bring back some good or bad memories

September 15, 2019

Vintage Photographs of 12-Year-Old Brigitte Bardot in Mrs. Bourgat’s Ballet Class, Paris in 1946

Brigitte Bardot was born on September 28,1934 into a wealthy Parisian family. Her father, Louis Bardot, was an industrialist, but also, importantly, a poet and an amateur filmmaker; her mother, Anne-Marie, was a beautiful society woman who was keen on fashion and ballet.

Bardot, for her part, would have liked to be a dancer or a model. Her ballet training was valuable in more ways than one. For a start it gave Bardot her distinctive, graceful posture and walk. She was evidently gifted, winning a prize at the Conservatoire in 1948.

One of her teachers was Boris Kniaseff, a Russian émigré who had devised special exercises for dancers, designed to develop their muscles while keeping their legs slim. Bardot was one of his best pupils Рhe also taught Leslie Caron. However, although, like many little girls, Bardot had dreamt of becoming a ballerina, she abandoned ballet quickly, after one engagement on the transatlantic liner De Grasse in 1950.

Below are some of black and white photographs of Brigitte Bardot taken by Boris Lipnitzki while attending in Mrs. Bourgat’s ballet class on the Rue Spontini, Paris in 1946.

(Photos by Boris Lipnitzki)

The Moustache Cup: The Special Tea Cup Used by the Victorian Men to Protect Their Mustache

A lip without a mustache is like a body without clothing.” – Guy de Maupassant
The late 19th century was a heyday for impressive mustaches, but it presented various challenges for mustachioed tea lovers. The heat of the drink melted the mustache wax, making its corners droop. Mustaches, and their owners, were literally getting into hot water. The solution to this problem arrived in the form of the mustache cup.

The mustache cup was almost certainly invented by the British potter Harvey Adams in the 1860s. Adams patented a butterfly-shaped ledge that was set inside the cup with a hole to drink through. These sold in great quantities, first in the UK, then throughout Europe. In the U.S., they were sold everywhere from Sears to the department store Marshall Field’s, later owned by Macy’s.

The cups came in many shapes and sizes. “Farmers’ cups” held as much as a pint of tea, while smaller porcelain pieces were sculpted like conch shells or embossed with the name of the owner. Most had saucers to match. But these weren’t nearly as prized as the cups themselves. A British newspaper classified of the time reads: ‘‘REWARD—If the Lady who STOLE A GENT’S MUSTACHE CUP on Saturday Night from the Little Dust Pan will apply at once, she can have the SAUCER FREE.”

But the golden age of mustaches, and mustache cups, came to a close during the First World War. It ended, as it had begun, in the British army: the former stipulation was scrapped, as men struggled to maintain good grooming in the trenches. More importantly, a hairy face made it near-impossible to get a decent seal on a gas mask. Industry shifted to serving the troops and the war effort, and the mustache cup fell first from favor and then from sight.

The irrepressible mustache wouldn’t stay down for long. By the late 1920s and early 1930s, it was back on screens and in magazines—think Salvador Dali’s two-whisker wonder, Clark Gable’s miniature handlebar. Men’s philtrums were cosy once again, but the mustache cup was all but forgotten.

American Classic Bombshell: 35 Glamorous Photos of Leigh Snowden in the 1950s

Born 1929 as Martha Lee Estes in Memphis, Tennessee, American actress Leigh Snowden married her classmate, James Snowden, when she was 16 and moved with him to San Francisco, California, when he joined the military.

After her divorce, Snowden moved to Los Angeles and worked in modeling and in small parts on television. She got her big break into show business on a Jack Benny Christmas show that was televised from the San Diego Naval Base.

When Snowden walked across the stage in front of an audience of 10,000 sailors, the sailors cheered and whistled so enthusiastically that 11 Hollywood studios contacted her the next day. The event led to the newspaper headline "Sailors Whistles Blow Blond into Film Studio". Snowden chose Universal Pictures because of the training provided by its film school.

Snowden appeared in the films All That Heaven Allows, The Square Jungle, The Creature Walks Among Us, Outside the Law, I've Lived Before and Hot Rod Rumble in addition to television appearances. Her last performance in movies was as Evie in The Comancheros (1961). Her last TV roles came in episodes of This Is Alice (1958) and Tightrope (1960).

In 1971, Snowden returned to acting and appeared in the role of Maggie in the Fresno Community Theater production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams. She died of cancer at age 52 in 1982.

Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of Leigh Snowden in the 1950s.

September 14, 2019

Pictures of Janis Joplin Photographed by Baron Wolman in San Francisco in 1968

Born 1937 in Columbus, Ohio, American photographer Baron Wolman began his professional photographic career in West Berlin in the 1960s where he was stationed with the military.

Wolman is best known for his work in the late 1960s for the music magazine Rolling Stone, becoming the magazine’s first Chief Photographer from 1967 until late 1970.

Although his work at Rolling Stone has come to define his photographic career, Baron has been involved in numerous non-music projects. After leaving Rolling Stone in 1970, Wolman started his own fashion magazine, Rags, housed in Rolling Stone’s first San Francisco offices.

In 2001, Wolman moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he continues to photograph and publish. He was awarded as a VIP at the 2011 Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, smashing a camera on stage in homage to Pete Townshend.

These beautiful photos are part of Wolman's work that he took portrait of Janis Joplin at Spaulding Taylor’s house in San Francisco in January 1968.

Female Hysteria: When Victorian Doctors Used to Finger Their Patients

In the Victorian Era – specifically 1837 to 1901 – doctors treated woman by genital stimulation to induce “hysterical paroxysm” or an orgasm. This hysteria was supposed to be a build-up of fluid in the woman’s womb and doctors assumed that since men ejaculated and felt better then it stood to reason.

But what about the husbands? What did they have to say about this? Well, proper gentlemen of the time were not trained to see to their wives needs – it was not even understood that women had needs. Instead it was much easier to call for the doctor when a woman exhibited symptoms of hysteria. Yes, the doctor could treat the women in their home. The Fainting Couch or Chaise Lounge became popular for the ladies’ comfort during this “treatment”.

Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment was routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

Women with hysteria under the effects of hypnosis, ca. 1870s.

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the anterior wall of the vagina by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm”.

Victorian advertisement showing a doctor treating woman’s hysteria by “pelvic massage”.

A solution was the invention of massage devices, which shortened treatment from hours to minutes, removing the need for midwives and increasing a physician’s treatment capacity. Already at the turn of the century, hydrotherapy devices were available at Bath, and by the mid-19th century, they were popular at many high-profile bathing resorts across Europe and in America. By 1870, a clockwork-driven vibrator was available for physicians. In 1873, the first electromechanical vibrator was used at an asylum in France for the treatment of hysteria.

While physicians of the period acknowledged that the disorder stemmed from sexual dissatisfaction, they seemed unaware of or unwilling to admit the sexual purposes of the devices used to treat it. In fact, the introduction of the speculum was far more controversial than that of the vibrator.

Female patient with sleep hysteria wearing a straight jacket.

High frequency electric currents in medicine, 1910.

Water massages as a treatment for hysteria, ca. 1860.

A physician in 1859 claimed that a quarter of all women suffered from hysteria, which is reasonable considering that one physician cataloged 75 pages of possible symptoms of hysteria and called the list incomplete; almost any ailment could fit the diagnosis. Physicians thought that the stresses associated with modern life caused civilized women to be both more susceptible to nervous disorders and to develop faulty reproductive tracts. In America, such disorders in women reaffirmed that the United States was on par with Europe; one American physician expressed pleasure that the country was “catching up” to Europe in the prevalence of hysteria.

Rachael P. Maines, author of The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction, has observed that such cases were quite profitable for physicians, since the patients were at no risk of death but needed constant treatment. The only problem was that physicians did not enjoy the tedious task of vaginal massage (generally referred to as ‘pelvic massage’): The technique was difficult for a physician to master and could take hours to achieve “hysterical paroxysm”. Referral to midwives, which had been common practice, meant a loss of business for the physician.

An early 1900s vibrator unit.

An early vibrator ad.

A 1918 Sears, Roebuck and Co. ad with several models of vibrators.

Advertisement for the Barker Vibrator by James Barker in Philadelphia, ca. 1906.

By the turn of the century, the spread of home electricity brought the vibrator to the consumer market. The appeal of cheaper treatment in the privacy of one’s own home understandably made the vibrator a popular early home appliance. In fact, the electric home vibrator was on the market before many other home appliance ‘essentials’: nine years before the electric vacuum cleaner and 10 years before the electric iron. A page from a Sears catalog of home electrical appliances from 1918 includes a portable vibrator with attachments, billed as “Very useful and satisfactory for home service.”

Late 19th century “medical massager”.

‘Mommie Dearest’: That Time When Faye Dunaway Played an Insane Joan Crawford

Mommie Dearest is a 1981 docudrama film depicting actress Joan Crawford as an alcoholic, a clean freak and a terrifyingly abusive mother to her adopted children.

Faye Dunaway’s chilling and operatic performance as the classic actress, though considered one of the most memorable of her Oscar-winning career, is believed by many to be the exact silver bullet that ended her position in Hollywood at the time.

Upon its release, the film turned out to be an unintentional comedy and later became a commercial success. At the second Golden Raspberry Awards in 1981, it earned Dunaway a prize for Worst Actress, along with five other wins, including Worst Picture.

Browse by Decades

Popular Posts