August 29, 1966

As I sat down to watch the 49ers preseason game tonight I suddenly flashed on where I was 46 years and 1 day ago. It was seeing the fog and cold at Candlestick Park that brought it back. It's one of those days that you remember, even if the memory is broken like shards of glass. Images, moments flash back as if I'm watching clips from some movie.

I was sitting in Candlestick Park wearing black shoes, black tights, a red and black jumper with a black turtleneck. Oh, and I had a pair of binoculars around my neck. I was with my friend who had told me I'd better not scream. No screaming was allowed. I promised I wouldn't, and I didn't. This is not to say that all around me there weren't screamers and fainters and hypervenitlators. But I stood on my seat stoic...well, almost stoic. I giggled a lot and sighed and didn't want the 20 or so minutes to end. And the girl in the seat in front of me kept grabbing my binoculars to see the band better, and George's white socks, and she never bothered to ask if it was okay. My head was still attached so I'm lucky I didn't end up with whiplash that night.

And then it was over. The Brinks truck pulled up to the stage, the band got into the truck, and it left. It was gone, off the field in an instance. My folks, waiting for us in their car in the parking lot, saw the Brinks truck zoom by. They had no idea why there was a Brinks truck. When my friend and I were safely back in the car on our way home we told my folks about the truck. My mother said, "It drove right by us." Okay, then my friend and I started to squeal.

Yup, 46 years and 1 day ago it was cold and foggy at Candlestick Park.



If you’ve spent some time here the past few years you might remember illustrator Gluyas Williams. Gluyas was the illustrator of some wonderfully odd Log Cabin Syrup ads here and here. He also did an ad for a Belden rubber plug and a nice illustration for a Cosmopolitan magazine in 1929.

Well, I'm happy to say I've found more Gluyas, including a recently purchased Robert Benchley book from 1949. I intended to eventually post the illustrations from the book, but hadn't gotten around to scanning them. And then I saw this...

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

Add Bissell Sweepers to the Gluyas list. The style is so distinct, but the illustration shows neither his full name signature nor his abbreviated "GW." So I have to wonder, if this is a Gluyas knockoff or a real one. I may have solved the "mystery" by finding this online, a Bissell ad from 1935 clearly showing the Gluyas signature. But for me the mystery still remains. No signature, no proof. Faux Gluyas? I'll let the Gluyas experts deal with this.

In the meantime, here is an ad for Texaco done by Gluyas.

And here's the title page from the Peter Benchley book Chips Off the Old Benchley.

Gluyas Williams (July 23, 1888 – February 13, 1982) was an American cartoonist, notable for his contributions to The New Yorker and other major magazines.
Born in San Francisco, California, he graduated from Harvard in 1911. In college, he was a member of the Harvard Lampoon.
His cartoons employed a clean black-and-white style and often dealt with prevailing themes of the day such as Prohibition. His work appeared in Life, Collier's, Century and The New Yorker. He was also syndicated to such newspapers as The Plain Dealer. According to his obituary in The New York Times (15 April 1982, p. D7), by the time he retired in 1953, about five million regular readers had seen his cartoons, which ran in more than 70 newspapers.
During the 1940s, he worked in Boston at 194 Boylston Street. When he died at the age of 93, he was living in Newton, Massachusetts.
ReprintsPublished collections of his work include The Gluyas Williams Book (1929), Fellow Citizens (1940) and The Gluyas Williams Gallery (1957). He also illustrated books by Robert Benchley and Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
To read more about Gluyas Williams visit the following sites:

Google images

For something completely different...Ruth, from Artifact Collectors, asked me to do a guest post on my corner of the universe. I blather on about what I do giving others outside my small realm the chance to be bored by me. Thank you Ruth. It was a pleasure. And folks, visit the site, www.artifactcollectors.com, to actually read some posts by people who actually know what they're talking about. 


ONLY 121 DAYS until Christmas...

If you're a kid, it's never too early to start thinking about what you demand for Christmas. Make sure it's something hard to find, sort of like when I wanted a bag of peanuts when I was around 2 and living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on Midway Island. Yeah, make your folks suffer.

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

The A. C. Gilbert Company was an American toy company, once one of the largest toy companies in the world. It is best known for introducing the Erector Set (a construction toy similar to Meccano in the rest of the world) to the marketplace.
Gilbert was founded in 1909 in Westville, Connecticut, originally as a company providing supplies for magic shows (Alfred Carlton Gilbert was a magician). Gilbert invented Erector in 1911, inspired by railroad girders, and the construction toy was introduced two years later.
In 1929, Gilbert bought the US company producing Meccano, which had been set up in 1913 by the British parent, and continued production as "American Meccano" until 1938.
By 1935, Gilbert was also producing microscopes.
In 1938, Gilbert purchased American Flyer, a struggling manufacturer of toy trains. Gilbert re-designed the entire product line, producing 1:64 scale trains running on O gauge track. Although these are sometimes referred to as S scale or S gauge trains, they are technically O27. At the same time, Gilbert introduced a line of HO scale trains, which were primarily marketed under the brand name Gilbert HO. Gilbert was the largest employer in New Haven from the early 1930s to the late 1950s, employing more than 5000 in three shifts at its Sound Street Manufacturing facility. In the late 1930s, the company expanded to produce home house products and small appliances including, mixers, milk shake machines, toasters, stoves and ovens, and washers.
By 1942, Gilbert was producing equipment for military aircraft for use in World War II.
Gilbert introduced S gauge model railroads in 1946, mostly in response to the shortcomings of O scale utilized by Lionel and Marx. These newer American Flyer trains were smaller and proportioned more realistically than either the pre-war American Flyer trains or its post-war competition. Although these new trains were popular, Lionel outsold American Flyer nearly 2 to 1.
From 1922, A. C. Gilbert made chemistry sets in various sizes as well as similar sets for the budding scientist, adding investigations into radioactivity in the 1950s with a kit featuring a Geiger counter. A. C. Gilbert began making microscope kits in 1934. A line of inexpensive reflector telescopes followed the Sputnik-inspired science craze in the late 1950s.
Gilbert struggled somewhat after the death of its founder in 1961. Gilbert's family sold out its shares, and the company was never profitable under its new ownership. In 1965, A. C. Gilbert produced James Bond movie tie-in figures and a slot car road race set featuring Bond's Aston Martin DB5.[1] By 1967, Gilbert was out of business. Erector was sold to Gabriel Industries and moved production from Erector Square in New Haven, Connecticut, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. American Flyer was sold to Lionel.
Although A. C. Gilbert has not existed as a company for several decades, Gabriel continued to use the brand name on its Erector Set and microscope products, a practice that subsequent owners of the Erector brand have continued. Current Erector toys have the words "The construction toy from A. C. Gilbert" on their packaging. Lionel also uses the brand name on its American Flyer products, along with the old Gilbert catchphrase,
"Developed at the Gilbert Hall of Science", on its product packaging.
A collection of Gilbert trains, Erector sets and objects built from them, chemistry sets, etc. is displayed in the Eli Whitney Museum in Hamden, Connecticut. The factory building now provides space for artists and others in the Erector Square complex. Another display of vintage Gilbert toys is located at A. C. Gilbert's Discovery Village in Salem, Oregon. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)



Here is another ad from the 1940 edition of Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review. I love the look of the ad. I think it's great. I intended to do a little online search for information about it, but frankly it just breaks my heart.

I'm an animal lover. I cannot visit a zoo or a circus because I cannot stand to see animals confined and used by people to do things against their nature. I find it heartbreaking.

So, though I love the look of the ad, I can't stand what happened to this incredible animal. His journey to the circus and this Eveready battery ad should have never happened.

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

From the Find a Grave website about Gargantua "Buddy" the Gorilla:
Birth:  unknown, Congo, Democratic Republic Of
Death: Nov., 1949, USA
Born in the Belgian Congo he was captured by missionaries and given as a present to Captain Arthur Phillips, who named him "Buddy" and was extremely fond of him. A drunk freighter accidentally scarred the ape's face with acid and the Captain gave Buddy to Gertrude Lintz, an eccentric socialite and animal lover and her husband Dr. John Lintz. He grew to over 450 pounds and too large for the Lintzs to care for. He was bought by John Ringling, who renamed him Gargantua because of his large size and scarred face. Ringling put Gargantua on display at his circus and billed him as "The Largest Gorilla in World" and saved The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus from bankrupcy by attracting millions of visitors. Despite being given special care and attention, Gargantua died from double phonomnia in 1949. His life story and that of Massa another gorilla who belonged to Mrs. Lintz, inspired the 1997 movie, "Buddy". 
Burial: Peabody Museum, New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
Plot: Skeleton in musuem collection
To see another version of the ad click here and here.



A complete surprise to me. I didn't see one ham while I lived in Hollywood. Not one! I saw thousands!

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

"Hello, I'd like to order a ham for my party. 
Are any of the Barrymore's available?"

Ham on the red carpet.

Hams eating ham?



Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)



Suitable for framing? Hang it on a child's bedroom wall. Just an idea.

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)



The clowns I've featured in photos have been nameless, except for Felix Adler. The reason Adler is named in the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review is because he was the head clown at the circus.

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

First Clown to Appear on Television
Felix Adler entertained millions in his role as head clown for Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. In the hierarchy of clowns, he ranked at the top as a whiteface clown.

He performed with such famous clowns as Lou Jacobs and Emmett Kelly.

All three circus greats lived and practiced their routines in Sarasota.

Adler's costume took up a lot of space because he buttressed his posterior with a couple of basketballs hitched in place with a custom sling similar to a brassiere. He wore traditional whiteface clown makeup adding a big rhinestone on the tip of his nose.

Often the clown topped his garb with a big jello mold for a hat. Remember, the early days of television and product sponsorship? Adler had ties to Jell-O!

Piglets played integral roles in Adler's clowning. He named each one Amelia after his wife and as the piglets became full fledged pigs, he traded them in for a new piglet whom he promptly named Amelia.

The first clown to appear on television, Adler earned his title "The White House Clown" by performing for three presidents (Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin D. Roosevelt). He and his wife were the first American husband and wife clown team. (SOURCE: Squidoo/Felix Adler)
Felix Adler died on February 1, 1960. The following is his obituary from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on February 2nd.

(SOURCE: Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

Notice the handwork of the staff artist on the photo of Adler. Apparently the image was less than satisfactory for reproduction so the artist did a bit of doodling. Sort of surprised that the newspaper from the town where the circus was headquartered did not have a decent photo of the most important clown.


FELIX ADLER loved Wheaties, and so did ANTOINETTE CONCELLO

I really have no idea if the famous Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey clown Felix Adler loved Wheaties, but the ad would have you believing he did. Most likely just another ad, like the cigarette ads from long ago, where words are put into a celebrities mouth.

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

These days the only safe way to let a celebrity speak on behalf of your product is to make sure they follow the script. Try to imagine Lindsay Lohan representing any company. How about a car ad with her behind the wheel careening towards a palm tree. A present day clown. Sad, very sad.

As to Antoinette Concello, the aerialist:
Antoinette Concello was a member of the famous "Flying Concello" aerial troupe, a family of flying trapeze artists. In the 20th Century multi-ring circus, the flying trapeze was the main attraction in the center ring of the "Big Top." The Flying Concellos were the premier troupe of aerialists in the 1920s, and Antoinette became known as the "greatest woman flyer of all time" because she was the only woman to complete the fabled "triple" (see Carol Reed's 1956 film "Trapeze" for background about this legendary stunt). A triple means that the aerialist completes three full somersaults while "flying" through the air after leaving their bar and being caught by a "catcher" hanging upside down on the opposite bar. It is a dangerous stunt.

Antoinette appeared with the troupe as one of the acts in Cecil B. DeMille's 1952 Best Picture Oscar-winning movie "The Greatest Show on Earth," which uses Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Baily Circus as a backdrop. The red-coated Ringling ringmaster Fred Brandna would introduce her act by announcing that Antionette was the first and only woman to achieve the triple, and added that she did it with "incomparable grace". The legendary flyer did not disappoint her audience, performing the fabled triple at every performance.

Antoinette Concello was inducted into the Circus Hall of Fame in 1963.
She died in 1984. (SOURCE: IMDB)

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, February 7, 1984)

I will have more about Felix Adler in another post.


The STOP CLOWN at Howard Johnson's

Howard Johnson's never really caught on out here in the West the way it was on the East Coast. I remember them as a child with their blue and orange color scheme. I also remember them along turnpikes when we travelled coast to coast.

When I lived outside DC we used to go to a place called Hot Shoppes, or something like that, that as I recall had the same color scheme. We preferred Hot Shoppes food. No idea if they're in business anymore. I'm remembering back to the 1950s.

As far as the clown in this ad, he's probably the least creepy of all I've posted lately. Sure, his eyes are crossed and he's got a really wimpy feather in his hat and now that I think of it he's got a Halloween pumpkin nose...yeah, he's creepy too. But I really like the rendering of the ice cream cone.

As to the salivating dog...really? They needed to draw drips of saliva?

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)



I gather from this circus magazine that circus performers suffer from a lot of common ailments, especially clowns.

Now we find out that they also have feet that need some soothing care. Johnson’s Foot Soap to the rescue. Mind you this company is still in business. About now I could use some since I go barefoot most of the summer. I’m not a shoe fan. And if I can get away with being barefoot in the winter I do it.

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

Now, I have one question…what size tub do those clowns with the big floppy feet need? I’m thinking perhaps a horse trough. I could be wrong.

Now, clown…creepy or not? You decide.



I don’t know if this clown is laughing maniacally at the thought of Borvil or at all the typos in this ad. It sort of amazes me that they went to the trouble to be “clever” with the spelling of “gentlmun” hoping to simulate the ringmaster’s call, but then didn’t pay any attention to the truly lousy typesetting. And this isn’t the only ad that has errors. Take a look at yesterdays ad for a really stupid one.

Click on image to see it larger.

To see more about Bovril, which is still manufactured in the UK, click here for a fascinating 360 view of some mountain top, but careful because it can get spinnin' pretty darn fast. Make sure you try the rain effect too.

One final thought, the bottle featured in yesterday’s ad for Sunkist looks somewhat similar to the one in today’s ad. Now, yesterday’s was to alleviate the problem of constipation, today’s is just a warm comforting drink. Don’t you wonder if some old tired clown came in after a show and drank too much of the wrong stuff? Could have made the next day’s show pretty darn interestin’!

Now, creepy clown or not? You decide.


A LAXATIVE made for a clown

Nothing relives constipation better than a daily dose of a clown with Marie Antoinette.

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

Creepy clown or not? You choose.



The look on this clown's face only confirms what I found to be true during elementary school. If you pulled a box of Ludens out of your book bag every kid around you would get the same expression this clown has as their hands came out demanding you share. Ludens and Smith Brother cherry cough drops were all about the sugar. You had to sneak them on the sly if you hoped to have any for yourself.

As far as the al-ka-line...let's just say the author of the little poem should pursue writing less creative. Imagine what was rejected if this is what was chosen.

(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

Creepy clown or not creepy clown? You decide.


KURLASH for the clown in you

I think this company might have been stretching it a bit when they said that curling your eyelashes was "more fun than a circus." Really?

I had a friend in high school who used an eyelash curler that had lost the little rubber part that's on part of the crimping mechanism. Did she have more fun than a circus? No. She cut her eyelashes off her one eye. Up until that time I'd toyed with the idea of trying one of these thingies. After I saw what she looked like I avoided the fiendish thingies. I have no idea what brand she used so I'm not trying to disparage Kurlash. I have no idea if the company is still even in business.

(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

So, creepy clown or uncreepy clown? How about if it were painted on black velevet? Would that be creepier or less creepy? For me he just doesn't add much to an ad for a "beauty" product.


CLOWNS...not creepy or creepy?

I’d like to think that clowns don’t frighten me. As a child I don’t think they did. I liked clowns and never thought of them as being creepy men in makeup hiding their true identity. They were just clowns. I guess it was John Wayne Gacey who made me start looking at them with a skeptical eye. I sort of hate that clowns are forever tarnished in my imagination. I still adore Clarabell and Emmett Kelly and nobody will convince me otherwise. That said…

Over the next several posts you’ll meet clowns, some real, some just drawings, from the 1940 Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review. I’ll let you be the judge on the creepiness quotient.

Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940) 

To see another vintage Camel cigarette post with a very interesting outcome click here. It's one of the most interesting posts I've ever done.


A FIGHTER PILOT and Coca-Cola in 1940

This vintage Coca-Cola magazine ad is from a 1940 Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review. I find it fascinating that it uses a military theme before the war.

Click on image to see it larger. 
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940) 

To see other vintage Coca-Cola ads click on "Coca-Cola ads" or "Coca-Cola" below in the labels.



When I saw this ad I snickered. Yeah, pour bluing into a pool to make it blue. Sure thing buddy.

(SOURCE: Sunset, November 1967)

I remember the term "bluing" from long ago, but never hear it anymore. Well, surprise surprise, this company, Mrs. Stewart's Bluing is still in business. The company dates back to the 1880s. The following is an excerpt from their website:
Mrs. Stewart's Bluing was born in the early 1880s. "MSB" owes its existence to a peddler and his mother-in-law, a marginally successful Five and Ten Cent store, and a fireworks explosion. From the beginning, Mrs. Stewart's journey has been an interesting one!
In the late 1870s, Al Stewart, a traveling salesman for a Chicago wholesale grocer, was a familiar figure in Iowa and southern Minnesota. In his market basket full of samples, he always carried a bottle of Mrs. Stewart's Bluing, which he made in his home with his family assisting him according to a formula he had acquired.
Meanwhile, Luther Ford, a young silk salesman, moved to Minneapolis where he started the first "Five and Ten Cent Bazaar" west of Pittsburgh. Business was not highly successful and so he began a wholesale business, carrying notions, toys, and fireworks.
Al Stewart and Luther Ford crossed paths when Mr. Stewart began searching for someone to manufacture his bluing for him. Following a spectacular (but accidental) eruption of fireworks in the Five and Ten Cent store, Mr. Ford realized the potential of a (safer) future in the bluing business! Al Stewart sold Luther Ford the rights to Mrs. Stewart's Bluing, and the first documented sale of Mrs. Stewart's Bluing was logged on  July 30, 1883. Mr. Ford quickly made plans to extend distribution across the region.
Facilities and equipment used in manufacturing in the late 1800s were primitive. The ceiling in the first basement factory was so low, holes had to be made in the floor so the employees had a place for their feet to hang down. Filling was done from wooden barrels with a rubber hose. Corks were pounded in with a small mallet, and each bottle was dipped in hot sealing wax as the corks didn't always fit into the slightly irregularly shaped hand-blown bottles. Labeling was done by hand using paste. Bottles were packed in sawdust in wooden cases or in barrels. Stock was stored and production stopped during the winter, until a later date when a heated manufacturing building was obtained.
Visit their site to read more about their history and the various uses for their product. Truthfully I thought bluing was a thing of the past, but now I'm curious to see if I can find a bottle of this stuff. According to them:
The versatility of MSB seems infinite. While we manufacture MSB as a laundry whitener, many have found other uses for bluing as well. Make a Salt Crystal Garden, whiten dingy hair on a pet, reduce algae growth in bird baths, fish ponds and fountains, ease the pain of an ant bite or bee sting, and much more with this unique, versatile and economical product that has been a staple in many homes for over 125 years - since 1883!
All these years I've been trying to figure out what to use for marking my annual ski racecourse around the orchard. Stupid me! I guess I won't have to use the dog anymore. Blue looks so much better on white than yellow.


Remember girls, ALWAYS WEAR KRENE FABRIC when chasing boys

This is just so wrong! Wrong on so many levels!

Click on image to see it larger. (SOURCE: Sunset, October 1968)