Satan’s Satellites (1958) is the feature version of the 1952 serial ‘Zombies of the Stratosphere.’ I haven’t seen any of these, but the poster graphics are terrific.
‘…this sci-fi thriller features atomic superhero Rocket Man as he battles invading aliens and Earthly bad guys in his special flight suit. With Leonard Nimoy as an alien!’
Month: March 2014
The Strange Case Of ‘Space City USA’Standard
On 18 January 1964, The Huntsville Times announced Plans for a $5 million amusement park with space as the central theme – Space City USA would open in 1965. Planners envisioned an amusement park that would rival Disneyland. Local investors eagerly jumped on board. Construction began within weeks.
During the first year of development the public were given teasers as bits of the project took shape. Unfortunately, the projected 1965 opening of Space City USA came and went. The management of the project – Skylim of Alabama Inc. under an individual named Glen Robinson – pushed the opening to the spring of 1967.
In September of ’67 The Huntsville Times ran the headline: ‘Space City USA in Court Battle — Costly Park Lies in Decay.’ Space City had filed for bankruptcy. In October, the assets of the doomed theme park were put on auction. The Times condemned the project as ‘an amusement park scheme which fell flat on its face and took some $2 million in capital with it.’
In the end, no clear reason was ever given as to why Space City never materialized. Some local folks suspected ‘shady dealings going on.’ Some thought that it was just too ambitious of a project and ahead of its time. Only one-third of the invested funds went into actual construction, it was assumed that the remaining two-thirds – an estimated $1.5 million – ‘was simply wasted by more planning, meetings and long business trips.’
Only small remnants remain around the old construction site. The area has since been developed into the up-scale subdivision of Edgewood. (Source: Deborah Storey Of AL.com Photos: ©The Huntsville Times)
The Wonderfully Weird World Of ‘Pete-Roleum and His Cousins’ (1939 Animated Short)Video
This film was made to be shown in the Standard Oil exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Showings were accompanied by narration delivered “live” that would match the pre-recorded narration in the film, so that the stage narrator would ask a question answered by the screen narrator, and vice versa.
Portions of this film are silent to permit an accompanying speaker to narrate some of the images.
Synopsis: An oil drop named Pete takes the viewer on a wonderfully strange journey narrating the virtues and necessity of petroleum as his cousins entertain throughout.
Message: Modern civilization is only possible because of petroleum. Without it humanity is doomed to the barren ruins of a once great culture.
Memorable Quote: ‘Oil turns the wheels of industry! Cools and heats! Makes paradise on earth!’
Pete Roleum and His Cousins is a notable animated short for a number of reasons:
– The irony of leftist/progressive (and future blacklisted) Joseph Losey shilling for the ‘oil men’ and the petroleum industry as writer, director, and producer.
– The innovative puppetry and three-dimensional sets developed by Broadway designer Howard Bay.
– The idiosyncratic stop-motion animation work of Charley Bowers.
– The early use of technicolor in an animated film.
– And, the musical sequence featuring the song, Something to Sing About by Oscar Levant.
Cellophane And ‘Tighty Whities’ – The Introduction Of Jockey Y-Fronts In 1935Image
On January 19, 1935, during a blizzard, Coopers Inc. sold the world’s first briefs at the Marshall Field’s State Street store in downtown Chicago. Designed by an apparel engineer named Arthur Kneibler, briefs dispensed with leg sections and had a Y-shaped overlapping fly. The company dubbed the design the Jockey, since it offered a degree of support that had previously only been available from the jockstrap. Jockey briefs proved so popular that over 30,000 pairs were sold within three months of their introduction. Coopers, having renamed the company Jockey, sent its Mascul-liner plane to make special deliveries of masculine support briefs to retailers across the US. In 1938, when Jockeys were introduced in the UK, they sold at the rate of 3,000 a week.
‘Protect Your Children’…? – TRIMZ DDT Children’s Room WallpaperImage
As early as the 1940s, scientists in the U.S. had begun expressing concern over possible hazards associated with DDT, and in the 1950s the government began tightening some of the regulations governing its use. However, these early events received little attention, and it was not until 1957, when the New York Times reported an unsuccessful struggle to restrict DDT use in Nassau County, New York, that the issue came to the attention of the popular naturalist-author, Rachel Carson. William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker, urged her to write a piece on the subject, which developed into her famous book Silent Spring, published in 1962. The book argued that pesticides, including DDT, were poisoning both wildlife and the environment and were also endangering human health.
Scientists have continued to monitor those effects on human health and various studies have shown that regular exposure to DDT can be linked to diabetes, interference with proper thyroid function, a fivefold increase in breast cancer incidence for women who were exposed to DDT earlier in life, damage to the reproductive system and reduction of reproductive success, and reproductive toxicity which causes developmental problems for children that include decreased cognitive skills and retarded psychomotor development.
In this advert, the makers of TRIMZ DDT Wallpaper declare their product ‘Non-Hazardous’ and ‘guaranteed effective’ for one year – noting that ‘actual tests have proven the insect-killing properties still effective after 2 years of use.’ Among the named household pests killed ‘after contact’ we find that bedbugs are included. From the sound of it, that’s some pretty strong exposure for the children whose rooms were enclosed with this dangerous pesticide.
It would have been an interesting study to trace the effects on the children and households who lived for years with this product in their homes.
‘Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl’ – A WWII Canadian IconGallery
Veronica Foster, popularly known as “Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl”, was a Canadian icon representing nearly one million Canadian women who worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and materiel during World War II. Foster worked for John Inglis Co. Ltd producing Bren light machine guns on a production line on Strachan Avenue in Toronto, Ontario.
Source: War History Online
Surviving An A-Bomb Or An H-Bomb Blast – These Comics Show You HowGallery
On August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb. After the initial shock, President Truman and the United States government put the entire nation on high alert – the Cold War had begun. Americans began to question their own safety. During the 1950s the federal and state governments put a lot of effort into producing information that was intended not only to teach the public about emergency preparedness and survival, but also to assuage the fears and hopelessness associated with the thought of total annihilation.
Below are a few government publications that were printed in the 1950s as part of that propaganda campaign. They are available for complete viewing and download online – if you are interested in further viewing of any of them just click the title and you will be taken to either The Digital Comic Museum or The Government Comics Collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln web site.
First off, the icon of the atomic era – often thought of as somewhat laughable and naive by today’s standards, Bert The Turtle reassured children and adults alike that one could find protection in the event of an atomic blast.
Bert The Turtle Says Duck And Cover (1951)
Next is an adult oriented publication:
Many people believe that there is no defense against the atom bomb. Let us look in at a community meeting where Mr. Reed, a civil defense authority, is going to explain that there is a defense and will show us what to do in case of an atomic bomb attack.
Below is a publication geared at youth. It’s an overall emergency preparedness comic that deals with both natural and wartime disasters. It includes a crossword puzzle, a disaster quiz, and a glossary of ‘civil defense terms’ which mostly deal with the atomic bomb. The cover art features Li’l Abner and is signed Al Capp. It includes an extended dream sequence originating in a bomb shelter.
And the last in this post – a pamphlet issued by the state of Maryland and endorsed by the then governor, Theodore R. McKeldin. This one discusses the civil defense procedures for surviving the power of the H-Bomb. Like the adult oriented, ‘If An A-Bomb Falls,’ this comic is meant to reassure the citizens that survival is indeed possible – it is intended for high-school age students.
Some things never change.