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July 23 2012


Bettie Page and Irving Klaw Discoveries by Jim Linderman

As these scarce envelopes indicate, while Betty Grable was being reported as the pinup our boys favored in their foxholes, the REAL soldiers were writing to Irving Klaw, self-styled Pin Up King and soon to be major distributor of bondage photographs.  Klaw made money on tired, dreary Hollywood cheesecake long before hitting on the harder stuff…but it was the stuff he sold the soldiers when they got back home which put him in hot water.

In the first example, you can see the Klaw office notes: one dollar for one 4" x 5" still.  I hope it was a Bettie.

Klaw had been peddling gams and gals for quite a while before Bettie Page came along.  In 1950, Eye Magazine reported "Klaw advertises his wares in more than fifty domestic magazines and about two dozen foreign publications…" so business must have been doing fine.  (It was…by 1950 Klaw was reportedly selling a million cheesecake photographs a year.)  And yes, Klaw sold Grable in the early days…but as you can see, he was hot on his own discoveries as well.  Here Klaw inspects the talent of a hopeful.  He could make even more money on his own photos.

No less than Dr. Kinsey paid visits to Klaw.  (Three times!)  Perhaps because Klaw also sold John Willie material.  I can't even link to John Willie on this site, you can look him up yourself.  Trust, they were trussed.  Seriously knotted and trussed.  Klaw sold Willie drawings for fifty cents each and also the series on photographic paper for $5.00.  Five dollars in 1950 would be $47.81 today.  As I have reported elsewhere, that was more than the entire weekly wage for the Average worker in 1950.  Look close at the yellowing clip below to see some of Klaw's other early "cheesecake" of fighting women in high heels.

Eric Stanton began selling work to Klaw as early as 1947.  Eric Stanton was influenced by Willie and more information on Stanton will be on Vintage Sleaze soon.

Klaw's success was also his downfall.  Or rather, his failure to disclose his tax receipts and business records was his downfall.  He was cited for contempt by the United States Senate (along with Eddie Mishkin and Abraham Rubin, both organized crime figures) for failing to comply. 


Although Irving Klaw is today best known for the photographs of Bettie Page he distributed, she was but a minor part of the millions of photographs which went out...and millions of dollars which came in to the Klaw offices.

July 05 2012


Ten Censored Books from the 1950s You Have NEVER SEEN or READ by Jim Linderman

Raw Dames by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman

Woman Impelled by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman The Violated Wrestler by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman Who was Justin Kent?  A writer and a stool pigeon!

Everyone paid the nut and everyone had a price.  The average annual income of a writer in the mid-1950s was a blip above nothing, and few made it to the big time.  So for some, a quick hot read might be pounded out and turned in for cash while waiting for the big break.  When your great American novel found a real publisher, no one wanted the blurb to read "by the author of "Mistress of Leather" after all.  Use a fake name.

Justin Kent did just that,  but they caught him anyway.  Tracked down and rounded up by investigators working for the Senate who wanted to grill Eddie Mishkin, publisher of overpriced soft-core bondage fiction with sexy covers.  Kent's story, and his real name, come to us courtesy the U.S. Government.
Kent was one of the more prolific writers paid by Mishkin. I suspect no less than ten books were written for Eddie and friends, and he also churned out a few spicy novels published by other New York sleaze publishers around the same time, including Mavis and Fast Curve for Gil Fox and his curious line of hardcovers under the imprint of Vixen Press.  Kent used other pseudonyms as well, and surely other works will be identified in the future.

Mishkin was a mob-connected perv who helped spread the infamous "Nights of Horror" digests with Superman illustrator Joe Shuster doing the dirty drawings.  The books here published by Mishkin are every bit as scarce as the Nights of Horror titles.  Miskin figures in other places here, and will figure prominently in Times Square Smut.

As a government subcommittee investigating Mishkin in 1960 revealed, Justin Kent was the pseudonym for Kenneth Johnson.  Johnson was an unsuccessful writer living in Harlem and Mishkin paid well.  There is speculation Kent was African-American (like one of Mishkin's favorite illustrators Eugene Bilbrew, who did half the covers here.) When introducing Kent's deposition to the Senate he was described as  "..a man who came from the South with a considerable writing ability and settled in Harlem."
The Strange Empress by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman Eyewitness by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman Frustration by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman

Jay Gertzman, a scholar I admire and author of Bookleggers and Smuthounds: The Trade in Erotica 1920-1940 wrote in an essay a few years ago saying Kent was "held as a material witness for over a month" but I don't really know what that means.  Literally held?  When is the last time you read about an author imprisoned for writing words in America?  Well, apparently it happened, and for books Barnes and Noble could even store on the bottom shelf today. 

His words were turned into tripe for digests which would be paired with sexy drawings, printed in the boroughs at night, wrapped in cellophane and trucked into quasi-legal operating bookstores in Times Square, Pittsburgh, PA and other industrial towns with ham-fisted readers.  With no real imprint and with few illustrations other than the super racy cover, the books were priced ten times over cost and sold to fellows looking for the rough stuff...but of course they got gypped.

Justin could follow orders.  As the transcript to a Supreme Court ruling five years later reveals, Eddie Mishkin had specific instructions for his writers.  Mishkin "insisted that the books be full of sex scenes and lesbian scenes... the sex had to be very strong, it had to be rough, it had to be clearly spelled out.  I had to write sex very bluntly, make the sex scenes very strong. The sex scenes had to be unusual sex scenes between men and women, and women and women, and men and men.  He wanted scenes in which women were making love with women.  He wanted sex scenes in which there were lesbian scenes. He didn't call it lesbian, but he described women making love to women and men making love to men, and there were spankings and scenes—sex in an abnormal and irregular fashion."  Another unnamed author testified that Mishkin instructed him 'to deal very graphically with the darkening of the flesh under flagellation."
Queen Bee by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman Run Girl Run Hard by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman Mavis by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman
Fast Curve by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman
OUCH!  Rough stuff indeed for the 1950s, but then not today.   Some dozen of Kenneth Johnson's potboilers were published under his fake name by various made-up publishers as directed by Mr. Mishkin.  Some are a bit more graphic than others, but for the most part his books were tame and lame...they would hardly raise the hackles of a watchdog today.  Sleazy but soft.  Kent didn't write all the 70 books listed in the Supreme Court case which upheld Eddie's New York State conviction ...but he did write quite a few. 

I hesitate to call Justin Kent a failed author, as his books DID make it to the Supreme Court in a way.  But I don't think he could share his success with his mother back home.  One title, Strange Solace, was even printed in a paperback in the UK.

The books here are all by Justin Kent and for the most part written for Eddie Mishkin.  As they were printed in small editions and frequently confiscated, they are quite scarce today and shown here for the first time.  Nearly all are digest-size.  These are some of the most scarce paperback books existing today, and represent censorship by the United States Government which seems absurd today.  It should be a far better known story.  Unseen relics of a time and place  Dangerous Years, Satin Satellite, Queen Bee and Eyewitness appear on the list of some some 70 Mishkin (and other)  books which were entered in testimony for his trial.

As the books here are all in the private collection of  Vintage Sleaze and quite scarce, please leave credits and a link to this article if you quote or share.  It's only fair!  Thank you.

© Jim Linderman 2012  All books Collection Jim Linderman
Strange Solace by Justin Kent Collection Jim Linderman
ANYONE WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON JUSTIN KENT / KENNETH JOHNSON should please get in touch, it would be much appreciated. 



The Coming Rapture ? Rapture Books from the 1950s by Jim Linderman

Rapture books might sound like that crap you can buy in bulk at "Christian" bookstores, virtually the only bookstores left in business today...but that may be due to their considerable trinket sales.  However, on the collection plate today is Rapture books offering a second coming alright, but of a different sort.

Rapture started out as a west coast paperback publishing branch off the pulp tree of Publishers Export Company.  Since they printed books to be read with one hand, they came to the attention of Cosa Nostra associate Rebuen Sturman, who wanted to control the ENTIRE printed sex business.  Eventually, Rapture and the whole line of paperbacks under the PEC umbrella would be distributed by Sturman. 

Class act Reuben immediately began selling them by the pound.  (See the ad below which offered 100 different for a quarter each.)  In another ad, Connoisseur (Sturman's Cleveland headquarters) proudly proclaims "We bought out the publisher's warehouse" and offers "hundreds of thousands of Nightstand, Midnight, Pillar, Ember, Leisure and Evening Readers" and promises to include their catalog of what were increasingly graphic depictions of tired models making love in dismal studios, though the copy says they will "appeal to those who desire a real lustiness..."  At the time, "real lustiness" was apparently pale hippies who should have been marching to end the war, but were instead enjoying some free love in makeshift photo studios.
At one time, I believe before Sturman muscled in, PEC even had a distributor in Amsterdam, Holland, another hotbed of hippie hedonism. 

Rapture got in on the "swap" bandwagon.  Hilarously so.  In one book which prints their new slogan "A RAPTURE NOVEL: Exploring New Sex for Husbands and Wives" they even quote  "Dr. Sara Greenbert" on the value of learning about sex..whether she was referring to "Orgy Island" or "My Wife for Yours"  is unclear.

Oh, wait...My Wife for Yours has a quote from Eisenhower!  (The "unpopular books" speech he gave in 1953.)  The quote runs just before an ad for their next swap masterpiece, one "Swap Massacre" which is hyped as "The Orgy of the Century" and says you should go to your bookseller and ask for it now. 
"Dammit, I've been coming in here for three weeks. WHEN is Swap Massacre getting here?"  Ike said it was on the way!
For another big laugh consider the covers, many of which were painted by super-grumpy artist Doug Weaver (tracked down with ferret diligence by Britney Daley HERE.)

Weaver is still inhaling paint fumes, and now peppers his website with new age platitudes and sells cheap giclee prints of his dreadful "old west" scenes to rich republicans.  Weaver's skeleton in the closet was curved, rounded and ripe. if featuring his particularly askew perspective and only amateur skill.

Vin Saxon, I believe, wrote Rapture number one, but it was called R201.  I am not sure of that, their numbering "system" was as wacky as the trippy Escher-like psychedelic swirl they put on the back covers.  (Though the only acid was in the pulp paper, note yellowing and foxing.)  That old trick to imply the smut soup had been cookin' a while.  Miriam Linna of KICKS has done the lion's work on Saxon.

There appears to be no definitive bibliography of Rapture titles online.  Graham Holyroyd lists precious few in his Paperback Prices and Checklist.  I am sure there are complete collections somewhere, but for the meantime you can enlarge the list they provided in one of their books.  The titles are hilarious enough, but you should see the covers!  As for the text?  Who knows.  I don't read this junk, but someone did.  Some fellow wrote "excellent" on the lower edge of one of my copies in ink, and he did NOT mean the condition.
Once Sturman sleazed up the series even more, it seems they stopped running a checklist on the back pages, but I think there were around two hundred titles eventually.

Group of Rapture Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks collection Victor Minx
Preview and Order books and cheap ebook downloads by Jim Linderman HERE


The Toughest Hard Boiled Detective in History Tokey Wedge ? by Jim Linderman


Here comes Tokey, buzzing out of the pages of pulp history from the back cover of TORRID TWINS, just one of the capers solved with his tiny fists and subtly implied detective dong  pounding. Tokey's secret weapon other than his quick wit was his manhood.  You want sex and hardboiled action in your reading?  Put down that limp "best summer reading" from the New York Times Book Review and grab yourself a big deep toke...of TOKEY!

A man's man and a women's dream, Tokey raced around the twirling paperback racks when the top presidential philanderer of all time, Jack Kennedy was in the White House.  Did Jack care if his "arranged" girlfriend Judith Exner was usually in bed with mobster Sam Giancana and reported back to the wise guy after every presidential performance?  HELL NO! Because Jack was a MAN'S man, just like Tokey Wedge.  Screw that, and screw THAT, organized crime.  No wonder (and no coincidence) Tokey gets involved with some Castro gun runners in BROAD BAIT...just like big Sam!   

So Tokey had a buzzcutt instead of Kennedy's Nantucket tousle...when you are racing to action in your midget muscle-car, there is no time to brush anything out of your eyes.  Here comes Tokey, nostrils flared...nay SMOKING.  Never mind that Tokey was actually no taller than 5' 4"...he was big where it mattered.  One book adds an inch to his frame...but does not specify if he had bought some lifts.
  Jack Lynn wrote the Tokey Wedge novels.  Who was Jack Lynn?  WHO CARES!  This isn't about some fussy, anonymous, elite font prissy with an underwood, it's about Tokey Wedge.  The paperback community speculates who Jack was and you are more then welcome to browse around to speculate while real men read the novels (from Novel Press) a sleazy Chicago outfit with questionable ties but outstanding fiction! 

There were at least twenty one books by Jack and all of them had a serious problem with inaccurate perspective and unrealistic rendering on the covers.  So the real question is not who wrote this stuff, but who the hell did the art?  Check out the Torrid Twins Tokey is running down...not only are they twins, their burning breasts have exactly the same flame pattern!  Tokey had a thing for twins...witness Mary and Beth in another split zygote thriller Double Seduction...which is no problem for Tokey.  He loves them and leaves them...looking exactly the same.  And yet AGAIN...there are twins in the later Desire in Duplicate...in which a $5000 a night hooker charges that much because she is...a twin! So the price is really $2500 each.  Does Tokey get a discount?  You have to ASK?

Other Jack Lynn books are listed below, but not all feature the diminutive dick Tokey.  In fact, one of them introduces a far taller character, a Danny Thomas look-a-like who actually towers over the dames who moan his name!
Wild Women is of course the Bill Ward cover I discussed HERE.  How Bill slipped one in is a mystery more curious than the Tokey Wedge case of Nympho Lodge.  In another, Tokey struggles with a trio of "women loving women"  In Wild Women.  AS you can see, another cover with burning dames for Tokey to struggle through.

Clearly Tokey's biggest challenge was Ten Shockingest Seductions, in which he has do do just that...seduce them all to determine which were guilty of murder and which were guilty of lesbianism.  There is only one man for the job...look down.


Official COMPLETE (?) list of masterpieces by Jack Lynn

Broad Bait. Novel, 1960

Double Seduction. Novel, 1959

Forced Females. Novel, 1961

Loverboy! Novel, 1960

Mad for Kicks. Novel, 1960

Nympho Lodge. Novel, 1959
The Passion Pit. Novel, 1960

Tall and Torrid. Novel, 1961
Torrid Twins. Novel, 1960

Wholesale Seduction. Novel, 1961
White Hot Woman 1961
Wild Women. Novel, 1961

Women on the Loose. Novel, 1961
Ten Shockingest (sic) Seductions 1962
Three Passionate Sisters 1962
Desire in Duplicate 1963
They Were Too Much 1963  
Four Insatiable Nymphs 1963
Night Nurse 1964
Three Kinds of Love 1964
Kandy  1965

Jack Lynn Tokey Wedge Novels collection Victor Minx (and a few cribbed from the web)  

As far as I know, the list here is complete, but if you have a Tokey Wedge novel not listed, by all means get in touch.  You could have the cream of the vintage sleaze paperback crop in your hands!

Books and Ebooks by Jim Linderman are available to browse and purchase HERE

Viva Vea 1950s Pin Ups from Mexico by Jim Linderman






VEA is a pretty hard magazine to find copies of these days.   Vea ran in the 1940s and 1950s, and when you figure in acid-based paper, climate and censorship, you’ll know why they don’t turn up often. Do not confuse it with Vea the Puerto Rican gossip magazine, or Vea which came from Chile.  Search hard and you will see a few issues on Fred Seibert’s flickr stream, but that’s about it.  I found a handful  to purchase recently, and I wish I had them all.  If I were opening a Mexican restaurant, I’d cover the walls with them.  Under glass. 

VEA was a weekly pulp periodical which ran for years but was apparently often in trouble with the law, largely due to Niuglo’s spicy muchachas.  The magazine was a menudo of news, bullfighting reports, pulp fiction (with illustrations that look like Charles Burns on peyote) and breasts, which is where Nuiglo comes in.  There is really nothing to compare the magazine to in the states then or now, but it was similar to the Folies De Paris et de Holllywood magazine from France which was running the same time.  Some of the Harrison mags like Whisper maybe.  Large format, large on style and striking today. 

Flipping through them makes me think it is time for a 1950s Mexican revival.  The best reason to find some VEA is the pioneer Mexican fashion and glamour photographer known only (but not known WELL) as NIUGLO.  Niuglo’s photos were so good they often graced front and back cover simultaneous in vibrant candy colors, but the ones inside were printed in burnt sienna brown.  There was frontal nudity, a considerable amount…but nothing below the waist.

Scarce and forgotten, but someone is paying attention.  Bright scholar Ageeth Sluis recently wrote

“Projecting Pornography and Mapping Modernity in Mexico City” for the Journal of Urban History which drew upon the images in VEA.   A portion of the abstract reads:  By analyzing depictions of female nudity as conversant with urban landscapes in the banned magazine Vea, the author argues that pornography connected Mexico City to transnational ideas of the early twentieth century that held that sexually liberated women were part and parcel of cosmopolitan modernity. Vea exemplified and fueled concerns over “public women” and helps scholars understand larger debates on the gendered effects of revolution, urbanization, and transnational currents of global modernity.  NICE! 

I’ve put in a note to Ms Sluis, and if additional information results I’ll be glad to add it.

Even better,  an outstanding set of original negatives of erotic images which have been attributed to Niuglo were discovered in 1996 and recently exhibited in 2002 by photographer Merrick Morton at the Fototeka Gallery in Los Angeles.  Attributed might be too strong a word, as it was speculation, and there were several other “house” photographers doing the pinup photography for VEA.  Selected images of this cache were printed in editons and sold.  The certainly have the look, and they look wonderful.

I am afraid that is all I can provide here about VEA.  As I learn more, it will appear.  A future post will include some striking images from inside the magazine.  There are considerable pinup layouts, cartoons, and even, believe it or now, a Bill Wenzel gag cartoon on the inside back cover!  I swear…was there NOT a publication he sold work to?

Jim Linderman Books and Affordable Ebooks for Ipad are available HERE



Original Issues Vea Magazine 1954 – 1955 Collection Jim Linderman 

June 20 2012


Nudes as Art (Art?) Glamour Photography as Early Pornography

The Tawdry Origins of Glamour Photography Proto Porn the Book

During the 1950s, under the ruse of "Art Studies" and "Figure Studies" businessman skirted the law publishing hundreds of digest-sized primitive camera art photographs of nearly nude women. Seldom dated, by somewhat disreputable publishers, the digests featured burlesque dancers and models such as Bettie Page in makeshift studios, and were among the first books to challenge censorship and the conventions of the times as it related to photographs of the female form. The tawdry origins of Glamour Photography! The booklets are today scarce and seldom seen. Dubbed Proto-Porn, over 100 have been collected in book form by the first time by Jim Linderman. Proto-Porn details the publishers and addresses the conflicting notions of art and nudity of the Eisenhower years. Colorful, disreputable and quasi-legal, the books nonetheless pre-date modern-day fashion and nude photography. Tame by any standard today, the books have not been shown in over 50 years, and never before collected in a book.

The book PROTO-PORN : THE ART FIGURE STUDY SCAM OF THE 1950s is available as a $5.99 ebook download for iPad or Paperback HERE

Jesus Loves the Little Children (But do you know who wrote the song?)

Clarence Herbert Woolston Unsung Hero of Song and Object Jesus Loves the Children

I'm not all about satire, and neither should be any questioning soul...there ARE some good guys in the Jesus racket, and one of them, nay, one of the greatest and most astounding, is the extraordinary and charming Clarence Herbert Woolston.  How we need this humble man today, and how he makes what passes for our public preachers look like the big walking bags of wind and shame they are.

I am not kidding one little bit.  I may have spent the last five years making fun of bible thumpers on old time religion the blog, where this post originates,  but one man has finally cured my heathen ways.   Although this one man should be at LEAST as famous as Billy Graham's idiot son...he is unknown.   That's right.  A cipher.  Not only forgotten, hardly ever heard of.

Let's start with this: 

The refrain to the greatest children's song of all time:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Are you humming it in your head?  You should be.  Know who wrote it?  Nope. 

Clarence Herbert Woolston, Doctor of Divinity wrote it.  The rest of the song is HERE along with a lovely, simple piano backing which will allow you to sing along and share it with others.  The fellow above with sideburns and a big cat in his hands. 

Song writers will give up their left nut (or if they have no nuts, a left hand) to write what is known as a "standard" and this is one big glorious standard children love still, but their more racist and unforgiving parents (and politicians) have forgotten.  Seriously...more children have sung this song than Sir Paul's "Yesterday" or Willie Nelson's "Crazy" but how often have you read the phrase "Clarence Herbert Woolston's "Jesus Loves the Little Children?"

I know how often.  You have now read it exactly once.

The equally extraordinary "Bible Object Book" shown here is but one more accomplishment of this dear man history has forgotten.  Each chapter, each PAGE is a delight.  As you can see, my copy cost 49 cents.  Now THAT is a sin.  A HUGE sin when you consider the opening price of, oh, let's see...Sarah Palin's piece of bile was $28.99.  That's right.  Almost thirty bucks for an Alaskan fraud, you shallow and deceived followers.  Thank GOD you can now buy Palin's book used (and unread) starting at ONE PENNY as long as you will pay postage.  True!

Here is an example from Dr. Woolston's book, using as the object a postage stamp, from the chapter titled "The Postage Stamp as a Preacher"

"The postage stamp is a non-combatant.  When it is licked, it does not hit back.  It is a peace-lover."

"The postage stamp does what it is told to do...it does not seek to know the contents of the letter, but to deliver the letter to the party named." 

Lovely.  There are 61 chapters in the book, each one using an everyday object children are familiar with to teach a lesson.  It is not only a teaching tool which is a model of effectiveness, but tolerance and love and it is all told with astounding beautiful and simple prose.

Perhaps we would know more about the book if Woolsey hadn't passed away less than a year after it was published.  Search "Jimmy Swaggart" and you get well over one million hits.  Search "Clarence Herbert Woolston" and you get few indeed, and a good number are used bookstores selling this book.  It is enough to make me cry more than the disgraced buffoon and sinner Jimmy Swaggart...and although that charlatan will sell you HIS music, (boy will he...an entire website is devoted to selling you his music)  they all suck by comparison to Woolston's masterpiece.  In fact, they all suck by comparison to "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley.  But I love Sheb.

Swaggart, however, should just ship all those CDs directly to the flea market where they belong and will eventually end up...the sooner the better.

Woolston was pastor of the East Baptist Church in Philadelphia.  How lucky were they to have him.  In this picture, Woolston brings a baby bear cub into church to illustrate the sin of stubbornness.  Woolston was also known to use a baby leopard in lectures.  A photo in the book shows his church filled to the rafters, literally, with children craning their necks towards the lectern.

Get this...Woolston also wrote a book Harry Houdini prized.  I'd be honored if Harry Houdini had even browsed a pamphlet of mine, but he had the entire "Seeking Truth: A Book of Object Lessons with Magical and Mechanical Effects"  which is 207 pages of REAL miracles, not the kind faith-healers and charlatans claim to make every day.  Yep.  Woolston also wrote a book in which you can entertain children while performing magic tricks from the Bible.

Now as for all those frauds out there roping folks into their gigantic crusades or evangelistic election schemes...will they ever repent and do some good for a change?  I dunno...can a leopard change his spots?

 In addition to "Jesus Loves the Little Children" Woolston wrote "Penny Object Lessons"   "Seeing Truth"   "The Curiosity Book"  and produced what were known as  the "Seeing Truth Packets"  which were small versions of his notions. 

Pictures from The Bible Object Book by Clarence Herbert Woolston  The Judson Press 1926.  Collection Jim Linderman.

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books in Print by Jim Linderman are HERE
By Jim Linderman DULL TOOL DIM BULB the BLOG

World's Biggest Basket (From the Past)

Biggest Folk Art Basket Trade Sign Basket Factory Stockbridge Michigan

CLICK TO ENLARGE GIANT BASKET! Original Post by Jim Linderman on the daily art blog Dull Tool Dim Bulb
W. S. Kennedy Basket Factory was located in Stockbridge, Michigan from 1895 to 1915 or so, at least as much as I have found.  Interestingly, I find a 1903 note in "Crafts and Hobbies" which says they are seeking fire insurance!  Makes good sense to me.  They made baskets out of ash wood...and that giant trade sign basket on the roof could go right up in flames!

Plenty of cultural and historical content for one photograph, despite condition.  Looks like a staff of around twenty, counting the victims of child labor laws on the steps.  Likely Old Man Kennedy's kids. 

I sure would like that big basket.  It looks like it could pretty much hold the entire staff, that is if you stuffed them in tight. 

Original Photograph, circa 1900 Collection Jim Linderman

Books and eBooks by Jim Linderman may be previewed, ordered and downloaded HERE


Lindbergh Kidnapping It's all about the Ladder

Jim Linderman article from DULL TOOL DIM BULB the daily blog

Gosh, didn't cops back in the 1930s have great coats?  Check them out...thick, rich leather and thigh-length long, with great leather boots too!  You won't see THESE guys on a Segway at the mall.  Anyway, the photo shows two hog-riding constables checking a barn for clues in one of our greatest national mysteries, the Lindberg Kidnapping Case.

I won't go into detail on the crime, as there is certainly enough for you to find yourself...and the tousled-topped national hero turned out to sorta be a creep anyway by nearly aligning himself with THE WRONG SIDE during World War Two. How the...?  At so called America First Committee meetings, the airman apparently lambasted our impending involvement in the war by lecturing others on American Jews and their undue influence.  Well...best left forgotten.
This post centers on a small aspect of the crime.  The same one our tuff-dressed crime busters were centered on as well.  They may look like the guys from "American Pickers" entering a honey-hole, but they were trying to find a connection to the central piece of evidence.

The ladder.

Bruno, or whoever, had to climb up to snatch the child, a horrible thing...and he built a ladder to do it.  The ladder became what used to known as "The Macguffin" in Alfred Hitchcock movies.  A recurring element which might mean nothing, but could just mean everything.  Literally the O.J. gloves of the 1930s. 

As the investigation progressed into trial, a spectacle unlike any before due to the nascent and emerging mass-media, slimy vendors sold miniature kidnap ladders outside the courthouse!  That's right.  Tiny souvenir wooden ladders, an early example of crime capitalism gone crazy!  The tasteless newspapers ran tasteless photographs of tasteless spectators holding tiny tasteless ladders for the camera.
I have looked for one of those wee ladders off and on for a long time.  I've owned a few miniature wooden handmade ladders, but had no way to tell if they were a legendary murder talisman representing the double horror of crime and unseemly opportunistic greed,  or simply something a father made for his kid's Farmer Brown playset.

I even consulted a Lindberg Kidnapping expert at one time to see if he knew where I could get one.  He brushed me off, clearly so as not to reveal his own pursuit of the holy grail of true crime novelties.

Guess who else was obsessed with the miniature ladder?  No less than Maurice Sendak!    He apparently traded one of his drawings for one, and used a similar image of a kidnapper's ladder leaned against a window in one of his works. 

Once in a while I do a true crime story.  You can see some of the others HERE.

Original 8 x 10 glossy press photograph March 7, 1932 with Handwritten description Collection Jim Linderman


STRIPARAMA Burlesque Vintage Sleaze by Leonard Burtman

Of all the astounding periodicals dreamed up in Lenny Burtman's fevered, fetid and fetishistic mind, the funniest was certainly Striparama.  To think there was a day when "rama" wasn't ironic!  Well, it was burlesquearama and boobarama in every issue of Striparama!  There were several slightly more legitimate periodicals "uncovering" the burlesque industry, for example Cabaret, a true industry organ, and even Billboard, which covered the market extensively with reported grosses and industry trends.  Lenny, I think, just wanted to print the boobs and reap the profit.  At least he did a good job of it...which is why the magazine is collectible today, and why there seems to be a thriving business in reprinting the things in ebook form. 

When the profit for Lenny dried-up, however...largely due to expensive printing, distribution costs and censorship battles, the empire was dispersed. 

Some of Lenny's successful slicks were picked up by Health Knowledge, the folks behind some of those "physique" magazines featuring buff archers with bows in posing pouches which took coins from the closeted gay market before there was a real gay market.  Others were adopted by mobster Reuben Sturman.  Striparama was taken in and nurtured by Acme News Company, the forerunner of Health Knowledge.  When Health Knowledge went broke, another sleaze, Myron Fass bought THEM out, or at least the skin titles.

Striparama, as you can certainly see, was certainly unique. Pictures of Selbee and Burmel regulars appear alongside publicity photos, planted press puff pieces and a considerable number of advertisements for OTHER Burtman stuff.  TONS of it, and all from his interlocking industry of ill-repute.

February 20 2012


Most Unusual Photography Book Available Now

Vernacular Photography Linderman Style Vintage Photographs of Arcane Americana Book and ebook NOW AVAILABLE

Tooting my own horn here, my book of vernacular photography turned out really well, and since I hate to waste any new material on the blog during the holidays, I'll take the opportunity to shill baby shill.

is 120 pages of the real thing. That is, far less than pristine found photographs of what Americans do best: be really, really strange with a camera near.

If you have even the most remote interest in things unusual, and don't mind being surprised every few pages, feel free to order it up. I've kept the price as low as I can.

Paperback is $28.95 and the Ebook is $5.99. Indicate which you like on the Blurb order form HERE. There is also a free preview of the book.

While I am on the subject, all my books from Blurb, I believe, have been converted to ebook format for the iPad and iPhone. $5.99 each. See full list HERE.

January 28 2012


Jim Linderman Photography Collection Book Reviews

Arcane Americana Photographs from the Jim Linderman Collection

I am proud the new book ARCANE AMERICANA was mentioned on Boing Boing, and also welcome any new followers here from the review. Book is also chosen as Blurb Best Book of the Week Review HERE

Feel free to follow VINTAGE SLEAZE and old-time-religion as well!

Copies of the book or ebook for iPAD can be ordered HERE or by clicking the cover over on the right. 120 Pages. Thanks!

December 08 2011


Glamour Photography of the Sexist Fifties? The Worst

An essay by Jim Linderman from the daily blog VINTAGE SLEAZE

Misogyny Photography Glamour Photography Magazine Packs a Trailer and Takes a Trip Vintage Sleaze

There were only five issues of Glamour Photography, but I am not sure if I should be grateful or not. Number one was from Fall 1954, back when, apparently, goons would drive around while photogenic opportunities literally fell from the trees or came stacked like cord wood in a trailer.

"Glamour Studio on Wheels" was an early incarnation of the "man with van" theme, and sure enough, in one issue photographers Duane Tasker, Harvey Turtz and Ben Willard embark on a cross country hunt with gear and gals stowed in a primitive U-Haul. Advice for photographers includes "The Art of Picking up Female Hitchhikers" and "Shoot me Tender" along with a map showing a route across the country.

California here we come!

The remarkable paintings were done by R. Pesoto, and as you can see, based (sorta) on reality. They are crammed in there like a Tokyo subway! Click to enlarge and give them some breathing space!

Models participating in the magazine were Jayne Mansfield, Mamie van Doren, Anita Ekberg (the usual suspects) and one Corky Silver.

Glamour Photography number three reprises the "beauty by the roadside" scenario, but adds a particularly brutal and misogynistic "Strange Case of the Dead Model" layout for those who might find that glamorous. Another issue is notable for having a model standing on her head (with the byline "Why Girls Flip for Photographers" and adding "Teenage Beauties" on the rear cover in "Tyco Label Maker" text just like the shutterbug would use on his shoebox of negatives.

Glamour GIRL Photography quickly filled the vacuum a year later with the cover story "How to Stalk Pretty Picknickers" as though they were game. Lasting only two issues, it was published by "Dingbat Publications" (!) on the West Coast, so maybe the photographers stayed out there after the drive?

There ARE some beautiful and striking photographs contained in these issues, but I do not think I have to go out of my way to "be fair" given the super sleazy editorial slant. Jeez...I hate to say it, (shudder) but Andrea Dworkin may have been right!

An essay by Jim Linderman from the daily blog Vintage Sleaze

Dull Tool Dim Bulb / Vintage Sleaze books and download orders HERE


When Big Boob Cartoonist Bill Ward went Black Ward draws for Duke the African-American Pin Up Magazine

Bill Ward Goes Black (!) 1957 Greatest Moments in Vintage Sleaze #5

How did big basoom artist Bill Ward come to create his busty babes in black for the first issue of Duke Magazine, the only African-American Pin Up magazine of note from the 1950s? Well, first of all, he drew them under his pseudonym "McCartney" which was probably a good move, as the same year, 1957, African-American children were being denied the right to attend white schools in Little Rock and at least one parent of the children had a Ku Klux Klan cross burned on his front yard.

To Bill Ward's credits, we can now officially add civil rights advocate! And you thought he was just a pervy cartooner. Guess what? It appears African-Americans are just like us, at least as far as sleazy big boob jokes go. Thanks Bill, for being so far ahead of your time you could have been jailed in the South! (And for showing us all is equal when it comes to sexist cartoon gags.)

Great stuff here from the premier issue of Duke Magazine, which I have discussed before HERE.

Also of interest is the book SECRET HISTORY OF THE BLACK PIN UP which is now available as a $5.99 download for iPad and IPhone HERE

Greatest Moments in Vintage Sleaze is a once in a while entry on Vintage Sleaze HERE by Jim Linderman. The first entry documents Candy Barr's visit to the Warren Commission.

First Issue of Duke Magazine June 1957 collection Victor Minx
6223 fc1c 500
Were there Black Pin Ups ?  Combining rare images and magazines from the early days of soft-core porn and pin up magazines, Jim Linderman looks for the elusive woman of color from the early days of smut and finds quite a few.  The first book on African-American pin-up models and the racist and sexist world in which they found work.  The Secret History of the Black Pin Up is  Available for the iPad and iPhone HERE for $5.99. 

Amazing Boy Preacher of Kentucky

Ablest Exhortation of Boy Preacher Paschl Porter CDV Photograph Collection Jim Linderman

Paschal Porter was born 1877 at Bee Camp (a settlement of four log cabins) on the Ohio River in Indiana. He was one of the few literate members of the community. He announced his desire to be a preacher at age five. By age eleven he was touring the country and beyond with his father and his manager Mr. Bingham. I say "beyond" as the boy preacher was a hit in Canada as well as the states.

The St. Andrews Bay Pilot March 15, 1888 reports on what much have been a typical performance. "Paschal Porter, the wonderful child revivalist, of Indiana, who is now only 11 years old, recently preached a sermon, in the Baptist Church at Williamstown, Ky., that astonished everybody who heard it. The pastor of the church says that he has read sermons on the same subject delivered by the ablest preachers, but not one of them could compare in power or in elegance of diction with the boy's exhortation."

Additionally, the Ashburton Guardian of November 24, 1888 reports "Among the coming sensations from America we to have a "pulpit tour" by a boy only 11 years of age, called the Rev. Paschal Porter. His eloquence is said to be such that thousands sit and listen to him for hours, while he preaches the most brilliant and profound sermons." The best copy on the little fellow is from the Little Falls New York Evening Times of March 21, 1888, which reports "So extraordinary are his powers that Simeon Marks the leading Hebrew of the village is so impressed the he almost believes little Paschl is the "Messiah for whom his race has so long waited."

I'm not going to argue with Mr. Marks, who was there (several times..it is said he attended many sermons) but as the Paschl trail ends in 1888, I am going to surmise he was not the second coming.

Original CDV Photograph by J.Q. Barloup, Williamstown KY with affixed newsprint and handwritten notes, 1888. Collection Jim Linderman

A post here on Dull Tool Dim Bulb AND old-time-religion.

See also Old Time Religion: Faith Healers, Miracle Men, Radio Preachers and Evangelists! Graphics of Revival, the Apocalypse and the Afterlife by Jim Linderman NOW AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK AND IPAD DOWNLOAD for $5.99 as well as paperback and hardcover.

Vintage Sleaze Paperback Corsair Books Complete: A Bibliography


Reuben Sturman was a real sleaze. He looks nice enough in the two or three photographs he allowed without a disguise, and there are many delightful stories about his life, loves and prison escape... but he was a creep, crass, criminal and connected. Anytime a Wikipedia profile links externally to the "Gambino Family" we probably have a slight problem, so lets get that out of the way. If you want "good" publishers, I dunno...read McGraw-Hill.

Search up any of the hundred smut titles periodicals he published and distributed under his WWNC logo. There are interlocking companies, churning printing presses and more "product lines" than one person could begin to figure out, much less show. So here we take a look at just one teeny tiny part of his worldwide bile empire. Like the experts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who have spent their entire lifetime studying only the pottery produced from A.D. 500 to 600 by the Mayan Tribe of the Campeche Coast (the rattles, not the idiophones) I am only going to try to unearth one tiny specific hunk of the dirt landfill. Where most of these books are today, trust me.

Corsair books. Such a small part of his business he probably hadn't even heard of them. I don't own them and for the most part, never did. One or two here and there...so I am cribbing most the images from the web. Which is good. First of all, they are so offensive I don't want anyone to actually SEE them...I just want to give you a bit of colorful flavor! Plus, my blog is safe for work, it just appears not to be on occasion. So rather than clearly showing the confused insanity of Gene Bilbrew's later work which graced the covers of 13 of them, just use your imagination and trust they are every bit as goofy as they look.

You probably missed Corsair books while shopping for a travel read. That's because you had to enter one of Reuben's emporiums to buy one. That meant driving just outside of town to the abandoned shop turned adult boutique. You would recognize it easily...it had been painted purple, and there was an unmarked police car across the street with a bored cop being punished for losing his gun taking photographs with a telephoto lens. Best circle around and park in back.

While the city mothers were trying to ban Playboy from the shelves downtown, Reuben was doing a brisk business indeed just over the city limits with the real trash.

You won't find a bibliography of these books in the standard reference sources like Graham Holroyd's Paperback Prices and Checklist. Why? Look at them for gawd's sake! (Squint) One of them has some kind of goat man in a throne!

Corsair published 16 books with the typical care of any Sturman product. Which meant little care. They would come out on schedule, one after another, with a splendid if extremely demented Bilbrew illustration, then BAM here comes one with a photograph of some goober's face on it. What the...?

A few more. and then a cover illustration by an unknown milk toast who could as well have been doing beer ads for Life magazine, or the covers of the Dell and Bantam books downtown.

At least the rest are properly glorious and horrendous Bilbrew covers. Some exceptionally so.

The mystery is that one number was apparently never printed! The elusive number 204. Like a formerly thought extinct bird in Brazil some peeper might take a fuzzy photograph of someday. If you have it, have seen it or know what it was, write in.

As for the authors, you'll recognize some of their pseudonyms, and another my research has revealed, but I would never read them anyway. The covers are far more filthy than the contents, and I only read non-fiction. If you REALLY have to see these covers, use your loupe.

201 FLESH PARADE by Jack Wood (Unknown Illustrator)
202 THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE by Bob Markham (Bilbrew)
203 SEX IMPOSTER by Russ Trainer (Bilbrew)
204 Missing in Action or Never Printed
205 RUBBER GODDESS by Lana Preston (Bilbrew)
206 HOT PLEASURES by Wolf Larkin (Bilbrew)
207 INFERNAL AFFAIR by Dan Powers (Bilbrew)
208 CARNAL CLINIC by James N Berwyn (Unknown Illustrator)
209 THE HOT ONES by Don King (Bilbrew)
210 SEX HOSTAGE by Ken Gardner (Bilbrew)
211 NO MIDDLE WAY by Rick Dalton (Cover photograph)
212 LOVE LOTTERY CLUB by Lana Preston (Bilbrew)
213 PASSION BEACH by Reggie Carr (Bilbrew)
214 SWASTIKA SEX CULT by David W Gordon (Bilbrew)
215 LEATHERED LASS by Lana Preston (Bilbrew)
216 SWAPPING SOCIETY by Jack Woods (Bilbrew)
217 NEIGHBORLY LOVE by Frank Eaton (Bilbrew)


December 06 2011


What is Vintage Sleaze ? 2 million hits on the True History of Smut

Vintage Sleaze approaches 2,000 Facebook Followers and 2 Million Hits

As we grow to 2000 Facebook followers (and 2 million hits) I thought to restate the purpose and scope of Vintage Sleaze with the new year. I wrote the following when starting the site. Thanks all! Share with friends!

Vintage Sleaze the daily blog discovers forgotten artists of the past who worked in the somewhat dicey but hilarious early smut market. Colorful, funny and often touching, writer, collector (and Grammy™ nominee)Jim Linderman writes the text using the vintage cartoon gag, limp-core smut and risque novelty collection of Victor Minx as a starting point for examinations into the sexy and sexist days of girlie magazines, gag digests, back page scams and sideshow midnight rambles. Early strippers, models, illustrators, artists, photographers, mob-connected publishers hire amphetamine driven writers (many posing under pseudonyms) and all mingle together in an amazing orgy of the funny and often fetishistic follies of the fifties. Linderman is able to balance the line between the profane and the profound easily, as the backyard erotica of the time was tame compared to today. Tease and trash your ancestors refused to admit existed (but bought in huge piles anyway.) From Tijuana Bibles and inept snapshot salesmen to party toys and risque postcards, the site shows it all with delicate and affectionate respect and humor. A entire generation of artistic smut was rightly eliminated by the women’s movement but there was a glimmer of merit in the dark corners. Linderman aims to find it and makes no apologies, and in fact many of the followers of his site are women. Like a reporter, he digs it up and shares without judging. He frequently receives mail from relatives of those he profiles and most seem happy to have had the work of their ancestors found again and appreciated. Vintage Sleaze runs daily until he runs out!

There is a Saturday night, Sunday morning logic to Linderman’s madness…his first project was the Grammy™ nominated Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography, a collection of antique photographs and gospel recordings of the religious ceremony (with Dust to Digital and the original photographs donated to a major museum) and Camera Club Girls which published over 100 never before seen hand-painted photographs of Bettie Page and her friends taken by previously unknown New York amateur photographer Rudolph Rossi. With a talent for finding the obscure and bringing it back, Vintage Sleaze shows the possibility of the blog as an art form while bringing attention to an entire generation of lost and neglected artists who worked in the underbelly of culture.


Green Green Ghosts of Home by Jim Linderman

The Green Ghosts of American Comics Group Ghostbusters Logos Labels and the Rules of Green Death by JIM LINDERMAN on DULL TOOL DIM BULB the DAILY BLOG

There is a green ghost in Ghostbusters. Both the original, and presumably the next one. Hollywood has a clock hidden behind that sign on the hill telling when to cash in again.

A far more interesting green ghost to me is the one which appeared, in nearly every issue, shape and form, in the curious and highly entertaining series of comic books produced by almost-big publisher American Comics Group. Active during the Golden (and Silver) age of comic books, the publisher skirted Kefauver's censors but never really made the big time. They had a general line. Goofy characters, "funny" animals, romance for the girls... but the real stuff was their line of suspense and horror. Adventures into the Unknown. Forbidden Worlds. Unknown Worlds.

Virtually every issue had a transparent green ghost. It had to have been company policy. If it was alive once and dead now, it was green and you could see right through it.

I used to work near a news morgue. Files upon files of clippings about celebrities. Every archive has a system, and ours was when someone died, their file got a green tag. No one knew why, but it was the rule. So much so that we came to call any celeb who dropped like a dead weight "green." Every morning we would meet and say "A Gabor sister is green" or Marlon Brando's kid is green'" then go to collecting credits for the obit.

It seems odd the color most associated with life could used for death. Even (literally) slime-covered conglomerate British Petroleum hijacked the color not long before ruining the Gulf Coast...a logo which bit them in the ass for a while, but I see they are using it still. Good for them. That logo will always mean "oil spill" to me, but if it works for them, fine. I'm not using their stations until they trick us with a "relaunch" and a new brand no matter how many times they run happy faces hiding desperation. I'll visit the Gulf, but I won't buy your gas OR your claims.

By the way Aflac? That's not Gilbert in there, and all the money you spend hoping I will forget you fired the funniest comic in America won't make me forget it. Drop the duck. The last ad they ran had THREE voices and they still didn't equal one Gilbert.

The other cute characteristic of American Comics Group was their little bylines with a tiny drawing of the writers and inkers. For example Lafcadio Lee, shown below as the proto-beatnik he probably was. Lafcadio didn't exist, but his secret identity was Richard E. Hughes, editor of the line for over 20 years. He wrote most of the stories too. He was so prolific he needed ten names: Pierre Alonzo, Ace Aquila, Brad Everson, Lafcadio, Lee Kermit Lundgren, Shane O'Shea, Bob Standish, Greg Olivetti, Kurato Osaki and Zev Zimmer.

Sadly, American Comic Group went green too...and it wasn't a pleasant death. Their last days were spent churning out industrial comic crap for Montomery Ward, Tupperware and the Air Force.

November 02 2011


Japanese Comic Men's Magazines Long Forgotten by Jim Linderman

Early Japan Pulp Magazine Arabian Night by Togenshiya Vintage Sleaze Japanese Pre- Henti Pre- Manga Pre-Anime Post Shunga

Interesting, and quite scarce, vintage sleaze magazines from post World War Two Japan. Several 1948 issues of the monthly Japanese pulp magazine "Arabian Night" by Togenshiya. These would have been somewhat taboo at the time, I assume, but surprisingly each monthly issue is a whopping 130 pages and professionally done. Entirely in Japanese, and quite beautiful (as is virtually anything on paper from Japan in the years immediately after World War Two). I was surprised at the amount of fetishistic and bondage images. In retrospect, of course, the gag magazines and girlie magazines in the United States featured the same, but I wonder if Western influence from the US occupying forces after the war both encouraged (and served as a market for) the photographs included within the magazines.

The magazine is like our pinup magazines, though color is sparse and the print quality lacking. The beauty is in the design. What must have been rudimentary printing operations by comparison is compensated by layout and beautiful fills. There is even a considerable amount of cartoon gags just like our men's smut mags, most of them on special pink cartoon pages a group of which are included here. A strange pastiche of illustrations which appear to be by several artists, some influenced by long familiar anonymous erotica, others who knows. Strange, and that might have been the point.

Japanese bondage and rope tying has long been an art, which I did not know and why I was surprised to see such images in an "over the counter" pulp magazine. I was familiar with Shunga prints of course, and the later henti, manga and anime forms...maybe this forgotten periodical played an "in-between" role.

There is nothing on the web about the magazine, but then I can not enter Japanese characters. A few cover pages are here as well, if one of the Japanese readers can provide information, feel free.

There is considerable editorial content in each magazine...photos, line drawings and much more. Quite remarkable and I would enjoy knowing the history and if anyone else has copies of these magazines. I fuzzed out the cover a bit to make it less inappropriate for moms.

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