Here are some wonderful artifacts from the days when public utility companies at least tried to pretend like they cared about their customers or wanted some sort of connection with their communities. This gallery features covers from a series of Christmas "Cooky Books" produced by the Wisconsin Electric Power Company in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. The designs run from homey but bland to festive to delightfully cheerful and mid-century. One note: In fairness, the current version of this company, We Energies, still produces this book. Good on them. Most scans courtesy eBay. Click on any image for the full-size version.
Everyone loves a good sequel, and I can think of nothing more worthy of a second entry than a gallery of vintage Christmas pinups. In case you missed the first edition, check it out before proceeding. Be of good cheer!
It's been quite a few years since the second entry in my bizarre Christmas album covers series, and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of strange Yuletide cover art. So what do you say we just get down to it?
It occurs to me that I've done pinup galleries for Valentine's Day and Halloween, but haven't spread any beautiful Yuletide joy. So here then are 12 lovely ladies from Hollywood to help us usher in the Christmas season!
Lexus, a perennial contender for the most annoying holiday commercials of the year, has roared back to the top of my Most Hated Christmas Commercial list in 2011 for all-time after being temporarily dethroned in 2010 by the Hyundai Hipsters. Incredibly, they've found a way to amp up the obnoxiousness even more this time by playing cutesy with their stupid "December to Remember" jingle. If you haven't seen this spot from 2011, get a barf bag handy: Look, I don't normally encourage class jealousy or class warfare, but this is just fucking ridiculous. Who exactly does this campaign appeal to, if not privileged, upper-class white people without an ounce of shame? At least this year's Acura holiday ads try to be funny. If it makes you feel any better, feel free to sing along with
For those not familiar with the term Christmas Creep -- and no, I'm not referring to the skeevy dude dressed as Santa Claus at the mall who looks way too excited to have little kids sitting on his lap -- it refers to the ever-widening window stores use to stock their shelves with gift items and bombard us with advertisements. While some people still debate whether or not climate change is a real thing, there can be no debate that Santa and his multi-billion dollar operation have inched further and further outside the traditionally defined Christmas shopping season barrier of Black Friday. It has become more and more common to see Christmas store displays and ads not only well before Thanksgiving, but now just after Halloween. Hell, I even spotted displays in places like Home Depot and L...
The Christmas of 1947 was certainly a white one for residents of the U.S. northeast and the New York City metro area in particular. Too white in fact. From December 25 through the 26th, a surprise storm dumped more than two feet of snow in areas. The highest recorded amount was 26.4 inches in Central Park. 77 people died as a result of the blizzard. Life photographer Mark Kauffman captured some of the storm and a lot of the cleanup in a series of outstanding photographs covering what would become known as the Great Blizzard of 1947. In this photo gallery you can see the snow falling, streets piled with the white stuff, stranded commuters, and of course some vintage period signs and vehicles. You can also see what famous Gotham locations like Central Park, Rockefeller Center and the
Sorry for the dearth of activity around these parts lately, it's been a hectic holiday season. To make it up to you I'm doubling your vintage photograph pleasure this week! Up first is a familiar site -- Santa Claus collecting donations for the less fortunate on a street corner, circa the early 1910s. This is from the Library of Congress's Bain News Service collection. Click for a larger version. The sign on the faux chimney reads, in part, "Volunteers of America -- Ballington Booth Christmas Dinners." According to Wikipedia, Ballington Booth was an officer in the Salvation Army. His parents, William and Catherine Booth, founded the Salvation Army in 1865. Booth and his wife Maud left the Salvation Army in the late 19th century and started their own charity organization -- God
We’ve all seen at least one article showing the worst album covers of all-time. But what about the music inside? Should you judge an album by its horrible cover? Well in this series, we’re going to find out. Today we examine Merry Christmas & Happy New Year by The Mom and Dads. I'll say this much for the 1972 holiday album Merry Christmas & Happy New Year by the Mom and Dads -- if ever there was a Christmas album that sounded exactly like you would expect it to, this is it. I'm not going to sit here and judge whether or not that's a positive thing; I'm just throwing it out there as a heads up of sorts. Yes, that's the actual group on the cover. We've got (l to r) Quentin Ratliff (saxophone), Harold Hendren (drums), Doris A. Crow (piano), and Leslie Welch (accordion) l