Never say Neva when it comes to tigerskin rugs.
This Technicolor lithograph, which is titled “Tiger Lil” and was printed by Champion Line, shows Neva Gilbert, a Playboy model who was the magazine's July 1954 centerfold. The litho, which also dates from 1954, is generally identified as originating with Playboy, but it actually came from a group of photos first owned by the Baumgarth Calendar Company. Back then Hugh Hefner often paid outside photographers for images. For that reason it's possible the photo is pre-1954, but if so, not by much.
Gilbert herself had forgotten about the shots. She was busy trying to establish an acting career and never saw her own centerfold until 1979. She had no idea Hefner had culled some shots for Playboy. In fact, she had no idea what Playboy was until someone told her she was in it. Speaking of culling, we are not fans of killing rare animals to turn into gaudy home decorations, but we imagine that if you had one of these on your floor back then they greatly increased your odds of a woman doing exactly what Gilbert has done. The Pulp Intl. girlfriends doubt it, but they always do. And of course, we want to prove them wrong. Anyone got an extra tiger rug they want to sell?
Sigh. Just pose and get paid. And remember—nobody I know will ever see these photos.
This Technicolor lithograph published by Champion Line features Dolores Del Monte, Playboy magazine's centerfold for March 1954, in a shot entitled “Radiant Beauty.” Del Monte began her modeling career posing for the legendary photographer Bruno Bernard and the acclaimed pin-up painter Zoe Mozert, at times making as much as $50 a day. That was in 1951, when that pay rate was the equivalent of about $500 in today's money. A year later Del Monte quit modeling. In 1954 the above photo was offered to Playboy. Though Bruno Bernard shot it, the centerfold credited the John Baumgarth Company of Melrose Park, Illinois. Such are the entanglements of copyright. When Del Monte received a letter asking permission to use her likeness she assumed Playboy was a standard pin-up magazine, and the images requested were from a shoot she recalled where she wore a leopard pattern bathing suit. Wrong on both counts, and one can only imagine her reaction when the centerfold hit newsstands, since she was not only married but a mother by then. Well, at least she got the $50. And the world? It got something priceless. We have lots more classic Technicolor lithos, and you can see those by clicking here.
We guarantee this won't be the last Waltz.
This Technicolor lithograph doesn't have the blank advertising banner at top the way our many other examples do, but it's the same idea, manufactured by Copr. C. Moss and titled “Rhapsody in Red.” This was a particularly popular image, and it was picked up by more than one company. While the above version is from C. Moss, we've also seen a version from the mid-1950s manufactured by J.S.J. and titled “Sandra.” But the model is not Sandra—she's Playboy centerfold Margaret Scott, who was also known as Marilyn Waltz, and that fact goes a long way toward explaining why this image became so popular.
Scott/Waltz posed for the C. Moss shot in 1950 when she was nineteen but didn't hit Playboy's pages until 1954, when she was the centerspread for April. The magazine then brought her back as a playmate in April 1955, so obviously Hefner loved her. After either the first or second Playboy appearance, we suspect the enterprising owner of the 1950 negative recognized her and decided to sell her image for a fresh run as a lithograph. J.S.J. stepped up, bought the neg, and called her Sandra. This is an amazing image. Waltz has another litho we haven't shared yet, but we'll get around to that at some point. Bonus shots below. Click her keywords and you'll see our other posts on her.
Funny, when I ordered these I actually thought they'd give me a bit more privacy.
We haven't had Virginia Gordon around these parts since we posted a spectacular record sleeve starring her in 2014, so here she is today on a nice Technicolor lithograph entitled “Baubles and Beads” that dates from 1958. See the earlier image here.
First you need my shirt, now my pants? I believe you when you say we'll go faster. My question is faster at what?
Technicolor lithograph queen and nudist icon Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey returns on this print from A Fox. Corp from 1957 entitled “Clear Sailing Ahead.” We've shared three other lithos of hers, which you can see here, here, and here, and we have a couple more in reserve we'll get up later.
They say less is more, but in this case more is less.
Our ongoing exploration of mid-century Technicolor lithographs continues with this nice image from A. Fox featuring an unknown model in lingerie that simultaneously covers nearly her entire body yet is sheer enough to show nearly everything. The image is titled “Naughty Nightie” and it dates from around 1960. If you want to see dozens more of these just click the appropriate keywords below.
You wouldn't know it, but hair once covered this entire part of my face. I owe my modeling career to depilatories.
It's been awhile since we've shared a Technicolor lithograph, and the main impression we have of this one is that in glamour photography some of the poses display the body in a nice way while still looking, objectively speaking, totally ridiculous. Like this one. But that's an important aspect of professional photography—knowing what works and what doesn't. We can just hear the lensman behind this shot telling the model, “No, believe me. It'll look good. Elbows higher. That's it. Now give me a biiiig smile.” And she's thinking, “What the fuck have I gotten myself into?” But the pose works. The image, titled “Just Teasing,” is from Champion Line and the model is unknown—though no doubt very trusting. No date on this, but figure around 1960. You can see about fifty more of these colorful lithos. Just click the keywords below then scroll down.
Hello there, Righty. Don't tell Lefty this, but you're my favorite.
Above is a Colortone Line lithograph entitled “Beautiful Gems,” which we guess is a double entendre, since the model's jewelry isn't really the most noticeable element of the photo. She's unknown to us, but is far too beautiful to have been unknown to the world. She was somebody famous, we're sure. But who? No idea. We also don't have the year on this. So basically, we know nothing. But we had to share it anyway. Recognize her? Let us know.
Nothing can dim the luster of precious things.
Remember the Technicolor lithographs we shared a while back that had acetate overlays? Today we have another. In the top version the model is wearing a cartoon nightie and in the version below that you see her in the altogether. These after-the-fact cover-ups rarely look good, but today they're collectible, which just goes to show how years and scarcity are a sort of temporal alchemy that turn lead into gold. Speaking of precious metals, the print is titled “Platinum Beauty.” As a bonus, below is a version of the litho with an advertising strip at top (where a business of some sort would insert a logo). The date on that one is 1962, but we aren't sure about the overlay versions above. The seller claims 1951 but we're highly doubtful of that. Also, we think acetate versions tended to come later than advertising versions, but we have no evidence to support that theory. It's just a feeling. In any case, you get three versions of a beautiful platinum haired model, so that makes it a good day, right?
She's the pause that refreshes.
This Technicolor lithograph shows Arline Hunter, who was a Playboy centerfold in August 1954 and an actress on television and in movies. Her first brush with show business was in the 1948 erotic reel Apple Knockers and the Coke. Yeah. That's a real title. And a literal one, too—the reel shows a topless Hunter suggestively playing with an apple and drinking a Coke. It's available for the moment on YouTube as an age restricted upload and you can watch it in all its grainy goodness there, or just get the gist from the photos below. If you think she looks a bit like Marilyn Monroe you aren't the only one. The resemblance helped propel Hunter to recognition, and in fact her Playboy appearance was what you might call a revisitation of Monroe's famous centerfold from the previous year, featuring similar poses and a similar red velvet background. The above image comes from Champion Line and dates from 1952.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1927—Mae West Sentenced to Jail
American actress and playwright Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for the content of her play Sex. The trial occurred even though the play had run for a year and had been seen by 325,000 people. However West's considerable popularity, already based on her risque image, only increased due to the controversy.
1971—Manson Sentenced to Death
In the U.S, cult leader Charles Manson is sentenced to death for inciting the murders of Sharon Tate and several other people. Three accomplices, who had actually done the killing, were also sentenced to death, but the state of California abolished capital punishment in 1972 and neither they nor Manson were ever actually executed.
1923—Yankee Stadium Opens
In New York City, Yankee Stadium, home of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees, opens with the Yankees beating their eternal rivals the Boston Red Sox 4 to 1. The stadium, which is nicknamed The House that Ruth Built, sees the Yankees become the most successful franchise in baseball history. It is eventually replaced by a new Yankee Stadium and closes in September 2008.
1961—Bay of Pigs Invasion Is Launched
A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees lands at the Bay of Pigs in southern Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro. However, the invasion fails badly and the result is embarrassment for U.S. president John F. Kennedy and a major boost in popularity for Fidel Castro, and also has the effect of pushing him toward the Soviet Union for protection.
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