The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Ephemera'

Memorable Magazines (6): Grump

August 24th, 2016 · No Comments

Roger Price led a curious career in the ’50s and ’60s. He contributed humor pieces to such magazines as Playboy and Mad, and put out several books of Droodles, simple sketches with droll titles. In 1958, he and Leonard Stern invented Mad Libs (actually a twist on such old amusements as Peter Coddle or Dr. […]

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Tags: Ephemera

Memorable Magazines (5): Fillers

August 1st, 2016 · 2 Comments

Fillers was a small (3 1/2″ x 5″) magazine, edited by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius. It had a cover story, usually of prurient interest, and pages of filler: jokes, quotations, brief articles on current events. Most of the fillers reflected Haldeman-Julius’s own brands of atheism and socialism. Issues of Fillers were also Little Blue Books, and were […]

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Tags: Ephemera

W. O. Saunders and the Swan Publishing Co.

September 21st, 2015 · 1 Comment

I recently picked up a packet of bawdy ephemera in an antique store: flyers, pamphlets, booklets, and sheets of sexual and scatological jokes and verses, all apparently from the 1930s. Eleven of them were published by the Swan Publishing Co., in Elizabeth City, N. C. An internet search turned up nothing about it. However, one […]

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Tags: Ephemera

Memorable Magazines (4): The Hollow Hassle

August 25th, 2015 · No Comments

The Hollow Hassle was a newsletter devoted to the idea that the earth is hollow, published by Mary J. Martin in the 1970s and ’80s. I don’t know how long it lasted, but I note that a collection has been published. There weren’t many hollow earth newsletters; it’s a fascinating glimpse of a curious subculture. […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Forteana

Musical Calling Cards

May 19th, 2015 · 1 Comment

At one time, many people were musically literate, and music was printed on calling cards. These two examples are 1 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches, printed in black, and colored by hand. People had better eyesight then too, I suppose. The music on the second one is rather badly printed; maybe it was intended simply […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Music

Memorable Magazines (3): Beyond

April 27th, 2015 · 3 Comments

The success of Fate, started in 1948 by Ray Palmer and Curtis Fuller, inspired many imitations. Among the trashiest was Beyond, which put out its first issue in September 1968, published by Bernard S. Adelman and edited by Keith Ayling. It began as a digest, changing to a larger format in September 1969. I don’t […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Forteana

Illustrations and Designs for General Use

January 6th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Happy New Year!  I’ll get started with a few pages from Illustrations and Designs for General Use, published by Speed-O-Print in 1944.  It’s a box containing a hundred sheets of artwork, to be traced for stencil duplication.  There are many graphic delights on those pages; here are three examples.  As always, please click to enlarge. […]

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Tags: Ephemera

Escort Cards

November 11th, 2013 · 2 Comments

I am, for some reason, preoccupied with the many uses of that most ubiquitous and disposable of printed items, the cardboard rectangle.  The following is a selection of “escort cards,” which eligible gentlemen would once use to ask to walk a lady home.  They featured verses, illustrations, and rebuses, all in the service of formal […]

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Tags: Ephemera

Fortune Telling Cards (6)

July 24th, 2013 · 5 Comments

Harry Ingalls, “the greatest fortune teller in the world,” made the unusual choice to put his portrait on each card in his deck.  And each of those cards, as you can see, offers a variety of fortune telling options, framing that searching gaze.  The box is even busier, a sort of carnival poster in miniature. […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

LIttle Blue Books by Forteans (3): John Cowper Powys

July 16th, 2013 · 4 Comments

John Cowper Powys was a Founder of the Fortean Society, and professed himself delighted with Fort’s work.  Although remembered today mostly for his fiction, his contributions to the Little Blue Book catalog were all essays.  His first was #112, The Secret of Self Development; it was followed by #414, The Art of Happiness, and #435, […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Forteana