Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Beauty of Peach Labels: Sweet!

The University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has a very cool, graphic collection of southeastern peach labels from peach crates. Here are 15 nice ones for your viewing pleasure. My fav is “RED WING.”

An Accidental Mysteries repost from December 24, 2008.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

NYC Destination Subway Scrolls, c. 1940s

These incredibly graphic New York City destination subway scrolls were used to direct subway commuters in the early 1940s. I love the way the fonts are condensed and expanded to fill the space— from the school of “make it fit!”

These were found at Winter Works on Paper in Brooklyn, NY. (www.winterworksonpaper)

An AM repost from 11/17/08

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bottle Caps: One Inch of Design

When I was a kid back in Winston-Salem, NC, the local movie theater held Saturday morning screenings for children called “The Kiddie Show.” There they showed movies for kids—even the old black and white cliff-hanging serials. I remember seeing “The Blob” starring Steve McQueen in one of his first movies (1958). Of course, the Tom and Jerry and Roadrunner cartoons were shown as well. What's all this got to do with bottle caps? Well, usually one of the soft drink companies sponsored the event and admission was free if you brought in 10 bottle caps. So, during the week, kids in my neighborhood would rummage through the used bottle cap bucket directly under the refrigerated soft drink dispenser at the corner grocery, looking for the special cap that we needed to get into the upcoming Saturday movie. If you didn't have the right number of caps, you had to come up with a whopping 25¢ or so to get in.

Bottle caps are beautiful, if you take an extra minute to look. Here’s a few for you to peruse.

An AM repost from 11/29/08.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hank Janson: Pulp Fiction Writer Extraordinaire

“It was just another Thursday, the kind that comes around, oh, about once every week. I was working the graveyard shift for Max, a private dick I owed a favor to. I had an hour left to go and it had just started to rain. As I pulled my black, Auburn V-8 onto Dempsey Street, I saw her. There, under the street lamp, she was lighting a cigarette—wearing red stiletto heels and a Burberry trench coat. This was a dame with an eye for trouble, I thought. I stopped the car just feet from her. She paid no attention.”

“Get in!” I said.

Now what happens? Hank Janson would know (real name: Stephen D. Frances). Hank was the pulp fiction writer extraordinaire back in the 50s and early 60s. He lived and wrote in Britain and was revered in the paperback novel world. However, Hank was the victim of severe censorship by Britain’s “Home Office” when, in January of 1954, twelve jurors found him and his publisher/distributor guilty of obscenity. Janson was incredibly popular, having sold five million copies of his books in six years. Yet, the Home Office in Britain managed to burn or destroy over 350,000 books and novels, of which Janson’s paperbacks were prime examples. Respected researcher and pulp fiction historian Steve Holland gives a remarkable account of Janson’s life in his book: The Trials of Hank Janson. Available on Amazon. [ Janson novels now © Telos Publishing. ]

Reposted from 2008.

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