Classic Hollywood #147 – Biggest Film Stars In Hollywood 1925

Three Big Stars – Fairbanks, Coogan and Valentino

When Douglas Fairbanks Sr. died on December 12, 1939, newspapers pointed out that he was one of the three biggest moneymakers of Hollywood just 14 years earlier. After 1925 Fairbanks starred in only seven more films, with his final film being 1934’s The Private Life Of Don Juan.

Here is the original news caption: Continue reading

This 1942 Movie Contains A Great Lesson About Academic Freedom & Free Speech

The Male Animal & Henry Fonda’s Speech On Academic Freedom & Free Speech

Henry Fonda in The Male Animal (1942)

When one reads or hears about the fear of debate and the airing of opposing viewpoints at colleges, it is indicative of a disheartening and sickening trend towards academic totalitarianism.

The issue is not a new one.

The following dialogue is from the 1942 film The Male Animal and describes exactly the quandary we are facing today. Continue reading

Old New York In Postcards #28 – Feltman’s Restaurant Coney Island

Feltman’s Giant Restaurant, The Forerunner of Nathan’s Coney Island

A brief description of Feltman’s from The New York Hotel Record July 9, 1912:

The Magnitude of Feltman’s Garden Coney Island New York

One of the largest and most unique restaurants and cafés in this country is Feltman’s at Coney Island New York was established in 1873 (ed. – actually 1871) with six employees and it now has a pay roll of more thirteen hundred names. Continue reading

1945 – The Future Is Television, Including Home Shopping

Post WWII – Television Is Coming To Your Home

In late Summer 1945, with total victory secured, manufacturers could soon begin producing consumer products rather than armaments. With the transition would come amazing technological advances. Continue reading

Book Review – American Rascal Jay Gould By Greg Steinmetz

Jay Gould: A Rascal Or Shrewd Businessman?

It would be impossible today for one person to cause the collapse of the stock market, corner the gold market or just print stock shares in a large-cap corporation as needed.

Not that Jay Gould single-handedly did any of these things.

He had help. Continue reading

Dick Groat A Rare Star Of Both Baseball & Basketball Dies At 92

Dick Groat Who Set Duke Basketball Records & Was National League MVP In 1960 Is Dead

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Dick Groat hitting during the 1960 World Series. photo: Marvin Newman

In 1952, when Dick Groat was 21-years-old, Duke University’s sports publicity department published an entire pamphlet heralding his achievements.

In 1950-51 Groat put up 831 points with 261 free points shattering records at Duke, the Big 5 (North Carolina schools) and the Southern Conference.

Groat, who was five feet eleven, Continue reading

Joe DiMaggio Promotes Camel Cigarettes

Joltin’ Joe Enjoys Smoking Camel, The Cigarette With 28% Less Nicotine

Joe DiMaggio’s swing takes up half the space in this Camel cigarette ad which ran in Time Magazine April 6, 1942. It’s as good a way to promote smoking than just showing DiMaggio smoking.

Capturing reader’s attention is always the hard part of magazine advertising. So the series of photos of DiMaggio’s swing probably gets you to examine the page. Generally people buy news magazines to read them, not look at the ads.

Companies have always believed that to attract customers, you should have a celebrity push your product. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #152 – 6th Avenue 31st Street & Eva Tanguay 1911

A Typical Busy Day On Sixth Avenue While Eva Tanguay Performs Uptown

There is nothing extraordinary happening as we look north up Sixth Avenue from 31st Street.

There’s lots of horse manure in the street and there’s some construction and workers beneath the Sixth Avenue El. The bar on the corner has western saloon style doors and advertises Triple X German Liquors on its sign. A high pressure fire hydrant is on the corner, a sight rarely seen today as the city removed most of them almost three decades ago . The tallest building on the left between 32nd and 33rd Streets is Gimbels Department Store.

As much as we’d like to put an exact date on the photo we cannot. It is uncredited and labeled 1911. There is one intriguing clue however. It’s blurry but if you look at the roof of the building on the left you can see a billboard ad for Eva Tanguay (1878-1947) appearing at The Colonial Theatre. Continue reading

I Dream Of Jeannie – Where Major Nelson Lived In Cocoa Beach

Where In Cocoa Beach, FL Did Major Nelson Live?

Plus A Bit Of Deep Trivia – What  Was Dr. Bellows Address?

The home of Major Anthony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie

Recently visiting me was my friend’s daughter a recent college graduate, and her friend Stephanie who was born and raised in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Cocoa Beach’s renown comes from The Kennedy Space Center, home of NASA during the 1960s. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #146 – W.C. Fields & Joe DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio Visits W.C. Fields On The Set Of You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man – 1939

Comedian W.C. Fields does not strike me as someone who would have had any passion for baseball. In James Curtis’ comprehensive 2003 biography of Fields, not one page mentions baseball or any player of the National Pastime. So the news caption below for this photograph is pure Hollywood ballyhoo. Continue reading