Happy Valentines Day

February 14?

It can only
mean one
thing :

It’s Valentines
Day again.

!! YAY !!

I love the
whole V-D thing.

but, it’s hard to
come up with a
way of celebrating
it here on the
Muscleheaded Blog
that we haven’t
already done….

If you don’t believe me,
check out our previous
Valentines Day posts
like this, or this one,
and you’ll see what
I mean.

I thought for a
mo or two
that I’d milked that
particular cow dry,
but then, I thought
to commemorate
the day by looking
some very cool
vintage posters that
were used to advertiseneckers
Mutoscope Company
and Exhibit Supply
cards dealing with
romantic subjects
during the 1940’s.

These were usually
cartoons or gag cards
that were found in
arcade dispensing
machines –

— you just put a
penny in the slot,
and you got one,
or you could buy
them by the set.

And as you can see,
there were a large
variety of themes
to choose from…..

not as many of the
individual cards have
survived the years as
one would one like —
but the posters have
done much better.

It might seem a
bit strange to us
today, but these
things were very
popular with
Servicemen during
World War II –

– and there was a
brisk business for
them, especially
the more risque

But collecting em
was one thing for
a sailor or soldier
in the barracks or
his sea bag —

– and another having
them around the
house at home after
the war, which I guess
goes far to explain
their relative rarity

!!! HOY !!!


Chasin’ The Gloom

atomicI love the vintage
Exhibit Card
sets from the
early 1940’s….

There were good number
of different ones released,

and I’ve posted several of them
on the Muscleheaded Blog in the past.

One of the things that strikes me just a little bit strange is that, despite the popularity of the sets, you very rarely see them around today.

Especially the color inserts
like the one at top left.

(It was also produced
in black and white,vend
to match the mono-color process
used on many of the cards. )

The example above
was a poster size print

that was intended to be used
in one of Exhibit Supply Company
of Chicago’s penny card vendors.

Here’s what the
vending package
would have looked
like in the arcade.

The aesthetic quality
of the cards themselves
might somewhat explain
why more people1
didn’t tend to keep them
after their 1940’s boom —

As one would expect
for war-time,

the paper was of
lower quality
than would
normally be used
for a postcard,

the print-work
was marginal,

and the quality of
the art was not
always up to the 6
highest standards.

It can be pretty
surprising, at times,
just how amateurishly
several of them seem
to have been drawn.

War time means
lean times 3for talent
and raw materials
in every industry,
and you can see that
principle at work
quite clearly
in these cards.

Indeed, I would
guess that most
of them ended
being thrown away –

– by the majority of
mothers and wives
who found them
in a serviceman’s
souvenirs after the war.

— if I only had
a nickle, man)

Despite that,
or perhaps
because of it,

they are fun and interesting
to look at today…..

And of course,
there’s a wonderfully
racy but naive quality
to many of them
which I particularly enjoy.



Ah well…

Say what you will….

I’m not one of
those leopards
who changes
his spots, man.

This particular set,
” Atomic Laugh Bombs
– Gloom Chasers ”
was issued near the
end of the war,
and featured 32
different cards.

If you enjoyed these,
you can check the
Muscleheaded archives
for more Exhibit Cards,
or related posts about them,

Mutoscope Cards

I hope you have a
groovy week, y’all !!!!


HOY !!!!!!!



Low Art Exhibition

1945jestcardsYou might have seen
my very elaborately
lavishly illustrated,
and beautifully written
post all about the
Mutoscope Company…

what a
great post
that was.

It soared far above the trite pablum usually found on this blog.

Sorry you missed it, and all.

Ok, so,
maybe it wasn’t all that beautifully written,
I’ll grant you.cooke

But whatdaya expect when you tune in to this channel —

High ART ?

but we couldn’t
get Alistair Cooke .

I frankly wouldn’t
understand his reticence to appear,

— except for the fact
that he has gone on
to that great ascot
store in the sky…..cookie

we couldn’t even get Alistair Cookie !

here’s the link to that post,

If you got nothing
else better to do,

…… including a thorough
clean out of that smelly
gym bag of yours, that is.

But, barrel1
the idea that I was dancing around today has to do
with the Mutoscope Company’s main competition
for penny pin ups and nickel novelties in the 1930’s and 1940’s —

Exhibit Supply Company,
of Chicago, Illinois.

These guys were really, really big–
especially during World War II. kisscard

They made a lot of different arcade products,

… including mechanical pin-ball style games,
and various kinds of amusement machines,

—- but we’ll be talking
about their art cards.

At first glance,
a lot of their stuff
looks almost indistinguishable
from Mutoscope’s —kisscards

So much so,
that their cards are often grouped in together at
collector shows,

— under a general heading like:

“Mutoscope Cards”,
“Display Cards”
or “Exhibit Cards”.

They’re generally the same size,
and shape, too —

because they were
meant to be interchangeable
in the various display and
vending machines
in which they were used.

And like Mutoscope,
they developed cards in
many different genres
and subjects….
—– to cover just about any interest.

Movie Stars,
Palm Reading,
Knot Tying,
Cars of the World,
G.I. Humor,
Sports Stars,
Animals of the World,
Magic Tricks,
Future Spouses,
Dating Tips,
Joke Books,
Goofy Cartoons,
Novelty ‘Permits’,
Kiss Cards,
Predict Your Future,
Bathing Suit Models,
Half Dressed Cuties,
and even Naughty
Nudies, too…..permits

usually, though —

The Exhibit Supply cards are clearly marked
with something like:
” Ex. Sup. Co.. CHGO. ”

You’ll start to notice that
there’s definitely a different approach to much of their art,
once you get used to looking at them.

One of their most interesting set of cards were joke permit cards–

that would supposedly
entitle the holder to do
something naughty —

There were cards for men
that would give them license to be:

A.W.O.L. ( Away from your
military post without leave )1a1a
A Keyhole Peeper
A Garter Snapper
A Buck Passer
A Cheater
A Heavy Petter
A Halitosis Sufferer
A Drunk

Some of the things girls
could get a ‘permit’ to
do included :a1a1a

Develop Their Bust
Chew Gum
Sling Mud
Pass Out
Two Time
or be a Blonde Bombshell.

back during wartime,
one needed a permit to
buy gas, meat, all kinds of stuff — rationcards

So, this genre played off on that to great effect,

— and there was a mess of these issued.

Another very popular ‘permit’ titles was called:

“Jack Ass Ration Permits”

During the difficult time of limited supplies,
and black market profiteering,

….. one could just imagine
who might become the lucky recipient
of one of these sarcastic little bomblets.


Exhibit Supply also issued
a book of quick witted insults,stingeroos
with my favorite cover of all time…….

It was called:
” Stingeroos for Everybody “.

come on, man…..

How could you resist buying a set of cards with THAT cover,
I ask you ????

Actually, the ‘Exhibit’ art work is far superior
to the competition on several items like this…..

Another card set had to do
with picking up guys, and gals…

“Go Catch ‘Em” cards were
so popular, they ran into 12 editions.

catchemAnd you can see why —

The art is very unusual,
and spectacular.

Check it out.

The humor, well,

it was nothing special,
I guess….

not unlike this blog,
come to think of it.


There were a variety of erotic,
and semi-erotic (dirty) cards
that would be loaded
into card dispensers and viewers —a1a

—- ranging from your
typical era pin ups,
to ‘adult’ shifted humor,
sexy puns and captions,
and up to more exotic
‘French’ style cards, too….

What you would see
would be very dependent
on how tight-assed a place
you were in —

Since the local market determined
what was considered acceptable.

And in a more wide open ‘service’ town,

— you might find this charming lady.


All in all,

looking back
at the products of the
Exhibit Supply Company 1956
can be a fun, interesting,
and even educational way to spend an evening —

I found some very cool stuff….

and I know I learned a little, too.


There might even be a part two to this post,
— who knows.



A License To See/Do It

readitwrongAnytime I open
a blog with a
leading title like that,

Well, let’s just say
that I know what
you’re thinking, man.

Another case of Müscleheaded False Advertising.

And OK —
— it’s a fair cop.

But, really…

You wouldn’t want
to see a real example
of Müscleheaded’s
exhibitionist tendencies,
would ya ?

Not without an
eye wash station handy,
that’s for sure.

Believe me,
the people who spend
a lot of time on Orient Beach
wish that I never heard
of the place.

And I’ve still got sand
in my belly button
from the last visit, so…

Be that as it may (ahem) —

If you like the kinda vintage cards
we feature on the Muscleheaded Blog..

you might already be familiar witha1
the name of a famous 1940’s
publisher of witty postcards–

The Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago.

And I have certainly aready
posted some of their stuff —

anyoldIn the post
Low Art Exhibit –
Exhibit Supply Company
“, for instance.


— what do you mean
you didn’t read that one? :-O

Shame, shame.

well, ok…
don’t give it another thought, man ….

It’s not like there was any:

earth-shatteringly funny repartee
(yes there was)
deeply-thoughtful social analysis
(of course there was) show
ingeniously original blogging
(how could you doubt THAT )

—— that you missed completely and utterly.

Nothing to worry about.

And if you listen carefully,
you might hear the faint sounds
of a Bronx cheer off in the distance ….

You can make your formal apology later.

Or, maybe,
you could just get a license for it.

Yes, my friend —

one of the witty card set serieskey1g
that Exhibit Supply used to sell was this one:

“Any Old License To Do Any Old Thing”.

There were 8 different sets of these —
subdivided into 4 sets for men,
and 4 sets for women.


You could buy one ‘license’ for a penny,vending
out of a specially designed vending machine —
that might,
or might not,
dispense the ‘license’ you were looking for.

It worked on the same principle
as those nickel gum machines
with prizes in little plastic bubbles —

You wanted the cool smoking skull,
but you always ended up with
the cheap plastic ring,
the little blue super-bouncey ball,
the sticker that said “Kick Me“.

you were better off acquiring the set.

If you bought one of the men’s sets,
(“A Barrel Of Fun “)
you might get a license for :

Reckless Driving
To Operate A Still
To Get ‘Hot’
To Be A Snoop
A Necking Permit
To Be A Bachelor1a
To Carry A Hip Flask
To Be A Four Flusher
or A Nervy Guy Permit
( well, now,
… that could be useful )

If you bought one of the ladies sets,
(” Be The Life Of The Party “)
you could end up with a permit to:1b

Become A Blonde
Wear Trousers
Be A Flirt
Be A Backseat Driver
Be A Joy Killer
Join The Alimony Club
Be A Beach Vamp
or you could1
Get A Shimmie License ….
( again,
… that could probably be pretty useful).

I’m not saying
you could actually get away
with most of the stuff,
whether you had a license for it, or not. 1d

The ‘operating a still’ thing,
you gotta remember how fresh
in people’s minds Prohibition was in the 1940’s,
so I guess that one is certainly forgivable.

A ‘shimmy license’ ?
It seems to me that should be a free one. 1f

And ‘becoming a blonde’,
no harm in that,
assuming you weren’t a redhead.

But I ask you —
should people
be permitted to be ” joy killers “1e
because they paid a penny
for a piece of paper?

There’s too many
of those people in the world now,
and I bet they don’t even have a permit.

HOY !!!!!