Peter Gabriel song. It’s a separate endeavor from my regular Tumblr feed, which is more of a free-for-all thing. This feed will be wire photos and only wire photos, and it’ll cover just about any subject area you can think of. Sports, celebrities, cars, you name it. If that sounds as fun to you as it does to me, head over and follow it now!

The very best wire photos I find will still be shared here, so think of And Through the Wire as the unfiltered version. And by all means, let me know if you’d like to see a photo on a particular subject.

Joe Namath Wearing a 1964 New York Jets Helmet

Here’s Joe Namath Wearing a 1964 New York Jets Helmet

As originally seen on UniWatch, here’s a very cool photo of Joe Namath in a New York Jets uniform. It’s notable for a few reasons, which I’ll get into shortly.

Joe Namath Wearing a 1964 New York Jets Helmet

What makes this interesting is that Broadway Joe is wearing a helmet with an altered version the mostly white Jets logo that was used for the 1964 season only, but didn’t play his first game for New York until 1965. By that time the team had adopted a helmet logo that was essentially the same but with the colors reversed. Here’s a replica of that version:

New York Jets helmet, 1965

And here’s the ’64 version as well:

New York Jets helmet, 1964

So based on the Namath pic, it looks like the helmet he wore for that shoot is a prototype of some sort. Perhaps the team had already decided to move in a new direction for ’65? Makes sense, considering what a landmark signing Namath was. Or perhaps all they had was a blank white helmet and had to improvise a logo?

The world may never know. Either way, it’s a unique piece of history for fans of Namath, the Jets, or the AFL.

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Marilyn Monroe fishing photo, c. 1946

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 32: Marilyn Monroe Goes Fishing, c. 1946

I love this set of vintage photos featuring the lovely Marilyn Monroe doing some fly fishing, circa 1946. These three images were shot on color safety by Andre de Dienes (1913-85), and capture Marilyn before she had fully transformed into the blonde bombshell that captivated America in the ’50s and ’60s. In fact, she had barely transitioned away from her given name of Norma Jeane Mortenson at the time of this photo session.

The Marilyn we see here is not a star, but just a really pretty young woman full of life. That’s how I like to remember her.

(Click for the full-size version of each picture.)

Marilyn Monroe fishing photo, c. 1946

Marilyn Monroe fishing photo, c. 1946

Marilyn Monroe fishing photo, c. 1946

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, Country Preacher (1970)

Sunday Jazz: The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, “Walk Tall”

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, Country Preacher (1970)

One of the things I’ve always loved about Cannonball Adderley’s approach to jazz is how he seamlessly infused elements of R&B and (later) soul into his arrangements. While he could play straight hard bop with the best of them, I think his best output comes from his willingness to expand and experiment. And so this week I want to highlight a song from Cannonball’s his first album of the 1970s, Country Preacher (Capitol Records SKAO-404, 1970). It was recorded live in Chicago in October 1969.

After a fiery introduction by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Adderley’s quintet — Cannonball on alto sax, Nat Adderley on cornet, Joe Zawinul on piano, Walter Booker on bass, and Roy McCurdy on drums — busts out a greasy funk-inspired groove on “Walk Tall.” This brilliant mix of late ’60s funk and jazz is not unlike the music of the Jazz Crusaders or Ray Bryant from the same period. It’s both highly stimulating and accessible. I see songs like this being at the top of the charts in a world where jazz remained ascendant and rock never really grabbed America’s imagination.

The album, incidentally, is subtitled “Live” at Operation Breadbasket. Operation Breadbasket was founded as a department of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1962 as an organization dedicated to improving the economic conditions of black communities across the U.S. Rev. Jackson was chosen to be head of the Chicago chapter in 1966.

Listen to “Walk Tall” (Joe Zawinul/Esther Marrow/James Rein) [powerpress url=”https://www.grayflannelsuit.net/blog/audio/sundayjazz/Cannonball Adderley – Walk Tall (feat. Jesse Jackson).mp3″]

You can listen to this and many of the songs featured on Sunday Jazz by subscribing to my GFS Sunday Jazz playlist in Spotify or Rdio.)

King of the Rocket Men (1949)

Saturday Serials: “Plunging Death” (King of the Rocket Men, Chap. 2)

The rocket-powered action returns, as we watch the second chapter of the 1949 Republic Pictures serial film King of the Rocket Men! When we left off in chapter 1, Jeff King (Tristram Coffin) assumed his mantle as the Rocket Man, thwarted a plan by Dr. Vulcan to steal a top-secret military missile, and punched a lot of people.

Chapter 2, “Plunging Death,” sees King trying to ferret out the rat in Science Associates — the man who is Dr. Vulcan. But soon a bigger danger arises, as photographer Glenda Thomas (Mae Clarke) is ambushed by Vulcan’s thugs, hoping to steal a negative she shot of Rocket Man. Thomas fights back but then flops around like a fish and loses the photo. She gives chase in her car, and soon Rocket Man is on the trail.

As the episode ends, Rocket Man and Glenda plunge over a cliff in the car, which explodes quite nicely. Will they make it? You’ll have to tune in for chapter 3 to find out!

Dick Butkus 1972 Topps football card

Retired NFL Jersey Numbers: NFC North

Since it’s the off-season I thought I’d start a fun project involving NFL history. So I’m going to go division by division and post football card galleries (when available) featuring all NFL players who have had their jersey numbers retired by their teams. This week it’s the four squads of the NFC North — the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings.

Previous galleries: AFC EastNFC East, AFC North

Chicago Bears (13)

#3 — Bronko Nagurski

Bronko Nagurski 1935 National Chicle football card

#5 — George McAfee

George McAfee 1948 Leaf football card

#7 — George Halas

George Halas 1952 Bowman football card

I couldn’t find a card from Halas’s playing days, but how could I leave off Papa Bear?

#28 — Willie Galimore

Willie Galimore 1959 Topps football card

Galimore was killed in an automobile accident on July 27, 1964 in Rensselaer, Indiana at the age of 29 with teammate Bo Farrington.

#34 — Walter Payton

Walter Payton 1975 Topps football card

#40 — Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers 1971 Topps football card

#41 — Brian Piccolo

Brian Piccolo 1965 Topps football card

Piccolo died of cancer in 1970 at age 26, and was famously portrayed by James Caan in the made-for-TV movie Brian’s Song.

#42 — Sid Luckman

Sid Luckman 1948 Leaf football card

#51 — Dick Butkus

Dick Butkus 1974 Topps football card

#56 — Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt 1989 Goal Line football card

#61 — Bill George

Bill George 1960 Topps football card

#66 — Clyde “Bulldog” Turner

Clyde "Bulldog" Turner 1951 Bowman football card

#77 — Red Grange

Red Grange 2006 Donruss football card

Detroit Lions (6)

#7 — Dutch Clark

Dutch Clark 1935 National Chicle football card

#20 — Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders 1990 Pro Set football card

#22 — Bobby Layne

Bobby Layne 1954 Bowman football card

#37 — Doak Walker

Doak Walker 1951 Bowman football card

#56 — Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt 1959 Topps football card

#85 — Chuck Hughes

Hughes, who played in Philadelphia and Detroit, never saw much action at his wide receiver position — he caught a total of 15 passes in his pro career in fact. His number was retired because on October 24, 1971 he collapsed during a game against the Bears and died from a blood clot that completely cut the circulation to his heart. To date, Hughes is the only NFL player to die on the field during a game.

There are no football cards bearing Hughes’ likeness that I’m aware of. There are photos of the scene on the field after he collapsed, but I’m not really interested in sharing them. They’re out there if you want to look.

Green Bay Packers (5)

#3 — Tony Canadeo

Tony Canadeo 1951 Bowman football card

#14 — Don Hutson

Don Hutson Goal Line football card

#15 — Bart Starr

Bart Starr 1963 Topps football card

#66 — Ray Nitschke

Ray Nitschke 1963 Topps football card

#92 — Reggie White

Reggie White 1996 Pro Line football card

Minnesota Vikings (6)

#10 — Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton 1965 Philadelphia football card

#53 — Mick Tingelhoff

Mick Tingelhoff 1971 Topps football card

#70 — Jim Marshall

Jim Marshall 1977 Topps football card

#77 — Korey Stringer

Korey Stringer 1995 College Choice football card

Stringer died in August 2001 from complications brought on by heat stroke during the Vikings’ training camp in Mankato, Minnesota. He was 27.

#80 — Cris Carter

Cris Carter 1991 Pro Set football card

#88 — Alan Page

Alan Page 1972 Topps football card

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ABC Circle A logo (1957–62)

Logo Evolution: ABC TV

Until the Fox television network went on the air in 1986, the American Broadcasting Company — ABC — was the young kid on the block. It began in 1943 as a direct descendant of RCA’s NBC Blue radio network. Originally known as the Blue Network, the network was re-branded in 1944 as the American Broadcasting Company. On April 19, 1948 the ABC television network went on the air, and so it is in that year that I begin my look at the history of the ABC-TV network logos.

Dates on some of the early logos are approximate. If any readers have more accurate information please let me know in the comments. To check out my history of the NBC logo, click here.

Logo #1 (1948 – ?)

ABC TV network logo (1943–53)


Not surprisingly, ABC’s first television logo was directly inspired by radio — the same is true for NBC as well. Basically, ABC took their radio network logo and slapped the letters “TV” on it. This specimen is a modern reproduction of the original.

Logo #2 (1948 – ?)

ABC TV network logo (1948 - ?)

1948 – ?

I don’t have a hard date range for this logo, which features the American Broadcasting Company wordmark imposed over a map of the United States, but it seems to have been used from 1948 until the early ’50s.

Logo #3 (1948 – ?)

ABC TV network lens logo (1948 - ?)

1948 – ?

As you might have figured out by now, standardization was not a priority for ABC’s marketing team in the ’40s and early ’50s. In fact, for several years the network scrambled to compete with NBC, CBS, and the DuMont networks.

Logo #4 (1953 – 1957)

ABC logo (1953-57): eagle with lightning bolt


ABC, which struggled for several years after its launch, took on new life when it merged with United Paramount Theaters in 1953. And with that new life came a fancy new logo, featuring an eagle and a circle of 13 stars surrounding the letters “ABC”. By 1955 the logo was animated to reveal the ABC script bursting from a star in the center of the shield.

Logo #5 (1957 – 1962)

ABC Circle A logo (1957–62)

1957-62, the “Circle A” logo

ABC took the unusual step of rendering their logo in all lower-case letters when they introduced the so-called “Circle A” logo in 1957.

Logo #6 (late 1950s – early 1960s)

ABC map logo (1958–62)

1958 – 1962?

I don’t know how widespread this logo was, but it’s clearly an updating of the original map logo. My guess it was used in the same ’58 – ’62 period as the Circle A logo. I know the boxed portion was definitely used in 1958, as I saw it at the end of a promo for The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show.

Logo #7 (1962 – 2007)

ABC Circle logo (1962-2007)

1962 – 2007

Here’s the ABC logo that several generations of TV viewers know quite well. It was created by noted graphic designer Paul Rand and debuted on October 19, 1962. The lower-case wordmark remained from the Circle A variant, although it was updated to a sans serif typeface. Several variations of this classic logo were used over the following decades, including this neat one touting ABC’s new color programming:

ABC TV network color logo (1960s)

Logo #8 (2007 – present)

ABC Circle HD logo (2007-present)

2007 – present

In 2007 ABC rolled out an update to their classic logo, adding contours and shading to help usher in the HDTV generation. Otherwise, it’s essentially the same logo as introduced in the 1960s.

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Fred Flintstone smokes a Winston cigarette in a 1960s ad

Let’s See Fred Flintstone Smoke Winston Cigarettes in Color

Hang around the internet long enough and you’ll stumble across one of the classic TV commercials for Winston cigarettes, starring the Flintstones. Those spots from the early ’60s are practically advertising legend at this point. If you haven’t seen them, click on the link above and prepare to be amazed.

Well if you thought that was cool — or even if you didn’t — then you’ll really enjoy this find. It’s an original production animation cel from the second spot in that clip; a closeup of Fred Flintstone sparking a Winston and loving every second of it. Oddly enough, the animation is in glorious color while the cigarette appears to be a black and white photograph.

Fred Flintstone smokes a Winston cigarette in a 1960s ad

Winston tastes good like a *clap* *clap* cigarette should!

Now that’s responsible marketing!

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