Vanity Fair’s Bifurcated Girls – ‘Gay Girls In Trousers,’ 1903


Bifurcated Girls - Vanity Fair 1903Vanity Fair special issue from 1903 dedicated to “bifurcated girls”, i.e. women in trousers. Note this isn’t the same Vanity Fair of current fame, but an earlier magazine with the same name, more of a Victorian version of FHM.   – The Public Domain Review

The Bifurcated Girls Rough House

The Bifurcated Girls Rough House (Click to enlarge)

To read more check out the post at The Public Domain Review here.

The 1936 Morgan Sports MX2 ‘Cyclecar’ – The Original Triker Bike

The Morgan Sports MX2 1936 (8754)

The Morgan Sports MX2 1936 (8754)

Manufacturer: Morgan Motor Company, Malvern (Worcestershire) – UK
Type: Sports (MX2)
Engine: 990cc V-Twin air-cooled
Power: 22 bhp / 4.500 rpm
Speed: 117 km/h
Production time: 1933 – 1936

Points Of Interest:

– The three-wheeled Morgan or ‘trike,’ as it is also known, was built in response to the British tax on four-wheeled automobiles (considered to be cyclecars).

– Until 1933 Morgan used John Alfred Prestwich (J.A.P.) engines, later the Matchless MX, MX2 and MX4 engines.

– This “Sports Model” has a Matchless MX2 V-Twin air-cooled engine, a three-speed manual gearbox (+ reverse), an electric starter, front and rear separated/independent drum brakes (cable controlled), a AMAL carburettor, a 18 liters fuel tank and rear wheel drive (chain drive train).

– It has independent front suspension with shock absorbers and a rigid rear axle.

– It could be ordered with either none, one or two doors.

– This Sports model (built between 1932 and 1939) replaced the Aero.

(Photo and Descriptions via Le Photiste)

Portable Phonographs – MOTOROLA Had It All Covered

Calypso Detail

Portable phonographs – they were all the rage in 1958 and Zenith had everyone covered. Check out the models below – they were featured in the USA MOTOROLA Dealer Sales Catalog. The pages have been wonderfully preserved by Mark Meijster, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Moppet - A fun-time partner for the youngsters!

The Moppet – A fun-time partner for the youngsters! The Miracle fabric covering wipes clean in seconds with a damp cloth and is scuff, stain, and scratch resistant.

The Playmate - Styled for the young and the young-at-heart!

The Playmate – Styled for the young and the young-at-heart! This Automatic 4-speed record changer has dual flip-over sapphire styli. Lets you Intermix different size records of the same speed.

The Musicmate - A new and completely captivating combination of radio and phono!

The Musicmate – A new and completely captivating combination of radio and phono! The exhilarating new concept of design is just right for today’s young moderns.

The Calypso - Hi-Fi in fiberglass! The bold new concept of design adds to the glamour of today and tomorrow!

The Calypso – Hi-Fi in fiberglass! The bold new concept of design adds to the glamour of today and tomorrow! High fidelity sound from 3 speakers, hi-fi amplifier and separate bass and treble controls. This portable was designed for people who were really going places.

The illustrations and graphic design on these pages are wonderful examples of the era – as are the colors (and their combinations) of the phonographs themselves.

The Obscure Art Of Early-To-Mid 20th-Century Informational Booklets (Part 3)

'Kernels Of Grain'

This is the last of a three part series featuring some obscure info booklet cover art from the first half of the 20th-century. All of the images in these posts are via The first post of this series gives some info on the organization and its curator, Saul Zalesch. If you’re at all interested in American history of the period and/or a collector of ephemera check it out.

The Obscure Art Of Early-To-Mid 20th-Century Informational Booklets: Part 1 Part 2

Part 3 covers the 1940s and 1950s. Click on the captions for more information and comments about their significance at

The image below is saved for last as it is particularly odd. Saul Zalesch captioned it, Child’s Worst Nightmare? His comment:

This bizarre image, signed Shirley Kite, appears in The Wonderful Lunch Boxes, a 1925 booklet distributed by the Educational Department of Postum Cereal Co. In the story, the heads represent kernels of grain. No one I have shown it to has any idea what it was supposed to mean or accomplish.

What do you think?

The Obscure Art Of Early-To-Mid 20th-Century Informational Booklets (Part 2)

Cover Image - 1936

This is Part 2 of a little series featuring the art of info booklets from the 20th-Century. In Part 1 some works from the early 1900s through the 1920s were covered. In this post you’ll see a few choice samples from the 1930s.

If you’re interested in more info and commentary about any of the booklets click the caption and you’ll be taken to for more. If you’re interested in seeing Part 1 you can click here.

*One point in reference to the above illustration: Saul Zalesch (curator of wrote a very provocative comment regarding an aspect of this image. I felt compelled to answer it with a rather detailed comment of my own. If you visit via the link, I would encourage you to read both, not just Zalesch’s – he completely misrepresents the meaning and the works of the individuals involved with what is known today as ‘retro-futurism.’

The Obscure Art Of Early-To-Mid 20th-Century Informational Booklets (Part 1)

Wolverine Furnace

Informational booklets can provide nice little snapshots of life and culture in the U.S.. They can also have some really nice art works. Saul Zalesch at Louisiana Tech University sees ephemera of all kinds as a valuable resource for anyone interested in studying pre-1960 America. The images and posted below are via – Zalesch is curator for this fun and interesting library of obscure art and literature. He notes that one would be hard pressed to find other libraries interested in these cultural/historical gems and encourages others to use them in their studies. He is also interested in donations from collectors who would like to contribute to this fine resource.

If you click on the caption of each image you’ll be taken to the site where a description of the booklet’s content, as well as Zalesch’s insight into its historical relevance, can be found.

The Time A Catholic Priest Dared To Challange Convention…And Was Destroyed

Father Alfred Juliano at the wheel of his Aurora Car

Father Alfred Juliano at the wheel of his Aurora Car, Developed with the object of maximizing safety for both occupants and pedestrians.

Despite having no mechanical knowledge, Father Juliano set out to put his heart and soul into that car. I think the whole story is so sad. He died a broken man, because he lost his dream.
– Andy Saunders, Present Owner and Restorer of the Aurora, New York Times, 2007

Father Juliano’s Aurora car certainly is an unusual looking vehicle – the story that goes with it is unusual as well. The photo and the narrative below can be found in Giles Chapman’s fascinating 2009 book, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Automobiles, published by DK Publishing.

Aurora was unveiled [in 1957 and] was fully functioning (rather than a static exhibit). More importantly, the Aurora took careful account of pedestrian safety. This remarkable-looking car was the four-year project of a Catholic priest, Father Alfred Juliano of the Order of the Holy Ghost, with financial help from his congregation. His safety-first outlook led him to include seatbelts, side-impact bars, a collapsible telescoping steering column, and a curved, deeply-padded dashboard free of sharp projections. The seats could be swiveled around in the face of an impending, unavoidable accident. The Aurora’s tinted ‘Astrodome’ roof had three thick, built-in roll-over protection bars. Reporters roasted the car’s unveiling at Manhattan’s Hotel New Yorker, but entirely missed the point because the bizarre plastic contours, with wheels, radiator grille, and lights tucked deep away, were meant to stop a pedestrian from sustaining injury in just about any accidental contact. At a tentative US $12,000, it was almost as costly as the top Cadillac of the era; Father Juliano didn’t receive a single order despite offering a choice of power units. He was later forced to leave his church after allegations of misappropriating parishioner’s cash and personal bankruptcy.

A tragic spin on the proverb: The road to hell is paved with good intentions…?