Vintage Pin Up: Love – 1905 Style

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Rah Rah Earl Christy

rootforthehometeamA lot of folks like
to collect sports memorabilia,

….. whether it be from the professional leagues,
semi-pro, or
college level teams.

Among the favorites in
the U.S. are of course,
basketball, football,
and baseball.

Personally,
I’d rather follow
the cheerleaders.

And yes,

there have been sports memorabilia
issued about pep squads and the like —

Oh sure,

— you probably had
a ‘Debbie Does Dallas’
poster on your bedroom
wall at one time —

I know I still do.

But that’s not really3
what I’m talking about here.

(I got nothing at all to say
about the Dallas Cowboys,

…. at least since Tom
Landry was coach,

and we can always discuss
porno movie posters at another juncture… )

Previous to the 1940’s,

— the most popular kind of collectible dealing with cheerleaders had to do with colleges.

Hey,
it’s all about school spirit, ya know.

Raah raah,
sis boom bah,
and all that.

Actually, a very famous pin-up artist got his start doing these kinds of pieces–

for postcards, cigarette
cards, and the like…

Earl Christy.1

Born in 1882, in Philadelphia,
he was drawing at a very early age.

He was only 17
when he sold a series of illustrations
of ‘All American College Girls’ —

(featuring mostly
Ivy League colleges )
to the Atlantic City Boardwalk Picture Company.

These were eventually published as collectible cards
by the J. Hoover and Sons Calendar Company,
also of Philadelphia.

(if you look closely,
you might also notice that ole Earl
mighta had a thing for ermine and exotic furs. )

Christy was a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts in 1907 —

During his time there,

he obtained a commission
to draw another series of ami
feminine college boosters
for publication as postcards —

— this time by the U.S. Postcard Company.

These, published in 1905,
became his first widely
distributed work —

and the popularity of
those cards
became quite a boon
to Christy’s career.

He went on to create
some classic pin-up art,

and created covers
and illustrations
for some of the 1930’s era
most iconic magazines,
like:

Photoplay,
Modern Screen,
Pictorial Review,
Popular Songs,
Radio Stars,
Screen Album,
and Screen Romances.

Widely regarded for
his stylized, romantic style,

his work has appeared
on media ranging from:

posters to sheet music,
pulp magazines to boxes,
jigsaw puzzles to programs,
coasters to cups,
advertising to china,earlchristy
textiles to textbooks.

Christy died at age 78,
after a prolific
artistic career,

and is remembered as
the illustrator
who created the image
of the 1900’s
upper-crust
‘All American Girl’.

.

! HOY !

achristy

 

An Anonymous 19th Century Poem

love

Thou art a flower, dear heart, a fragrant flower
And I, the wandering, hair-clad, amorous bee.
’Mongst all the regal beauties of the bower,
I seek but thee.
I feel the ivory of thy petals fair
Brush lightly on my belly as I woo
And I would sting thee, if I did but dare,
So sweet you are.
I suck the honey from your dewy bowl
And drunken mad, with wild, delirious bliss,
Within your cup, I yield to you my soul
And drink your kiss….

My Crazy Heart

1coIn the late 1960’s
songwriter J.D. Souther
penned the lyrics to a song
that I have always related to–

It was called “The Fast One“,

— although I remember
it best as:
“My Crazy Heart”

For some reason,

I’ve always thought of it
as my personal Valentines
Day Theme song —

and,

1amwith V.D. only a couple drips …
eerrr….

I mean….
… only a day away,

I figured
let’s post the lyrics ! ”

Well,
why not,
I ask you ?????

Ok, so,
I’ve added some very,
very cool vintage Valentines
to the mix, too —

I’m figuring these are all pre-1960,
— and some are much older.
1hammer
Actually,

several of the great cards on today’s post were brought to you by:
Jen at Blog It or Lose It

your first stop shop
for all things poetic.

1lawAlso a honorable mention
to my old friend R for
demanding more cards,

— and thus prompting
this somewhat impromptu
post in the first place.

And my friend SC had
also dropped a few of
these in my inbox, too —

but she likes to keep
a low profile, so, ’nuff said.

Alrighty, then —

— music, maestro.

“The Fast One”
words and music by J.D Souther.

a2You don’t know how I feel
You don’t seem to care
If I let you see it through my eyes
You wouldn’t see anyone there

It’s no wonder I been crying
It’s no wonder that I’m blue
My crazy heart was gone and let somebody know
When it’s time for me to go

Tired of being lonely
a3Tired of what you do to me
Hear it raining in my heart

Well I’ve been lonely before
But I’ve been so long without sunlight
I can’t take another day more

No wonder I been crying
It’s no wonder I been blue
My crazy heart can’t tell me why

I can’t tell you goodbye
Oh no, I’m tired of all this tragedy
I’m giving you back your misery

a4You better put on a fast one
I think I’m gonna pull through
You better play another fast one
No matter what you do

Put your money in a fast one
I don’t wanna hear the blues
Put on another fast one
Trying to forget about you

Well it ain’t no wonder I been crying
It’s no wonder I been blue
a6My crazy heart can’t tell me why

I can’t tell you goodbye
Darling I’m tired of being lonely
Tired of what you put me through

Now you better put on a fast one
If you want me to pull through
You better play another fast one
No matter what you do

Put your money in a fast one
I don’t wanna hear the blues
Put on another fast one
Trying to forget about you

.

1satisfyNow,
just in case you don’t recognize those lyrics,

Linda Ronstadt’s terrific version of the song is below.

On a more personal note,

1waI hope all my friends up in the Northeast U.S. are doing fine,

— staying warm and indoors.

It’s been cold here in the South,

but nothing like those guys up there and out west have been dealing with.

Just remember we’re thinking about y’all.

Hoy!

a8

.
.

.

Love’s Calling

flirt1920'sFlirting has always
been a part of life.

Even today,
situations sometimes
call for flirting to be
done with a little more
subtlety than others.

But,
our predecessors
had it much,
much
rougher.

Manners were
of the utmost importance
to the people in the American
middle and upper classes
of the late 19th century–

— every aspect of life
was strictly governed by
a set of societal rules,

gThe violation of which,
would subject a person
to social sanctions–

— ranging from a simple ‘hrrrrmph’ or an insult,

to complete isolation from
the community at large.

So many of the rules of
polite society had to doblissful
with the conduct of
unmarried men and women.

Strict adherence to these rules made a person ‘eligible’ for marriage —

Someone who paid little
or not attention to them
was likely to be consideredflirt
immoral, rude, and
a ‘bad’ potential match.

One of the more common conventions
involved a requirement
for single men and women
to be “formally introduced”
before they could interact.

This formal introduction
could only be made by
a friend of the family,
or relative–

A young man would be
vetted by a girl’s father and
mother before they could
even speak to each other
in a social setting.

flirtationcardAs you can imagine,
this made meeting
new people very difficult
for Victorian age singles —

….. but, of course,

as with anything,
there were ways
around it.acq16

The “Acquaintance Card”
was one interesting approach…

— sometimes called a “Flirtation Card”,
“Invitation Card”,
or “Escort Card” —

They were similar in some
respects to the ‘Calling Cards’
of the era,

But, they were usually
written and produced
in a more
witty, florid and
informal style.

Containing bits of poetry,
droll verse,
comic wisdom, etc.,

And, occasionally,
you’ll even see one
with a humorous
double entendrea1
that makes one
wonder about the
propriety of it all ….

Making love hasn’t changed
all that much over the years,
and the parlor was mostly
just a euphemism, after all.

dogandrifleThe cards were used mainly by bachelors to introduce themselves to ladies of interest not of their
previous acquaintance…

–without following
the strict rules governing
such things,

and hopefully —cards

–without violating
or offending
her Victorian-age
sense of etiquette.

Not that her parents
would have approved,
of course,

— but the lady in question’s
response was the one with
which the giver was most concerned —

All issues of formal introduction
for the family’s sake could be
managed once her acquaintance
and acquiescence were acquired.

It was a rather sticky
wicket , though …

retrunThings could get out of hand for either or both party,

in any number of ways —

— since this was obviously a detour around the proper, socially prescribed path.

So, to protect the lady’s reputation,
escortand perhaps the health of the sender,

— the cards were usually handled in a rather clandestine manner —

A card could easily slipped
to the lady in a parcel or
letter, for instance.1

But it wasn’t uncommon
for them to be presented personally,

in an off-hand, casual manner that perhaps
belied the somewhat
more serious interests
that the cards implied.

I think modern collectors
are often charmed by the
innocent humor and
charm of the cards,

….. without spending
a lot of time
thinking about the courting
conventions of the era which
produced them…

harryAnd naturally so,

I guess, since many of them have been lost to history.

These cards were part of that history —

By this very cautious
but lighthearted means,

— many Victorian and Edwardian
age singles became acquainted
and eventually married —

Among other stuff,icu
of course.

Your Great-Great Grandfather
may very well have made a
successful pass at your
Great-Great Grandmother
with one of these cards,
for all we know.

1902

.

HOY !

Really, You Needn’t

yesOn this post —

We have a unique set of antique postcards for you.

These were from a
very popular series
of cards called:

“UNEEDN’T”…

Basically,
they were a type of
Penny Dreadful

Otherwise known
as a:

Reverse or Vinegar
Valentines card,jealous

that you could send
all year long,

to express a certain disdain
for a person or their behavior,

without being too
overt about it.

While they might seem
rather tame to us today,

they were considered to be
real zingers
in the early 1900’s–

They usually implied
certain thingsask
about a person
that maybe weren’t
their BEST qualities
or even all that nice….

….. then or now.

But,
all that ‘virtue’ stuff
gets old, ya know.

Anyway,
you have to kinda
read between the lines
on these cards,

….. in order to get the wait
sender’s full meaning.

It usually had to do
with some aspect of
the person’s character
or behavior that was
out of the social norm,

or went against the
grain of the sender —

Maybe it was a
commentary about:

your choice of friends,
your work ethic,
your housekeeping skills,swear
your personal appearance,
your sexual preferences,
or how busy your love life was.

Maybe they’re were
trying to say you were:

a cheapskate,
a bum,
a lothario,
a bad dresser,
a pain in the ass,
a loose woman,
a gambler,
a sponger,
a whiner,call
a sissy,
an undesirable,

…… or perhaps
that you might
get/have
potentially gotten
someone pregnant.

Whether dropping
one of these cards
into the mail
was the sender’s way
of providing moral
redemption
or simply an act of revenge,rubber

… well …

I guess
we’d have to take
that on a case by case basis.

Either way,
it was sure to hurt
somebody’s feelings.

Probably pretty
embarrassing, too.

You’d never know
who sent them —

or what they really knew,
or didn’t know about you.freeze

There were several
excellent artists
involved in producing
these cards,

but one of the
most famous,

was our old prolific
friend Dwig —

Clare Victor Dwiggins.

There were a good
assortment
of these produced,

but I think I’ve included
the ones that are most
striking in the series.

And I’ve got more in
my archive if you like them.

They certainly are a unique
way of expressing ones
feelings about another —

But I imagine most of them
were sent anonymously.

Which just goes to
show you that
hypercritical,
judgmental snobs
are not only usually
cowards,

— but also that they
have always been with us.

Still,
the cards have a
strange, humorous quality
that really is compelling.

The artwork is also very interesting,
and period specific.

Yep…

I always enjoy a peek
into the mentality of
our predecessors…

Even it is the meaner side
of their temperaments.

Hoy !!!!!

a1