The Marriage Of Movement And Music And Their First Child Named, Gumbasia

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When Art Clokey was a boy he would spend his summers on his grandfather’s farm in Michigan. He had a good pal who lived on a neighboring farm and, as boys liked to do in those days, Clokey and his pal often played with toy soldiers. Sometimes, when the battles were particularly fierce, they would need more troops. Clokey would raise them up by fashioning them out of a mixture of soil and water known as ‘gumbo’ – clay.

Some years later Art Clokey would create a children’s television icon – a kind of strange little character made of clay named Gumby.

Gumby - he's known to skate on one foot rather than walk.

Gumby – he’s known to skate on one foot rather than walk.

Before Art Clokey created Gumby he was an early claymation pioneer. It was his 1953 experimental claymation short, Gumbasia, that excited 20th Century Fox producer Sam Engel into giving Clokey his big break. ‘Art, that is the most exciting film I have ever seen in my life,’ Engel said. Engel envisioned a children’s television show using the idea of little claymation figures in various storylines. Giving free reign to Clokey he financed the Gumby pilot, introduced it to Tom Sarnoff at NBC Hollywood, and the rest is history.

Art Clokey’s Gumbasia was a fascinating project. Inspired by his mentor in film making, Slavko Vorkapich, Clokey wanted to work with the idea of ‘kinesthetic film principles’ which enabled him to show film forces through moving objects.

The movements exert a force on your nervous system. They pinch on your nervous system through your eye cells. When you organize the images in the movement from cut to cut, it stimulates the autonomic nervous system. It gives you added excitement and it can start a feeling of movement.

Combining the kinesthetic film principles with Vorkapich’s philosophy of film as poetry and music, Clokey created a short film unique for its time. Music wasn’t used just as a cover – it was an intrinsic part of the experience. The transformation of the objects along with their movements blend with the lyric and the pulse of the jazz. It’s a visual sound experience. It’s also the concept for what would become music video. Gumbasia might properly be considered a prototype for music videos into the future.

The Health Rage Of The Early 20th Century – Radium!

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THO-RADIA:  The radio-active creme

THO-RADIA: The radio-active creme (1933)

THO-RADIA cream, sold according to the formula of Dr. Alfred Curie (not related to the pair of researchers), was prepared with thorium and radium, two elements supposed to erase wrinkles. ‘Science has created THO-RADIA to beautify women. For them to enjoy it. Who wants to remain ugly!‘ Says the slogan of an advertisement extolling the benefits of the product.

The Tho-Radia powder

THO-RADIA Powder

Dr. Curie does not stop there he also launched THO-RADIA Powder, which contains titanium in addition to radium and thorium. ‘A choice of insulating material, titanium in particular, salts the bottom of the THO-RADIA Powder with a real covering tissue impervious to weather, to devastating radiation, and advantageously replaces the veil of Circassians‘ says Medical Dictionary and Practical Beauty Care published by Tho-Radia.

Tho-Radia: soap and toothpaste

THO-RADIA: soap and toothpaste

‘Logically’ THO-RADIA applies the principle to all kinds of products. Appearing as well as soap, recommended for removing makeup and grooming babies (sic) or THO-RADIA toothpaste. These products were supposed to meet pharmaceutical standards of the time. The mutagenic effects of radiation, in particular the risk of cancer, were discovered in 1927 by Hermann Joseph Muller (1890-1967).

Press Clippings

Press Clippings

The pharmaceutical industry is not far behind. There was a plethora of drugs to treat various ailments: Tubéradine (against tuberculosis), Digéraldine (stomach problems), Vigoradine (fight against fatigue), among many other names. Evidenced by the advertisements that appeared in the press of the time.

Radioactive Water

Radioactive Water

Radioactive water at home was also a success. There were many companies in the sector to rush into this new market. Some homes were even kitted out with radium coffee pots and fountains. It was a simple operation: a capsule of radium salts is housed inside the coffee pots and fountains. On contact with water, the salt released the radioactive fumes.

Revigator

Revigator

In the same vein, Revigator was a popular brand from 1920 to 1930. Produced by the company Revigator Radium Ore (San Francisco), it was sold to hundreds of thousands of customers in American homes.

Radio Activity For Animals

Radioactivity For Animals

The animals were also entitled to their radium treatment. Offered for sale in this advertisement is a radioactive food supplement for cattle, cows, horses, pigs and sheep. The farmer could also buy fertilizer…radioactive of course.

Radium Clothing

Radium Clothing

Wool Oradium was recommended for baby clothes because of ‘the extraordinary effect of organic cell stimulation‘ produced by the radium. In another taste, Iradia proposed underwear, apparently recommended for skiing, as shown in the above advert.

Radium In Chocolate

Radium In Chocolate

Burk & Braun asserted that adding radium bromide to chocolate has a ‘rejuvenating effect.’

Radium Fights Grey Hair

Radium Fights Grey Hair

Frederick Godfrey, British hair specialist, boasted the merits of a tonic and radioactive treatment for hair. According to this advertisement, Caradium allowed the recovery of the original hair color, while ‘making you look 10 to 20 years younger.’

Radium Is Health - This book published in 1929 extolls the charms of radioactive treatments.

Radium Is Health – This book published in 1929 extolls the charms of radioactive treatments.

Extract: ‘the miracles produced by radium in the treatment of cancerous tumors have led many scholars to experiment with the action of low doses of radium for the treatment of various skin conditions.’

Original Article Source: Premiere France

In Which Automotive Design Had Character, Creativity, and Kool

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Being a big fan of mid-20th century concept cars, and being in the market for a new car in the early 21st century, it can be a very deflating reality check on how disappointing the future has become. One could go from make to make, lot to lot, row to row – after about three or four different stops it sinks in. 21st century automotive design is merely an exercise in the standard and mundane.

Yes, there are a lot of gadgets that were first conceptualized in the mid-20th century flourish of creative imaginings found within today’s vehicles – but the designs. You have your standard sedan, you have your standard coupe, your standard fuel-efficient – interestingly enough, the micro-cars seem to have the only standout designs around. The same can be said of the ‘throwbacks’ that are smartly being re-realized by a couple American auto companies. For most vehicles today, if it weren’t for the make medallions it’s nearly impossible to tell what is what.

So, as a reminder of the good ol’ days when auto design was still an art and an enthusiastic expression of things to come, let’s take a look at some of the creative, and yes, sometimes ‘way out’ concepts from the fantastic world of mid-20th century design. Once aptly referred to as ‘dream cars.’

1951 Buck XP-300

1951 Buick XP-300

1951 Buick LeSabre Concept

1951 Buick LeSabre Concept

1952 Chrysler D’Elegance

1952 Chrysler D’Elegance

1953 Ford X-100

1953 Ford X-100

1954 Ford FX-Atmos

1954 Ford FX-Atmos

1954 Packard Panther-Daytona Roadster Concept

1954 Packard Panther-Daytona Roadster Concept

1954 GM XP-21 Firebird

1954 GM XP-21 Firebird 1

1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special

1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special

1955 Buick Wildcat

1955 Buick Wildcat

1955 Chevrolet Biscayne Motorama Dream Car Concept

1955 Chevrolet Biscayne Motorama Dream Car Concept

1955 Ghia Gilda Streamline X Coupe

1955 Ghia Gilda Streamline X Coupe

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Concept

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Concept

1956 Buick Centurion Concept

1956 Buick Centurion Concept

1957 Dodge Dart Concept

1957 Dodge Dart Concept

1957 Chrysler Diablo Concept

1957 Chrysler Diablo Concept

1957 Gaylord Gladiator

1957 Gaylord Gladiator

1959 Cadillac Cyclone Concept

1959 Cadillac Cyclone Concept

1960 GM Firebird IV Concept

1960 GM Firebird IV Concept

1960 Ford Predicta Custom

1960 Ford Predicta Custom

1961 Chrysler Turboflite Concept

1961 Chrysler Turboflite Concept

1962 Ford Cougar 406 Concept

1962 Ford Cougar 406 Concept

1962 Ford Ghia Selene II Concept

1962 Ford Ghia Selene II Concept

1964 GM-X Stiletto Concept

1964 GM-X Stiletto Concept

1964 Mercury Comet Super Cyclone

1964 Mercury Comet Super Cyclone

1964 Ford Aurora Concept

1964 Ford Aurora Concept

1965 Cadillac XP-840 Eldorado Fastback Concept

1965 Cadillac XP-840 Eldorado Fastback Concept

1965 CRV Piranha by Gene Winfield

1965 CRV Piranha by Gene Winfield

And something a bit different:

The 1965 GMC Bison Bullet

The 1965 GMC Bison Bullet

Phew! So there ya have it. Love ’em or hate ’em one thing’s for sure – these concepts stir up a reaction. They have personality. They have guts. Not everyone was impressed during the ‘dream car’ heydays. We’ll leave this post with just one more image – Ken Johnson of the New York Times will have the last word.

Russ Heath 'Capri Satellite' cartoon parody (1957)

Russ Heath ‘Capri Satellite’ cartoon parody (1957)

The Capri Satellite, drawn in black ink by Russ Heath in 1957, is a cartoon parody of futuristic cars. Part Sputnik, part Edsel, it is a spherical flying machine with fins and antennas and a comically elaborate front bumper and grille. This and other satiric images suggest that for every true believer there was a skeptic ready to pounce on the goofy excesses of imagination to which visionaries are prone.

Don't Tread On Me

A Musical Interlude

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Just a musical interlude to let the fine readers of Atomic Flash Deluxe know that it’s still in operation. So much to explore and various projects to work on, but this lovely corner of the web is still very much in line for some new posts. Thanks for your patience.

The dreamy video above features the Francy Boland Orchestra playing an ethereal lounge version of Claudia.

Get To Know Your Nukes – It’s Fun And Easy With The 2013 Monogram USA/USSR Missile Set

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Monogram USA/USSR Missile Model Set Box Cover

Monogram USA/USSR Missile Model Set Box Cover – 2013 reissue of the 1985 Cold War Edition

They’re out-of-sight and out-of-mind these days but they’re still ready to do business when called. Yes, those Cold War classics, the U.S.A./U.S.S.R. nuclear missile collections, are still as relevant today as they were in the 20th century. Perhaps you’re part of the younger set who have no Cold War experience – the olden days of paranoia, crazy ideas like bomb shelters, and all that laughable stuff like ‘duck and cover.’ Yep, today we know that there’s not much to do in ‘the event’ and who would want to survive that stuff anyway? When we hear the clarion call of enemy missiles on the way, we’ll just climb up the highest hill, get a little drunk or high or both, and watch the freaky show as we evaporate into the All.

But wouldn’t it be fun to impress your friends and/or family during those last couple of hours or minutes? You can by knowing your nukes! Learning is fun and easy with the Monogram U.S.A./U.S.S.R. Missile set! The 2013 U.S.A./U.S.S.R. Missile Set is a reissue of the 1985 Cold War edition released shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The name may have changed, but those missile classics remain in the attentive care of the Russian Federation.

1985 Monogram U.S. and U.S.S.R. Missile Display Kit Box Cover

1985 Monogram U.S. and U.S.S.R. Missile Display Kit Box Cover

As you build each model you’ll become familiar with the different size, shape, and look of each explosive missile. For the U.S. you get the mighty Titan II, the stylish Minuteman III, and the awesomely ironic Peacemaker, as well as the Pershing II. But that’s not all! There’s the sea-launched Polaris A3, Poseidon, and Trident. A pair of cruise missiles are also included – the ALCM (Air Launched Cruise Missile) and the sea-launched Tomahawk.

The U.S.A. Collection of Nine Nuclear Missiles

The U.S.A. Collection of Nine Nuclear Missiles

The Soviet set name classifications are a hoot. They include the US Department of Defense designations, consisting of ‘SS’ and a NATO codename. You get the massive SS-18 Satan, SS-4 Sandal, the stylish SS-13 Savage, the SS-17 Spanker, the SS-19 Stiletto, and the stubby SS-20 Saber. The sea-launched missiles include the SS-N-8 Sawfly, the SS-N-17 Snipe, and the SS-N-18 Stingray. And finally, you also get the classically designed air-launched AS-6 Kingfish.

The U.S.S.R. Missile Collection

The U.S.S.R. Collection Of Eleven Nuclear Missiles

If you’ve never worked with models before you’ll find that these missiles are fairly easy to construct with most consisting of only two halves and 45 pieces in all. Included with your kit you get a decal sheet to give those missiles an authentic touch, and a display base to show off your handiwork – this also makes for a nice quick-glance study guide.

The 2013 Monogram U.S.A./U.S.S.R. Missile Display Kit Components

The 2013 Monogram U.S.A./U.S.S.R. Missile Display Set Components

So there you have it! The 2013 Monogram U.S.A./U.S.S.R. Missile Display Set – The Fun Way To Get To Know Your Nukes!

The Complete 2013 Monogram USA/USSR Missile Display

The Complete 2013 Monogram USA/USSR Missile Display

Images via Scale Model News. H/T to Luis Cesar at Atompunk brasil on Facebook.

The Wonderful and Weird World of Wind-Ups

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Late 1800s Ives Wind-Up Bear With Real Fur

Late 1800s Ives Wind-Up Bear With Real Fur (probably dyed rabbit fur) – A mechanical walker with key. Walks, makes mild growling noise. Head turns side-to-side. Jaw moves up and down.

Mechanical automatons have fascinated the curious for a very long time. In the 20th century toy wind-ups became a mainstay in popular culture. Most weren’t as elaborate as the Ives bear pictured above, but a lot of them were pretty neat. Below are a selection of some stand-out examples.

A Scarce Lehmann Captain of Kopenick Wind-Up

A Scarce 1903 Lehmann Captain of Kopenick Wind-Up – Depicts the true story of an infamous cobbler who stole the town of Kopenick, Germany’s money while dressed as an army officer. When wound the Captain rocks back and forth.

German Early 1900s Snookums Wind-Up

German Early 1900s Snookums Wind-Up – A character toy from early George McManus newspaper comic strips Their Only Child. Snookums is very hyperactive, when she’s wound she shakes about frantically.

Foxy Grandpa Wind-Up, c. 1910

Foxy Grandpa Wind-Up, c. 1910 – This is a scarce early version of the Foxy Grandpa wind-up. His weighted feet have a clockwork-like mechanism enabling him to walk.

Toonerville Trolley The Powerful Katrinka German Wind-Up, 1923

Toonerville Trolley The Powerful Katrinka German Wind-Up, 1923 (Fontaine Fox) – When wound, Katrinka pushes the wheelbarrow carrying little Jimmy forward, stopping every so often to lift up the wheelbarrow before continuing on.

Happy Hooligan/Buster Brown-Like Mechanical Toy, c. 1920

Happy Hooligan/Buster Brown-Like Mechanical Toy, c. 1920 (German) – This is a spring loaded toy. The main figure bears a resemblance to Happy Hooligan. When he is cocked and released, the hammer hits the anvil, yellow slide shoots up column to hit character at top who bears a strong resemblance to Buster Brown. When this character is hit, the ring in his hand flips to opposite side.

Marx New York Wind-Up Box

Marx New York Wind-Up Box

1928 Marx New York Tin Litho Wind-Up

1928 Marx New York Tin Litho Wind-Up – The plane circles around the skyline in the center. The train circles the outer ring of the base, going through three tunnels in buildings, one w/ a clock tower at top. The train is headed by a steam locomotive and moves in conjunction w/ plane.

When wound, Bonzo's separate tin litho eyes and jaw move up and down, giving the toy the illusion of blinking and speaking.

When wound, Bonzo’s separate tin litho eyes and jaw move up and down, giving the toy the illusion of blinking and speaking.

Bonzo Animated Wind-Up Toy, 1930s

Bonzo Animated Wind-Up Toy, 1930s (Germany) – When wound, Bonzo wobbles around.

Jitter-Bug Wind-Up Dancing Toy

Jitter-Bug Wind-Up Dancing Toy, 1930s (Chime Toy Products) – When wound these stylish figures move up and down as if dancing the 1930s classic.

Clown Marionette Playing GuitarGal Marionette Playing Tambourine

Bestmade Mechanical Marionette Theater Wind-Up

Bestmade Mechanical Marionette Theater Wind-Up, 1930s by Kuramochi, Japan – When wound the base rocks back and forth as figures move about.

Pango-Pango African Dance Wind-Up,

Pango-Pango African Dance Wind-Up, 1950s (T.P.S. Japan) – When wound Pango-Pango dances and his head bobs up and down.

Comical Clara Wind-Up, 1960s

Comical Clara Wind-Up, 1960s (T.P.S., Japan) – Clara is all 60s and weird. When she’s wound up her entire body shakes side to side as it moves around and her separate tin eyes move in and out of the eye socket openings so when eyes are fully extended, Clara has quite an unusual appearance.

The last wind-up for this post doesn’t do much – he just looks cool. He’s a clown manufactured by J. Chein & Co. (USA) (n.d.) – He just walks and wobbles.

Chein & Co. Clown Wind-Up

(All images via Hake’s Americana and Collectables)