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ADVENTURELOUNGE


COME FLY WITH ME

The early aircraft designs on view at AdventureLounge will take you back, though not all in one piece.



ARE YOUR SCANS limp, lifeless, lacking pep and vim? Visit ScanTips for fast, safe, effective relief.



THE ART
of Josh Agle. Martinis, girls, guns. Think James Bond meets Jetsons at a tiki bar in Palm Springs.

 
 
 
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April 2005

CLICK ON ORANGE HEADINGS TO VIEW. SITE © 1999-2012

SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2005

≈ Printer Project

There’s less than a day left to reserve a large-format print for $50 before the regular price structure kicks in May 1. It’s also time for charter subscribers to tell us what size they’d like their large-format prints to be, and which images they want if they haven’t already. Available images here (with four recent additions, at the bottom of the page), size details here.

SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2005

≈ Texas Tea, 1942

How’s every little thing down in Texas, Bill?

Zooming along, Ted. But it’s mighty good to be here in the Big Town again. What’s first on the program?

Well, to start things off, I’m going to have the barman here introduce you to what we New Yorkers consider the world’s finest whiskey-and-soda.

Down deep in the heart of Texas, when a man says what you just said, he’s talking about just one thing: Four Roses!

But  . . .

Four Roses! There’s a whiskey a man can tie to! That rich and velvety smoothness  . . .  mellow as a Texas moon!

Wait a minute, old man, you don’t understand. I was just going to   . . .

It sure beats me how anybody could pass up the glorious flavor of today’s Four Roses! Man! That bouquet  . . .  soft and fragrant as purple sage on a sun-soaked prairie!

Hold on, now, you ham-fisted cow-puncher! You can try to sell me Texas, but I don’t need a Texan to tell me that today’s Four Roses is the grandest whiskey ever bottled. In fact, it was Four-Roses-and-soda that I was about to order when you stampeded me! Waiter  . . .

Above and below, a double shot of John Falter from November 1942 in artwork done for Young & Rubicam, the New York ad agency. The dialogue here, for the now- defunct Frankfort Distilleries, might not be that far-fetched for a mid-century Madison Avenue watering hole (and if anyone recognizes the bar, let us know). Illustrator Falter, familiar to anyone who collects ads or Saturday Evening Post covers from the ’40s and ’50s, died in 1982; Four Roses was revived in 2002 when Kirin of Japan bought the brand and distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

≈ Counterfeit Elm

This odd-looking contraption is part of a camouflage project for a war-industry plant. Strange as it looks on the ground, this collection of garnished chicken wire, guy ropes and telephone poles will look very much like real trees and real fields to an enemy plane at expected bombing altitudes. So deceptive is this camouflage that it will give a great measure of protection against the kind of attack informed opinion says American industry should expect: High-level, precision, “token” bombings up to 300 miles from either coast  . . .

In 1942, less than a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, camouflage, blackout shades and taped-over headlights were being used in anticipation of aerial attacks on the U.S. mainland. They never materialized, but did provide a marketing opportunity. The upshot here is that Owens-Corning Fiberglas, wouldn’t you know, is perfectly suited for use as “camouflage garnish.”

≈ Catalin, Gem of Plastics

Leading radio manufacturers, alert to a public trend that now judges “fine birds by fine feathers,” are proceeding wisely to outwardly enhance their finest 1947 receivers in housings cast of Catalin  . . .  the gem of plastics.

RCA Victor 66X8 table radio in Catalin cast resin, an early plastic. It tended to shrink and change color with exposure to sunlight and heat from vacuum tubes; the sets that survived are eye-poppingly beautiful. The caption has links to two Web sites on Catalin collectibles.

≈ The Magic in a Moth Ball

Like most people, you doubtless believe that moth balls are solely matters of housewifely concern. If so, you are doing them a great injustice because naphthalene, the substance composing moth balls, is actually a basic heavy industrial chemical of widely varied applications in the Nation’s War Program. Transmuted by RCI technicians into phthalic anhydride, naphthalene changes its form and becomes a vital component of many products necessary for Victory  . . .

Naphthalene gets its 15 minutes of fame in 1942 thanks to Reichhold Chemicals Inc. of Detroit and John Vickery.

TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2005

≈ Transoceanic Treat

Almost wasp-like in its appearance and streamlining is this designer’s conception of one of the transoceanic liners of the future. Perhaps — because it combines strength with lightness — Bohn aluminum would play a part in the construction  . . .

From the drawing boards of Bohn Aluminum, another vivid example of the Future That Never Was, Darn It.

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2005

≈ The Sundae Basement

This room belongs to some of the luckiest teen-agers — and the cleverest parents — in the world! Just last month, upstairs, it was anybody’s guess who owned the living room — the high-school set or the grownups. Now everybody’s happy, especially Mother. For not even dancing feet and spilled drinks will mar the gay floor of Armstrong Excelon tile  . . .

Armstrong’s mid-1950s ads for flooring are like a one-page graduate course in retro room makeovers. Our thesis for today: The sock-hop basement, complete with ice-cream sundae bar, Neapolitan stairs and bubblegum pink ceiling.

SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2005

≈ Star Chief

There’s “Cross-Country” luggage room aplenty in any 1954 Pontiac — Star Chief or Chieftain! In models of the new extra-long Star Chief Series you can stow away up to thirteen pieces of assorted full-size luggage — including your golf clubs — and still find space for miscellaneous smaller packages!

The 1954 Star Chief was 11 inches longer than standard Pontiacs, with most of the extra length in the trunk.

SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2005

≈ Los Angeles, 1953

A 1947 or 1948 Buick Roadmaster ragtop in the driveway.

≈ Project X

Whee. Yippee. Isn’t this fun. Yes, Mom and Dad, I really love the Erector set and the sailor suit. Now can I go out and play?

≈ The Hidden Menace

You get “all-around” road coverage and safety in your all-new 1949 Mercury. You can see more out the front, out the back, on the right, and on the left. The brakes are large, powerful. The ventilati0n system prevents closed-car drowsiness  . . .

The car that finally put an end to “closed car drowsiness”: More images from the jumbo-size 1949 Mercury catalog.

≈ Oink?

And now for something completely different  —  a selection of vintage drawings from the files of the U.S. Patent Office. The porciform barbecue stand is a special favorite.

THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2005

≈ Hi

From the outside your first look will tell you that this all-new 1949 Mercury is longer, lower, with down-to-earth roadability. Its broad-beamed sturdiness is artfully hidden under a sleek, style-wise, curved-arch silhouette  . . .

The 1949 Mercury sales catalog was a minor masterpiece of the graphic arts — exceptional layout, design and typography. We’ll post more examples in the coming days.

TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2005

≈ On the Road, 1960

Last of the true station wagons, faithful to its sound functional concept, is the TRAVELALL. Now with four doors and lower silhouette, TRAVELALL Custom and standard models provide generous carrying capacity, safe ground clearance and other desirable attributes that have been generally forgotten by designers who simply extend the bodies of ground-hugging passenger cars. If you are interested in a real station wagon, ask for a separate folder describing the TRAVELALL  . . .

From a 1960 sales flyer comes this early sport-utility vehicle, International Harvester’s Travelall.

≈ Off the Road, 1962

Clean as a whistle — and just as apt to attract attention. That’s descriptive of the functional beauty — inside and outside — of the 1962 “Jeep” Wagoneer 4-Door Station Wagon. The Wagoneer is not a converted passenger car with a tailgate thrown in, nor a modified truck with windows — the all new “Jeep” Wagoneer is more than just another new vehicle  . . .

Another early sport-ute, back before anyone called them that, when Jeep was owned by Willys Motors of Toledo.

SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2005

≈ America’s First Compact Luxury Car

For 1961, the distinguished new Ambassador V-8 offers the one great luxury other fine cars deny you — the modern luxury of compactness. The Ambassador alone gives you the distinctive balance of the elegant and the agile  . . .

Ed in London writes to ask if we have any Ramblers. Do we ever. From 1961, the cover of the Ambassador brochure.

≈ Rambler Station Wagons

For 1961, the Rambler Ambassador is the only compact luxury car with Personalized Living Comfort.  And the 1961 Ambassador Cross Country represents the ultimate in station wagon beauty and usefulness to the user.

Four illustrations (1 2 3 4) from the 1961 sales brochures. The names were longer than the cars.

SATURDAY, APRIL 9, 2005

≈ The Green Eye

Not all of America’s guardians are flesh-and-blood soldiers. Some are made of steel and wire and colored glass  . . .  such as the army of high-speed signals standing at constant alert along Chesapeake and Ohio tracks. Sometimes, as we give Uncle Sam’s freight the green light, your shipments may travel a bit slower. If this happens, we know you’ll be patriotically patient.

A 1942 illustration from the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad’s wartime series of noirish black and green ads.

≈ 1961 Dodge Police Pursuits

The 1961 Dodge Police Pursuits will save you money from the day you buy right up to the day you turn them out to pasture. All Dodge Police Pursuits are full-sized automobiles priced smack in the low-price field, right along with Ford and Chevrolet. Yet there’s no austerity inside or outside. You get Dodge room, comfort, looks. And the ride is Torsion-Aire!

Three duotone illustrations from the 1961 Dodge police car catalog, including what has to be the most maudlin picture ever put in a car brochure. We call it: The Beach Picnic Where Something Went Horribly Awry.

≈ Buick Crossing

Secondary art from the 1959 Buick sales brochure.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2005

≈ Kelvinated

They kept one gun going  . . .  And it swept the dunes like a breeze from hell  . . .  and the sound of bullets ricocheting was the sound of sandpipers crying all along the dreary beaches of the world. The air stank of cordite. [Snip Snip Snip] All of us at Nash-Kelvinator are devoted to winning this war  . . .   to speeding the Peace when together we’ll build an even finer Kelvinator, an even greater Nash!

From 1944, one of a long series of Nash-Kelvinator ads. The first-person narratives by fictitious servicemen described situations ranging from grim to dire, yet somehow they always ended on a note of optimism — the promise of  better refrigerators, bigger cars.

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