The kind of place your mother warned you against! The Midwest Arcade was located at 512 S. State Street in Chicago. This photo dates to 1953 and was taken by Chicago Sun Times photographer Bill Knefel. I cropped it a bit to show the neon ladies. I hope Bill popped in for a peep, as a few months later he was probably snapping shots of stranded passengers in the latest snow storm as usual.
A few months later Louis Pommercheck, the cashier dispensing coins to peepers here was banged in the noggin by robbers. Pommercheck should have just handed over the sack of quarters. Ten years later, on September 25, 1963, this was one of EIGHT peepshows on State Street raided by police in a smut crackdown. Police arrested 15 people (no word if a recovered Pommercheck was among them) and hauled away 129 motion picture projectors with 6,271 reels of stags. Sounds like another example of protecting the people from what they want.
Marty? There is some film rotting away in a Chicago police storage warehouse you might consider preserving.
The raids continued at a regular pace in the Second City...without even trying I find similar busts in 1959 ( $150,000 worth of books, films and playing cards in Calumet City which I have made fun of earlier) 1965 (four State Street Shops) 1969 (20 smut shops in Chicago raided) 1970 (three more State Street shops...)
In 1960 3 men running a smut shack on Wabash were arrested for trying to pay off the cops to leave them alone. It didn't work.
Original Press Photograph of the Midwest Arcade by Bill Kessel, 1953. Collection Victor Minx
The fairly scarce book "The Real Low-Down" by one of my favorite cartoonists, long forgotten Lawrence Lariar. This slender little pamphlet seems to have escaped most sources of his work, maybe because it was a novelty item printed to be used as a salesman promotional item in 1956. In fact, this copy comes from a petroleum refining company in Minnesota! Offering goofy tips for salesman interspersed with sexy photographs of dames and photographs of Lawrence. That's right...Lawrence himself hams it up here, frequently with the models!
A scarce comic and girlie piece of history from 50 years ago, and exactly what I am trying to do here. Bring back funny ghosts. An earlier post on Lariar is HERE.
The Real Low Down Salesman Promotional Pamphlet 1956 by Lawrence Lariar Brown and Bigelow (Northwestern Refining Company) Collection Victor Minx
J. F. Jones of Daytona Beach saved his mail a LONG time. Dated 1954, and from the peak days of "Smut by Mail" here is 3 cents worth of sleaze sent solicited or not. Direct mail was one way for smut distributors to reach outside the big cities (where interested patrons could just skulk into the novelty store and browse the goods.) If you were Mrs. Jones, would YOU let Mr. Jones drive all the way up Highway 1 to the smut shop?
The technique got many distributors in trouble as various government investigations questioned whether the material got into the hands of young 'uns, and also used bulk mail permits as a form of censorship.
There were a few brochures from the classy "Male Merchandise Mart of Hollywood" in the envelope. Look close and you can see the "use confidential order form..." pitch. Guess what? That seems to be the only thing Mr. Jones didn't save. Somehow the return order form is missing!
WOW! A miniature "stand-up" for a great "line-up" at the 500 Club!
Lilly Christine, the Cat Woman who did so many sit-ups she died (true...see story HERE) and Carrie Finnell, the woman who invented the strip tease (true...see story here) on the same stage. I don't know where the 500 Club is, but I'm THERE.
Actually, I do know where the 500 Club was, and I wish I was there now. Bourbon Street. Lilly had a long run there, not in her stockings. She was house act for a long time. Lilly had a 37C-22-35 figure and worked for it. She performed a voodoo love potion dance and crawled around like a cat. Carrie by this time had put on a few pounds, but she could still shake them...each in a different direction.
Lilly Christine Cardboard Stand Up circa 1955 Collection Victor Minx
Anonymous for Intrepidos Punks.
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Nearly 80,000 men were lost during the second world war missions by the U.S. Army Air Forces. Some 10,000 planes were shot down. It was the most dangerous of jobs and the tale is truly heartbreaking. One of the most amazing segments of recent documentary film making is found in the Ken Burns segment of his PBS series on the war which covered the Flying Fortress raids. The men (boys, actually) who went out were fighting the odds with every mission...and nearly as often as not, they didn't make it back. Shot down or run out of fuel...either way it was brutal for the squad doing it, the people on the ground and the folks back at the base waiting for them to come home.
Perhaps because of the overwhelming odds and the equally overwhelming bravery, the brass cut the boys some slack and let them decorate their planes lovingly. Many cartoonists and illustrators who returned home after the war painted similar scenes on duffel bags, helmets and such while over there. Seems to me these would make them a flying target, but then they already were.
As for "poontang" I will let you look up the meaning on your own...JFK was widely rumored to have said "I guess my poon days are over" when he was elected president. That gives you an idea.
Set of Amateur Snapshots of Flying Fortress Pin Up Girls Circa 1942-1945.
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Circa 1960 from Exotica Correspondence Digest, a "lonely hearts" type swinger's magazine produced by Lenny Burtman (under the name of B. Leonard)
Bettie Page the mode may have been living in obscurity... but she wasn't really hiding. Did you ever use those free return address labels sent to you without "paying" for them with a donation? Well, we'll never know if Bettie did, but she used them.
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Lyle Stuart was, I can say with no fear of libel (as he is dead) a nut-case. A SERIOUS nut case. Fearless, brilliant, a genius, fascinating...but 100 percent certifiable crazy. The book above, "LOOSE WOMEN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD" which Lyle published in 1964 is only one example. Here are a few more things we can attribute to this demented tornado.
* In 1969, Lyle published a fake soft-core book spoofing the popular trashy novels. It was written by 19 prominent authors in secret, each taking a chapter. The idea was to write the worst book in history as satire...but guess what? The public is so stupid they bought it. It became a New York Times best-seller, and not only did Lyle prove his point, he took the dough all the way to way to sleaze richness. Naked Came The Stranger may have sold well because of the cover...but then so do most books. That is how we judge a book after all!
* Lyle had the balls to imply Las Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn was associated with the Gambino mob family. It wasn't true, but that's not the point. Lyle did it, and it is akin to saying the same about Wayne Newton or Frank Sinatra. You do NOT make fun of Wayne Newton for ANY reason. (Ask Johnny Carson) Wayne may sing like a dame, but he's got balls like the one which drops at New Year's.
* In 1951, he published a monthly magazine called "Expose" which did, was and made news doing. An example is above.
* He wrote and published an open letter to the New York Times exposing the Scientologists as money sucking-vampires and charlatans way back before anyone knew the Scientologists are money sucking vampires and charlatans.
Here is how the Washington Post reported his passing in 2006: "Mr. Stuart, who proudly called himself a "First Amendment fanatic," developed his reputation by snapping up controversial titles that most publishing houses refused to touch. A cheerful iconoclast often pilloried as a purveyor of sleaze, he published books that revealed government secrets, exposed the private lives of celebrities and became how-to guides for the radical left and the radical right."
* In 1971 Lyle Stuart Publishing came up with 'THE Sensuous Man" an early book and instruction manual for stupid guys nearly forty years before the invention of metro-sexuals and manscaping. He also published "The Sensuous Woman" which probably sold more, but they already knew how to be sensuous, I think anyway.
* Probably one of the first great gamblers and baccarat players, Lyle wrote several books on how to come home from Vegas a winner, and apparently claimed he had on ten consecutive visits.
* He made J. Edgar Hoover mad.
* He published Fidel's autobiography.
* He published the autobiography of Linda Lovelace. Not to mention "Sun-Warmed Nudes" which I will immediately search amazon for...and "The World's Best Dirty Jokes" too.
In fairness, he also published some things he should be truly despised for...which I will not mention here, but I guess if you are an equal opportunity sleaze, you are going to offend someone. He offended me.
* In 1989, as an old man, Stuart sold his publishing empire for 12 million dollars. Did he retire? Nope. Just like that no talent burr-head Simon Cowell...he came right back with another project just like the last one, Barricade Books.
Now Lyle, in addition to all the great things above also did some really stupid things I abhor. That's freedom. Sorry!
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Since the college kids have hit the books, my click rate here has plummeted. Somehow study of sleaze drops considerably when there is a test the next day, so it's time to pull out the big guns. Plus, I think Google fudged the system again, so one of the two or three media conglomerates left in the world get the hits. They do it every few months to favor corporate interests and I have to strike back, so to speak.
Spanking! Nothing drives traffic to my site more than some poor woman being slapped. I really don't know why...once a staple of the gag cartoon (seriously...you can virtually not find a Humorama magazine without one or two upraised cheeks. In fact before Kefauver came along, you could hardly find a KID'S COMIC BOOK without a few.) Anyway, ALL the following come from one book which you certainly haven't read. I don't think there are any around, it being printed in an edition of 1000 (by the subject of my next book) over 50 years ago...but I have TWO copies so can smash the spine of one scanning it.
These have not seen the light of web yet...so if I see them reposted, I'll know the genesis. Not that I care...who wants credit placed on this stuff? Go ahead and crib...the fellow who originally published these served time for it...and he never bothered to take out a copyright anyway.
So to make sure my post here meets acceptable standards of screening software scrutiny, I did a preemptive search...and found a few examples. Wit!
Linus spanking Lucy, Popeye spanking Olive Oyl, someone spanking Lana Lang in a Superboy comic, Superman spanking Wonder Woman, Superman spanking Lois, and John Wayne spanking some cowgirl on the set of a crappy Hollywood oater, and all this with the search set on safe...so I guess I am too.
Since I suppose I should add some redeeming social value to these...isn't it interesting how the artist has chosen to cross-hatch the fellas, but polka-dot the dames? The artist with the limited pallet but considerable paddle is prolific...He did a few in the fifties. He wasn't very GOOD but that has never deterred me before.
Relevance protocol perimeters and automated robotic search stratagem? Do your STUFF! I like to be RANKED dammit...not just rank.
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The word "syphilis" could not be spoken on the radio in 1937, which made spreading the word about the disease far harder than spreading the disease itself (which seemed to know nothing about states rights or state lines.)
The Venereal Disease Control Act was passed by Congress in 1938. The program expanded work begun in 1935 with funds made available under the Social Security Act.
There has been no response from the Governor Rick Perry campaign how fighting venereal diseases amounts to a Ponzi Scheme.
Original Press Photograph US Public Health Service poster 1937 Collection Victor Minx