t shirt friday 30.10.2009

Last Friday of the month I swap the corsets for a t shirt. Here’s my Franz Ferdinand contribution for October. Anyone else playing along?

franz 1 franz 2 franz 3

franz 4 franz 5 franz 6

nursey troll doll given to me by yorksnbeans

alljoedirt has a t shirt up, so have healingmagichands and renalfailure

70s is in as well as is sledpress

and a late entry from Malach

Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 8:18 am  Comments (51)  

as classic as the curves of a broom handle

car dance

Oscar Hammerstein’s Olympic Theatre was on the verge of bankruptcy until he had the inspired idea of staging the worst act in vaudeville – The Cherry Sisters.***

The sisters were so awful that patrons conveyed their critical consensus by flinging cabbages and overripe tomatoes. At one performance, theater-goers threw eggs and chased the girls offstage. To protect her siblings, Addie at least once brandished a shotgun at an overly rambunctious crowd.


image of Charlene Holt found here

The sisters mistook the raucousness for approval, and considered themselves a huge success so were horrified by a nasty review in the Cedar Rapids Gazette and sued the city editor for slander. A theatrical trial was held the following day with the Cherrys mounting the stage for the benefit of the magistrate, offering their performance as testimony. The jury, confronted with the evidence of the plaintiffs’ far graver crime, nevertheless found the editor guilty and sentenced him to marry one of the sisters. (All parties declined to enforce the ruling.)


From Davenport to Vinton, month after month, the onslaught of rotten eggs and pension-aged fruit continued. At one show, patrons of the arts pitched slabs of fresh liver at the hapless troupe; in Dubuque, they were greeted by “a volley of turnips.” Everywhere they went, it rained cabbages, potatoes, rutabagas; one spectator heaved an old tin wash boiler onstage.


image of Cherry Darling (NOT one of the Cherry Sisters) found here

Then, things got ugly and the reviews got worse.

“Effie is spavined, Addie is knock-kneed and string-halt, and Jessie, the only one who showed her stockings, has legs without calves, as classic in their outlines as the curves of a broom handle.”


Learn how to graft a cherry tree here

In “The Gipsy’s Warning,” Jessie portrayed a barefoot flower maiden falling prey to a swashbuckling Lothario, played by Addie. Later in the evening, a “living sculpture” tableau entitled “Clinging to the Cross” featured Jessie suspended from a giant crucifix.


Hammerstein assured his headliners that the barrage was orchestrated by jealous rival stars. “Your talent is so great,” he explained, “that you can expect fruit and vegetables to be thrown at every performance.” The Cherrys played to packed houses for two months, earning upwards of a grand per week.

They amassed a fortune estimated around $200,000. The American Weekly noted that over seven years of touring, “They began as the four worst professional actresses in the world and ended without improving one iota.”

None ever married, in fact they boasted of never having been kissed. (“We are too devoted to each other to consider matrimony and we could never stand the shock of being dictated to by a man.”)

***You can read the article I have quoted in its entirety here

don cherry 1

image of Don Cherry found here

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:26 am  Comments (35)  
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may I introduce my horse?


image found here

Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson, fourteenth Baron Berners, was a trifle eccentric.


He was known for such antics as dyeing the doves on his estate various colors, arranging color-coordinated meals, and traveling through Europe with a spinet piano in the rear seat of his Rolls-Royce.


He also wrote scatological verse, trained a parrot to walk across the floor while hidden beneath a bowler hat and once had a horse as a guest at a formal tea-party in the parlour of his ancestral home, Faringdon House in Berkshire. He built a folly in the garden there, a 140 foot high tower with a sign reading “Members of the public committing suicide from this tower do so at their own risk.”

One of his friends described how he kept strangers out of his railway compartment “Donning black spectacles and skullcap, he would, with a look of fiendish expectation, beckon in the passerby. Those who took the risk became so perturbed by his habit of reading the papers upside down and taking his temperature every 5 minutes that they invariably got out at the next station.”

glasses vintage printables

This is the epitaph he wrote for himself:

“Here lies Lord Berners,

One of the learners.

His great love of learning

May earn him a burning.

But praise to the Lord,

He was never bored.”

harold wheeler

image by Harold Wheeler found here

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 7:59 am  Comments (34)  
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it grows and it grows

Hans Zinsser was a bacteriologist who wrote a memoir called As I Remember Him. In this excerpt he writes about a classic prank perpetrated by an American student upon an unsuspecting French housewife

french maid

French Housewife found here

“His rooms were on the third floor and under them the proprietress of  the first floor shop had on her windowsill a goldfish tank in which she kept several fish and a very small turtle. My friend, leaning out of his window, could look down directly into the tank and he often watched her as she broke breadcrumbs for her pets and muttered terms of endearment. One evening he suddenly conceived a brilliant idea.


The next day he went to the fish markets and bought a series of 6 turtles ranging in size from one like a 5 franc piece to one about 6 inches across. At the same time he bought wire, cheesecloth and a bamboo fishing pole which he smuggled into his rooms after dark and from which he fashioned himself a very small net. Each day after that, very early in the morning, he would lean out of the window, fish out the turtle and put in a bigger one.

two-headed turtle

The first she didn’t notice but when the second one went in she muttered “Tiens, tiens.” When the third one appeared she began to show signs of excitement, calling first her husband, then the neighbours. There were animated discussions. The fourth turtle turned the place into a public sensation. The fifth one started a riot – not without some tragedy, for this turtle started to chew the fish. A reporter came in and wrote a headlining story, Madame Perrier became famous.


image found here

The student never put in the 6th turtle as the tank wasn’t quite large enough but he had a still more brilliant idea. He began to make the turtles small again. He skipped the fourth one and put in the third, which diminished the animal to half size in a single night. Now the excitement really began and the shop did enormous business. The student skipped to the original beast and Madame Perrier became a national heroine by giving her “Magic Turtle” to the Jardin des Plantes so the biologists there could observe it should it ever start enlarging again…..


Turtle cartoon from here

Published in: on October 27, 2009 at 7:39 am  Comments (24)  

we have detectives in the classes

dancing school

In 1925 Ned Wayburn wrote The Art of Stage Dancing, a book about his dancing classes and what he expected of his pupils

It is a well established rule of the studio that pupils shall weigh themselves every Monday and keep a record of their weight from week to week. For this purpose use the scales in the main office of the studio, please. They are accurate. You are expected to come into my private office and talk with me once a week, and when you do so I shall ask you about your weight, and you must be prepared to tell me. I know just how much you ought to weigh, and am interested in hearing whether you are gaining or losing flesh in the proportion that you should. I am able to tell who is faithfully following my instructions as to diet and the other simple and necessary requirements of our courses. You cannot disguise the real facts from me. It is my business to manufacture symmetrical bodies.

ann constance before ann constance after

before and after photos from Ned’s book

Don’t bring or wear valuable jewelry to the studios. All of our employees are trustworthy, and we investigate the pupils who come into our studios. We know all about them. If the wrong kind of person does get in, he or she doesn’t stay more than an hour or two. We also have detectives in the classes.


Now there is one little thing I am going to talk to you about that really is a bigger thing than it seems—and that is gum—chewing gum. If you had had stage experience you would know that gum is taboo in the theatre, and the reason for this is not only that to chew in sight of an audience would be an insult and result in immediate dismissal, but also for this very important reason, that a cud of gum if dropped on the stage would destroy that stage for dancing—your own dancing and everybody else’s. We have here the finest of clear-maple dancing floors in every one of our studios. Drop a piece of gum on this floor and then try your dance and see what would happen to you

ned wayburn

I do not charge anything for counselling, you may come to my office at any time. If I am busy with some important matter I may ask you to wait awhile, I’m a pretty busy man.

While waiting, weigh yourself and tell me about your weight.


image by Helmut Newton

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 6:54 am  Comments (28)  
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free swelling

Some Gimcrackers are occasionally non-compliant with medications so we ensure patients are taking what the doctors prescribe by watching them swallow whatever we’re handing out. I was going to say you probably wouldn’t believe where patients try to hide pills but if you’ve been reading the gimcrack long enough that’s probably not the case.

watch clara

Maybe if we made the meds more appealing we wouldn’t encounter such resistance. How about gold pills that make your shit sparkle?

It’s a pill dipped in gold and filled with 24-karat gold leaf. You’re supposed to eat it “to increase your self-worth.” How much is it? It costs $425. Effects? It will make your poop sparkle!


Alex Chiu’s Gorgeouspil TM pending certainly sounds promising.

This pill was named ‘Gorgeous Pill’ because it turns a user prettier every time the pill was taken. The user will gradually look PERFECT, even more gorgeous than super models. You will one day reach PHYSICAL PERFECTION!!

If your face has a very good chi flow, your eyes should look pretty. But if your face has weak chi flow, your eyes will look ugly. (If your face has weak chi flow, the shape of your face will also be strange and ugly.) Weak chi flow is caused by injuries or deformities that you inherited from your parents. That’s why you need to take Gorgeouspil because it frees up the entire body’s chi flow by healing up all the injuries and deformities that you are born with. Yes, even deformities inherited from your parents can be healed up with Gorgeouspil!!! That means even if your parents are ugly, you can become pretty by taking Gorgeouspil.

list1 list2 list3

images found here

If you already have a gorgeous face and sparkley gold poo, perhaps it’s your body that’s less than perfect. Who has time to source healthy food and take up exercise these days? The people at Plasmetic recommend diet pills

a. This pill is made from a cellulose compound of hydro gel.

b. This is a dry powdery material that swells up when wet.

c. A gram of hydrogel inside a capsule can quickly bloat up like a balloon containing almost one liter of water.

d. When this is consumed, it takes on the size of a tennis ball inside the stomach.

free swelling

Published in: on October 25, 2009 at 6:15 am  Comments (24)  
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phantom penis

invisible dick

Regular readers will be familiar with the Gimcrack’s foray into Gould and Pyle territory. Today’s extract is a little on the gruesome side….

clint eastwood

Amputation of the penis is not always followed by loss of the sexual power, but sometimes has the mental effect of temporarily increasing the desire. Haslam reports the case of a man who slipped on the greasy deck of a whaler, and falling forward upon a large knife, completely severed his penis. After recovery there was a distinct increase of sexual desire and frequent nocturnal emissions. In the same report there is recorded the history of a man who had entirely lost his penis, but had supplied himself with an ivory succedaneum. This fellow finally became so libidinous that it was necessary to exclude him from the workhouse, of which he was an inmate.

drive in

Art by Gene Bilbrew

Norris gives an account of a private who received a gunshot wound of the penis while it was partly erect. The wound was acquired at the second battle of Fredericksburg. The ball entered near the center of the glans, and taking a slightly oblique direction, it passed out of the right side then entered the scrotum, and after striking the pelvis near the symphysis, glanced off around the innominate bone, and finally made its exit two inches above the anus. The after-effects of this injury were incontinence of urine, and inability to assume the erect position.


Raven mentions a case of spontaneous retraction of the penis in a man of twenty-seven. While in bed he felt a sensation of coldness in the penis, and on examination he found the organ rapidly retracting or shrinking. He hastily summoned a physician, who found that the penis had, in fact, almost disappeared, the glans being just perceptible under the pubic arch, and the skin alone visible. The next day the normal condition was restored, but the patient was weak and nervous for several days after his fright.

frightened chinese

nursemyra's cure for disappearing penis syndrome is here
Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 6:24 am  Comments (34)  
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corset friday 23.10.2009

ok, here’s another batch from last week’s photo shoot with spinach pie. Same corset different poses…..

october 2october 4

october 3 october 1

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 7:35 am  Comments (49)  
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the strength of ten men



Throughout history men and women have gone to great lengths and performed amazing feats to prove their strength

One of the most remarkable of all the men noted for their strength was a butcher living in the mountains of Margeride, known as Lapiada the Extraordinary. For amusement he would lie on his belly and allow several men to get on his back; with this human load he would rise to the erect position.

Joseph Pospischilli, a convict imprisoned in the fortress of Olen, surprised the whole Empire by his wonderful feats of strength. One of his tricks was to add a fifth leg to a common table (placing the useless addition in the exact center) and then balance it with his teeth while two full-grown gypsies danced on it, the music being furnished by a violinist seated in the middle of the well-balanced platform.

gypsy rose lee

Gypsy Rose Lee

One of the strongest of the “strong women” is Madame Elise, a Frenchwoman, who performs with her husband. Her greatest feat is the lifting of eight men weighing altogether about 1700 pounds.



Miss Darnett, the “singing strong lady,” extends herself upon her hands and feet, face uppermost, while a stout platform, with a semicircular groove for her neck, is fixed upon her chest, abdomen, and thighs by means of a waist-belt which passes through brass receivers on the under side of the board. An ordinary upright piano is then placed on the platform by four men; a performer mounts the platform and plays while the “strong lady” sings a love song while supporting possibly half a ton.

weighing machine


A young mulatto girl by the name of “Miss Kerra” exhibited in the Winter Circus in Paris; suspended from a trapeze, she supported a man at the end of a strap held between her teeth, and even permitted herself to be turned round and round. She also held a cannon in her teeth while it was fired.

miss leona


If you’re interested in more feats of strength you might like to also check out this site

Published in: on October 21, 2009 at 7:19 am  Comments (27)  
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pidgin english


Back in the days of silent movies, inventor Charles Pidgin patented a breakthrough way to simulate speech on screen. This invention provided for each character to inflate, at the appropriate moment, a balloon carrying the words to be spoken.

body odour

“the words constituting the speech of the actors or characters are placed on balloons of oblong shape adapted to be inflated to a relatively large size and normally occupying a comparatively small space with the words entirely visible… the blowing or inflation of the devices by the various characters of a photo-play will add to the realism of the picture by the words appearing to come from the mouths of the players. “

out talk

Pidgin didn’t think to provide instructions about how each actor would manipulate multiple balloons during lengthy conversations. But his patent was actually approved in 1917 so someone must have thought it had merit.


Another inventive star of the silent movie era was the beautiful “Biograph Girl”  Florence Lawrence.

florence lawrence

During her lifetime, Lawrence appeared in more than 270 films for various motion picture companies. Nicknamed “The Girl of a Thousand Faces”, at the height of her career, she was earning a great deal of money and could afford an automobile, something that at the time was still a luxury for most people. Born with a curious mind, she invented the first turn signal, a device attached to a motor vehicle’s rear fender. Dubbed as the “auto signaling arm”, when a driver pressed a button, an arm raised or lowered, with a sign attached indicating the direction of the intended turn. Following this, she developed a brake signal based on the same concept where an arm with a sign reading “STOP” was raised up whenever the driver stepped on the brake pedal. However, Ms. Lawrence’s inventions were not patented, and others in the rapidly expanding auto industry developed their own versions.


Carl Laemmle from Universal Pictures started a rumor that Florence had been killed by a street car in New York City. After gaining the attention of the media, he placed ads in newspapers that included a photo of Ms. Lawrence, declaring she was alive and well. This early example of the celebrity machine at work was a very successful publicity stunt to attract attention for her upcoming film. Her official cause of death in 1938 was by the ingestion of ant paste mixed with cough syrup.


Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 7:31 am  Comments (29)  
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