Month: December 2013

Vintage Photo of a Late 1940s Bobsleigh in Lake Placid, New York

Vintage Photo of a Late 1940s Bobsleigh in Lake Placid, New York

Photography, Sports
The 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi are nearly upon us, so let's do some winter sports. This outstanding vintage photo is not actually from the Olympics, but it's close enough. According to the auction I snagged it from, this was taken in Lake Placid in 1949. If that's true, then this image was shot at the 1949 FIBT World Championships in Lake Placid. The FIBT (aka IBSF) is the organization that oversees bobsledding and skeleton. The bobsleigh shown does display the Olympic rings and the 1948 date, so it's likely that this was also used in the prior year's Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. (For a full-size version click here.) Two things that stand out to me immediately are the leather helmets that resemble nothing so much as repurposed football helmets of the era, a
Is This Blue Bell Potato Chips Bag the Coolest Thing Ever?

Is This Blue Bell Potato Chips Bag the Coolest Thing Ever?

Ephemera
If I didn't know any better I'd swear that this vintage Blue Bell Potato Chips bag was designed rather recently, and by someone with a real love for retro styling. In fact, this may just be the most perfect example of mid-century packaging graphic design I've ever seen. Let's take a look and then review why this is so great, shall we? The Blue Bell logo is strong, and I love how it incorporates the clapper into the product description. (Not sure what "smoky flavored" is supposed to mean, however.) To further the bell motif, there are musical notes for "fresh" and "crisp," which is just great. So very mid-century. The yellow portion of the bag design appears to be somewhat Googie-influenced, even if subtly so. Although I had no knowledge of the "10 cents" graphic when I des...
The Naughty Springmaid Girls of Esquire Magazine

The Naughty Springmaid Girls of Esquire Magazine

Ephemera
Back in February I shared a cheesecake-filled gallery of advertisements for South Carolina-based Springmaid Fabrics, most of which featured racy illustrations of women and their poorly-concealed panties. What I didn't know at the time was that two of those ads actually first appeared as front covers for Esquire magazine. It's always interesting to me to see how illustrations like this get re-purposed for things like magazines, ads, or album covers. The first piece, "Protect Yourself" by Frederick Smith, depicts a trio of comely young lasses waiting backstage at a skating show. Here is the original work: (via South Carolina State Museum) Smith's illustration was first used by Esquire for their April 1946 cover, like so... (via Esquire) ... and was picked up by Springmaid Fabr
Uh Oh SpaghettiOs, Pearl Harbor Day Edition

Uh Oh SpaghettiOs, Pearl Harbor Day Edition

Advertising, Funny Stuff
You'd think that by now companies would have learned how to effectively manage their social media presence. You'd be wrong. The latest corporate gaffe comes courtesy everybody's favorite canned, sauce-drenched, pasta-like product, SpaghettiOs. OK, so let's talk about this for a second. While I'm all for remembering the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7, 1941, the jovial nature of this image doesn't really fit the solemn tone of the day. Really, SpaghettiOs, if you can't be bothered to alter your mascot so it doesn't have its tongue sticking out and a goofy smile, maybe just stick with a text message? Anyway, here's a few more tragedies that we might expect SpaghettiOs to commemorate in the future. First is the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln: And for a more cont...