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WEIRD stuff from the golden era

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Veronica Parra, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. -- A mania for molded food: pudding, Spam, and Jell-O with fruit chunks dyed red and green.

    -- A 36,000 sq. ft. miniature "town" inhabited by 125 midgets, on display at the 1939 N.Y. World's Fair. This paragon of taste and sensitivity was called Morris Gest's Little Miracle Town.

    -- Cod liver oil.

    -- Pencil mustaches.

    -- Beanie caps with propellers on top.

    -- Germany, Italy and Japan.

    -- Father Coughlin.

    -- Charlie McCarthy.

    -- That cautionary Reefer Madness film. Meanwhile, Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher was "kick[ing] the gong around", though Cole Porter was "get[ting] no kick from co-caine".

    -- Truckin'. (Not to be confused with truck driving. Look it up if necessary.)

    -- Alfalfa's and Buckwheat's hair in the "Our Gang / Little Rascals" series. Tintin's cowlick. Hitler's forelock. Superman's spit curl.

    -- (Add your own weird stuff here, if you dare. ;) )

  2. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

  3. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

    world war.

    but hey, Reefer Madness was great. Best period comedy since Hellzapoppin. I got completely blasted whilst watching it. And Cod Liver Oil is all that stands between me and my arthritis.
  4. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

    how about the slow but steady substitution of nylon and other artificial fibres for stuff that keeps you warm AND lets your body breathe (AND doesn't light up the room when you take it off).

    What's weird about it is that everyone thought it was an improvement.
  5. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

    girdles for pregnant women.
  6. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

  7. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

    How about Generalissimo Franco?

    I don't LIKE charismatic authoritarian leaders but I can just about understand that they are charismatic.

    But how did that murderous shortassed bald little mediocrity end up as the Great Caudillo??! Truly weird.
  8. Brad Bowers

    Brad Bowers I'll Lock Up

    Hey, watch who you're calling weird! I resemble that remark! :)

  9. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

    Petroleum on girls eyelids. That's a gasoline by-product... next to your eyes!
  10. Hmm. Your saying so makes me figure you've never been pregnant. Try carrying around an extra 10 pounds around your waistline. You need something to support your heavy belly and back, believe you me, things can be extremely uncomfortable without it. Here in my parts of the world, it had been the custom for hundreds of years to wrap a few yards of cotton about a foot wide as a sash to support the protruding belly, until it was replaced by girdles.
    It's not ouch, it actually helps relieve the back pain. A brilliant stroke of genius.
  11. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

    Huh! Good to know! Are they elasticized, or are they boning and laces?
  12. The modern day ones are elasticized.
    Can't say for the Golden era, though, since I've never seen one from these days. I sure hope they were then;)
  13. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

    Radium based paint for watch and instrument dials that were hand painted. The painters (mostly women) would lick the brush to give it a fine tip, then paint the fine numbers and hands with luminus paint loaded with radium dust. They were paid by the volume, and many painted as many as 100 dials a day.

    Most have died of cancer from radium exposure.

    Old watches still having this paint intact on their dials are considered hazardous waste, and are handled as such. Breathing the dust is not recommended.

    Regards! Mark
  14. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

    all very true Michaelson. Fortunately a friend who works at Harwell Atomic Energy research station here in the UK reassures me that the radium is by now mostly too weak to be a continued threat. Doesn't stop him geiger countering his new vintage watches though!
  15. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

    Interesting. That contridicts an article I just read in our latest NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) bulletin this month that states as long as the crystal is intact, the watch is relatively safe...but a pocket watch, regardless of intact crystal or not, was NOT safe to wear as the dial is carried against the body, and the readings are still to the point of not being a safe watch for carry purposes. I don't remember the half life of radium, but considering these dials were painted clear up into the 50's, we're only talking 50 years ago that these were created.

    They did state that if the crystals on wrist watches are intact, and since the dial is worn away from the body, then the level of danger is much lower, though still measureable.

    I'd rather be safe than sorry myself, but I appreciate the input, as it shows there's continuing discussion regarding these dials, and it's not a 'dead' subject. There have been two recently published books on the subject, so it's really 'current events' in the study of this 'weird' practice.

    High regards! Michaelson
  16. Some brands of hats made with mercury-causes insanity. Collecting peach and other pitts for gas mask filters.
  17. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

    hey michaelson, you got me worried now! Think I'd better get him to geiger counter my left wrist sometime soon...
  18. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

    On the mercury, it was only the hat maker who was open to the 'madness' situation, as the mercury vapors were ingested through the skin and inhaled during the felting process. Once 'boiled off', there were/are no further dangers of the mercury felt being worn or handled, and no 'madness' dangers for owners of the hats.

    If you're wearing a radium painted dial, it's something to be aware of. As I said, if the crystal is good, you'll be fine. Just don't lay on that wrist with the watch on if you go to bed tonight. ;) They discovered another light emitting radiation source in the early 60's that emits such a low dose of radiation, it's hardly readible for a counter. If your watch is from that time period, you're fine.

    Regards! Michaelson

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