save me from unexpected embarrassment


Edward Leedskalin is most famous for building Coral Castle in Miami, Florida. He also wrote five pamphlets on subjects as diverse as magnets and moral education. We love our pamphleteers at the Gimcrack

“All girls below sixteen should be brand new. If a girl below sixteen cannot be called brand new any more, it is not the girl’s fault; the mamma is to blame! It is the mamma’s duty to supervise the girl to keep those fresh boys away.

what kind of mother

In case the girl’s mamma thinks that there is a boy somewhere who needs experience, then she, herself, could pose as an experimental station for that fresh boy to practice on and so save the girl.


The first degree love making is when the fresh boy begins to soil the girl by patting, rubbing and squeezing her. They start it in that way but soon it begins to get dull and there is no kick in it, so they have to start in on the second degree and keep on.

first base

cartoon from here

Children should not be encouraged to smile too much, smiling in due time will produce creases in the sides of their mouths. It would be better to save the smiles till they are grown up.


In case one leg is shorter and one shoulder lower, they can be disguised so that other people would not notice it. In walking the toes should be carried a little out, by carrying the toes out one can walk better. Shorter steps would make the walking more graceful and those who stoop over, higher heels would help to keep the body more erect.

how to look up a girl's skirt

Everybody should be trained not to go out anywhere before somebody else has examined them to see if everything is all right. It would save many people from unexpected embarrassment.


Published in: on September 29, 2009 at 8:08 am  Comments (36)  

let us be gay

armless wonder

In 1941, the Right Reverend Bishop of Fulham, Staunton Batty, wrote this letter to The Times


A few weeks ago I was given official advice as to what action to take in a gas attack. I was recommended to put both my hands in my pockets and if I carried an umbrella to put it up.


This morning the President of the Board of Trade told me on the wireless that if I should find myself without any clothes owing to a ‘blitz’ I should appear before the Local Assistance Board and demand coupons. It is puzzling, but, as Mr A P Herbert has laid down, “Let us be gay”.

gay slant

Perhaps this was the type of umbrella the Board of Trade was recommending


"You can use it for climbing a mountain, fishing, working in the rain, cars, student, children, sightseeing and agriculture. There is an elasticity band with looks like a round shape in a lower part. So you can enjoy pretty wide space and your pants will not be wet.'
There's also the ingenious doggie umbrella. I know YnB could use one of these.
Or the Unbreakable Umbrella which has the added advantage of not being considered a weapon, therefore you can take it through security checks.
The Unbreakable Umbrella works just as well as a walking stick or cane but does not make you look funny or feel awkward. Whacks just as strong as a steel pipe but it weighs only 775 g. Unbreakable Umbrella frames are warranted not to break under normal use (no throwing it under a heavy truck or a train, no chopping it with an axe, no banging it with a hammer, no throwing it into a wood chipper, no setting it on fire, or subjecting to other abuses).
dr poulet 1880

Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 5:53 am  Comments (34)  

richie’s great uncle

In 1940, James Branson suggested to the Minister for Health that it would be a good idea for Britishers to learn to eat fresh green grass.

Mr. Walter Elliott, the British Minister of Health, was not amused. The human stomach, said he stiffly, cannot digest grass.

alligator ride

“A Branson,” replied well-stomached Mr. B., “never says can’t. … I have eaten grass mowings regularly for over three years, and off many lawns. The sample I am eating at present comes off a golf green on Mitcham Common.”

Cannabis_sativa bonsai

image found here

When Mr. Branson, a vegetarian, first sampled grass, he had a little trouble with his stomach. A merely temporary obstacle. “I passed down word by ‘autosuggestion’ to my body-building staff,” wrote he, “that I wanted them to sample a new form of ‘building material’ . . . and I boldly ‘steamed ahead.’ ” Beginning with a few choice blades at each meal, he gradually worked up to over five ounces of fodder a day, can now “fearlessly consume any type of meadow grass.” He collects fresh mowings, washes them tenderly, sets them out in the sun to dry, then nibbles them with fruit and cheese, or tosses them up with dressing in a variety of tasty salads. Sample: grass mowings with “broken Dad’s Cookie Biscuits and currants”; with equal quantities of rose petals; with uncooked oats.

compost ad

He claims that grass eating has enhanced his “activity, vitality, enthusiasm and vigor,” so that he cycles “100 miles a day without any exhaustion.” But he warned his readers to go slow. To an inexperienced stomach, said he, grass brings “super-purgation.”


Branson, a London lawyer, published a pamphlet entitled Eating For Victory – Unorthodox Views on Diet and Religion followed by a Book of Recipes – 50 Recipes for the use of Grass in Salads and Cooked Dishes.Here below is an extract

“Not only has my experiment maintained me in perfect health but it has actually enhanced my vitality. In fact it has gone far further and at the age of 67 has produced a surprising rejuvenation accompanied by astonishing powers of endurance.

From actual experience I’ve found that I can live for days on nothing but grass mowings and sugar. What is still more surprising, I can eat the grass better without my false teeth, just mumbling it to mix it with plenty of saliva.”


and guess who James Branson’s great nephew is…..

Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 8:46 am  Comments (34)  

t shirt friday 25/9/2009

ok it’s the last Friday of the month so it’s time for a t shirt again. Who’s joining in today?

swirly 1 swirly 2 swirly 7

swirly 4 swirly 5 swirly 6

70s is in with a great Bowie T

azahar is doing tie dye

Sledpress is working the Hibachi

healingmagichands showcases the orchid

gitwizard goes for a blue cartoon

renalfailure just goes for it 😉

mudpuddle is supporting Ken Workman

queenwilly makes Sylvester look HOT

Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 9:12 am  Comments (44)  

Letter to the Times # 2


image found at Modern Mechanix

Bassett Digby (1888-1962) was an author and arctic explorer who made an invaluable contribution to London’s Natural History Museum.

bassett digby 2

He was also a sandwich connoisseur

“London’s first sandwich bar opened in 1919, when the travel writer Bassett Digby sold sandwiches with fillings of reindeer tongue, sheep’s milk cheese, tuna and other delicacies opposite the New Statesman offices in Great Queen Street.”
– ‘The Compendium of Nosh’ by Jack McLean (John Murray 2006).

reindeer pate

And he liked to write letters to The Times

“A little light might be shed upon the high handed methods of the Passports Department at the Foreign Office. On the form I provided for the purpose I described my face as “intelligent”. Instead of finding this characterization entered, I have received a passport on which some official utterly unknown to me, has taken it upon himself to call my face “oval”


(read what your face shape means here)

Published in: on September 24, 2009 at 9:01 am  Comments (27)  

Letter to The Times

In 1905 George Bernard Shaw wrote a letter to the editor of The Times.

corset wearing men

” The Opera management at Covent Garden regulates the dress of its male patrons. When is it going to do the same to the women?

Let me describe what actually happened to me at the opera. An hour after it began, a lady came in and sat down very conspicuously in my line of sight. She remained there until the beginning of the last act. I do not complain of her coming late and going early, on the contrary, I wish she had come later and gone earlier.


For this lady had stuck over her right ear the pitiable corpse of a large white bird, which looked exactly as if someone had killed it by stamping on its breast and then nailed it to the lady’s temple.

high hair

image found here

I presume if I had presented myself at the opera with a dead snake round my neck, a collection of blackbeetles pinned to my shirtfront and a grouse in my hair, I would have been refused admission.


I once, in Drury Lane Theatre, sat behind a matinee hat decorated with the two wings of a seagull, artificially reddened at the joints so as to produce an illusion of being freshly plucked from a live bird. But even that lady stopped short of the whole seagull.


image found here

I suggest to the Covent Garden authorities that, if they feel bound to protect their subscribers against the danger of my shocking them with a blue tie, they are at least equally bound to protect me against the danger of a woman shocking me with a dead bird.”

nude with hat

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 8:04 am  Comments (39)  

insect dissuasion device


Fly swatters of one type or another have been with us for a long time. An early 20th century German invention involved a clockwork device of paddles attached to the end of a stick. You wound it up then pressed a small catch and the paddles whirred violently. Then you raced around trying to batter the fly to bits with your whirling paddles.


paddle image found at modern mechanix

Another early 20th century invention used a spring loaded rod that fired out a net. It was meant to catch half a dozen flies at once but like its German predecessor, it didn’t work.

Now we have the “Insect Vacuum” from Japan. Or this “frivolous yet practical solution” known simply as the the Fly Catcher


My favourite is the Finger Mounted Stealth Fly Swatter patented earlier this year.


“The present invention is an insect dissuasion device that resembles a miniature fly swatter adapted to be fixed onto an end of a human finger.  An insect can be spontaneously discouraged by simply flexing, slowly encroaching upon and then “flicking” the finger and the attached device of the present invention. Most insects are easily struck and swept away from one’s body by the device of the present invention, resulting in permanent removal of the particular insect. The small inconspicuous size of the finger fly swatter allows for easy cleaning if needed. The device of the present invention is so effective in the dissuasion of insects that one often welcomes the presence of an insect so that it may be discouraged. The dissuasion of a particularly energetic insect often becomes a challenging sport.”

she had to kill

Published in: on September 22, 2009 at 8:32 am  Comments (35)  

hat raising sights

Albert Pratt invented a gun helmet for soldiers fighting in the First World War.

It featured a large bore barrel protruding from the front with a metal sighting device descending from it. The gun was fired by an ingenious air pipe that doubled as a chin strap. Unfortunately the noise of each shot combined with the recoil gave soldiers terrible headaches and made them very dizzy.


Another early 20th century military hat was this one with chain mail to protect the eyes from shell fragments

chainmail protection

Earlier still was James Boyle’s 1896 self tipping hat which allowed Victorian gentlemen to salute others without having to use their hands

self tipping

More recently in 1989 a patent was granted for a Smoker’s Hat.

“In a nut shell, the battery powered Smokers Hat sucks up the cigarette’s smoke and filters it, deodorizes it, ionizes it and spritzes a fresh scent near the exhaust fan before it spits it back out.”


But I’m thinking the most popular image today will be Nude Under Black Hat by John Swannel

john swannel

image found here

She needs all that veiling to keep the mosquitos at bay………….

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 8:12 am  Comments (32)  

especially for the dimple desperate

In 1896, Martin Goetze took out a patent on a “Dimple Maker

In his patent, Goetze said, “In order to produce artistic dimples, it is necessary…that the cellular tissues should be made susceptible by means of massage…the knob of the device’s arm must be set on the selected spot…the cylinder serves to make the spot where the dimple is to be produced.”


It also came as a boxed kit that was guaranteed to produce a dimple quickly. The kit consisted of a long thin miniature scalpel with a razor sharp blade, an equally sharp miniature thin handled spoon and a needle and silk thread.

The dimple-desperate would use the knife to make a small but quite deep cut in the cheek. Into this cut the sharp spoon was inserted and turned in such a way as to gouge out a dimple shaped lump of flesh. The wound could then be sewn up with the needle and thread.

In 1936, a less invasive type of dimple maker was on the market, this time invented by a woman


this image found at modern mechanix but there’s an even better one here

Back in the 17th century beauty spots were all the rage, not least because they hid the ravages of syphilis and smallpox. In France they were called “mouche” which translates literally as “fly”.


Both men and women adorned their faces with small pieces of cloth that were made out of velvet or silk and cut into fanciful shapes. The placement of the mouche was indicative of a woman’s marital status or sexual mood.

More recently,  Sabrina Dehoff has designed a gold plated version that includes hearts, masks and guns.

sabrina dehoff

I bags the catmask……..

Published in: on September 19, 2009 at 11:45 am  Comments (33)  

corset friday 18.9.2009

1 2

I started doing Corset Friday back in May 2007 and have barely missed a Friday since. Which means I’ll soon be coming to the end of my corset collection. I guess I could recycle some that you’ve seen before but I’m getting a little bored by it. Maybe I need some more props or a partner in crime again. Daisyfae, why do you live so far away…..?

3 4

Somehow they’re all starting to look the same to me. The first two are in a stretchy lace fabric. These above are shiny zip up fake leatherette.

5 6

I’ve included these two as they give context for the next set in which it might be hard to tell what the bare flesh above the corset is. That’d be my ribcage….

7 8

Any suggestions for replacing the Corsets? After two years of every fourth Friday being T Shirt Friday I’m running out of those too…………

Stop Press: 70s is showcasing a corset today too

Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 10:32 am  Comments (50)