Tag: racism

Here’s a Pair of Bizarre, Racist Catalog Pages from Old Sears Catalogs

Here’s a Pair of Bizarre, Racist Catalog Pages from Old Sears Catalogs

Ephemera
I wasn't planning on rolling out any of my Halloween-related posts until October, but this was so bizarre I just had to share it now. In searching old Sears catalogs for Halloween costumes -- as is my wont -- I came across these insane items. Let me just present them, and then we can chat. The first is a "Negro Makeup Outfit" from the Fall 1912 catalog: And up next is a group of costumes from the Fall 1920 catalog. It has classic Negro masks like Sporty Mose (sorry, collar and tie not included), Old Uncle Joe, and Aunt Dinah (a Negress outfit not complete without this mask!). Oh, and if you really want to go hog wild you can get one of the full body suits -- there’s the Ridiculous Yellow Kid, the Japanese Lady, and the Negro Minstrel Suit (suitable for hometown shows, no less).
Saturday Serials: “Eight Steps Down” (Batman 1943, Chapter 13)

Saturday Serials: “Eight Steps Down” (Batman 1943, Chapter 13)

Movies
And just like that, it's Saturday again, which can mean only one thing -- it's time for another edition of Saturday Serials, currently showing the 1943 Columbia Pictures Batman feature starring Lewis Wilson as the Caped Crusader. Today we look at the thirteenth chapter in our saga, "Eight Steps Down." After completely failing to rescue Linda Page in the last chapter, Batman does some legit detective work to track her down. I love the quaintness of Batman having to stop by a call box on the street to talk to the police. Ah, simpler days. We also get a lesson in etiquette, as Daka informs Linda that you should address people from Japan as "Nipponese" and not "Jap." So what does that "Eight Steps Down" mean anyway? Well I'm not sure, even after watching this. But I can say that the c...
Saturday Serials: “The Electrical Brain” (Batman, 1943)

Saturday Serials: “The Electrical Brain” (Batman, 1943)

Movies
Our first foray into the world of cinema serials begins with... The Bat. As we inch ever closer to the release of Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, it's worthwhile to take a look at where it all began. No, not with Tim Burton's movie, and not even with the Adam West camp-fest. We start simply with Batman, the original Columbia Pictures serial. This film, released in 15 chapters, marks the big screen debut of Bob Kane's legendary creation and was released in July 1943 -- just over four years after Batman sprang to life in Detective Comics #27. For those with even a superficial knowledge of Batman, much of the first chapter ("The Electrical Brain") will seem familiar. The dynamic duo of Batman (Lewis Wilson) and Robin (Douglas Croft) display their...
Posters of the WPA

Posters of the WPA

Ephemera
Back in the day (1935 to be precise), President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA), an enormous government program aimed at providing employment for millions of Americans affected by the Great Depression. The legacy of the WPA is a host of public works (bridges, roads, etc.) and cultural projects. That's all well and good obviously, but what I really care about are the cool posters designed to promote many of the WPA's programs. All of these images and hundreds more are available as part of the Library of Congress's "Posters of the WPA" collection. I've simply picked what I feel are some of the most visually appealing and added my usual pithy commentary. As you'll see, these great images are very much of their time and most display an Art Deco sensibili...