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Capsules

Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

Capsules, History
While the nation should be celebrating another win by my Rutgers Scarlet Knights, apparently it's considered bigger news that Notre Dame is back at #1 for the first time in 19 years. In fact, almost exactly 19 years. Before this week, the Fighting Irish last held the top spot in college football in the poll released November 16, 1993. To put all of this into context, here's what was going on in the world of American pop culture the last time Notre Dame was at the top of the college football world. Top 10 Movies 1. Addams Family Values 2. The Three Musketeers 3. Carlito's Way 4. My Life 5. Mrs. Doubtfire 6. Man's Best Friend 7. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 8. The Remains of the Day 9. Cool Runnings 10. A Perfect World Will you look at that -- the top movie of...
Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Capsules, Ephemera
Published from 1871 until 1918, Puck magazine was America's first successful humor magazine featuring cartoons and political satire. Their Thanksgiving covers, while not always political, usually were and are still fun to look at today even if the relevance has been lost to time. Their choice of makes sense when you know that they were based out of New York City. Tammany Hall, which we all heard about in history class but have since forgotten, figures prominently. Here's a selection of Puck's Thanksgiving covers from around the turn of the 20th century, courtesy the Library of Congress. That's prominent New York politician David B. Hall, who we'll see again in 1902. He lost the NY gubernatorial race in 1894 to Levi P. Morton. Tammany Hall was a frequent target for ...
Time Capsule: Idlewild Airport, 1961

Time Capsule: Idlewild Airport, 1961

Capsules, Featured Posts, History
The mammoth facility now known as John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) was once known as Idlewild Airport. Idlewild, officially designated as New York International Airport, Anderson Field, received its first commercial flight on July 1, 1948. It was renamed after the late President Kennedy on December 24, 1963, just one month after he was assassinated in Dallas. Life magazine photographer Dmitri Kessel traveled to Idlewild in 1961 to capture some outstanding photographs of the facility for their September 22 issue. What he found -- especially with the interiors -- was a marvel of mid-century decor and airlines gone by. To look at this photo gallery is to walk right into an episode of Mad Men. So grab your fedora and your suitcase, and let's go to Idlewild! (And for more time
Time Capsule: Broadway Joe’s Restaurant, 1969

Time Capsule: Broadway Joe’s Restaurant, 1969

Capsules, Football Friday
This week's edition of Football Friday heads south to the city where the New York Jets and Joe Namath enjoyed their greatest triumph. That is of course where they won Super Bowl III, so naturally the next step was to open a Namath-themed restaurant. Behold -- Broadway Joe's, circa 1969! I'll take a shake and a football hero, please. (All photos by Lynn Pelham of Life magazine.) Related articles Football Friday: What Steve Sabol Meant to Me (grayflannelsuit.net) Almost Ads - Tupperware, 1969 (grayflannelsuit.net)
Car Capsule: Photos of the 1955 Ford and Mercury Lineup

Car Capsule: Photos of the 1955 Ford and Mercury Lineup

Capsules, Featured Posts
Some time in 1954, Life magazine photographer Yale Joel ventured to an unknown destination. His assignment was to photograph a group of brand new cars -- 1955 Ford and Mercury models, to be precise. I don't know how many of these pictures ended up in the magazine, as I've been unable to find any associated article in the Google Books archive, but some of these are real stunners. I wasn't sure at first if these were actually 1954 models, but the dead giveaway was the distinctive look of the '55 Ford Fairlane. That stainless steel Fairlane stripe on the side was what tipped me off, as the Fairlane debuted in model year 1955 (replacing the Crestline). Also present -- as far as I can tell -- are the Mercury Montclair and Monterey, as well as a Ford station wagon. Owing to the fact th...
Time Capsule: An Old-Fashioned 4th of July, 1954

Time Capsule: An Old-Fashioned 4th of July, 1954

Capsules, Photography
I don't think I need to offer much commentary on this gallery. It was taken by Life magazine photographer N.R. Farbman on the 4th of July, 1954, in an unknown town in America. All the classic Independence Day scenes are here -- a family picnic, a parade complete with fire trucks, kids buying fireworks and holding sparklers, and smiles all around. Click on any thumbnail for a larger image. Related articles Time Capsule: Los Angeles Smog, 1954(grayflannelsuit.net) Photo Gallery: Memorial Day Army Parade, Washington, D.C., May 1942(grayflannelsuit.net) Car Capsule: Life Magazine 1949 Ford Photo Shoot(grayflannelsuit.net)
Time Capsule: “That Crazy Bop Joke Craze” (Life Magazine, 1952)

Time Capsule: “That Crazy Bop Joke Craze” (Life Magazine, 1952)

Capsules, History
In its September 29, 1952 issue Life magazine ran a piece on a new fad called "bop jokes," which sounds absolutely awful. When you think of the popular cultural image of bebop jazz fans of the early '50s (some of which went on to become the first Beatniks), you imagine someone really hip and into swingin' tunes, but sort of detached and reserved at the same time. I guess dignity is implicit. But not so much here. From the article, with photography by Yale Joel: From the world of jazz musicians and bebop players has come a new brand of humor: the bop joke. Until the last few months bop jokes have been limited, perhaps mercifully, to people in show business. But now bop humor is becoming something of a fad, and Life, feeling its readers should be warned of this wayward form of wit, offers a...