Femmes Fatales Feb 28 2013
WEATHER FRONT
We predict eighty-five years of tempests and storms.

Above, a promo image of famed burlesque dancer Tempest Storm, she of the legendary 50-inch bust. She was born as Annie Blanche Banks (also a very good name for a stripper, we think) today (well, actually tomorrow, but there’s no tomorrow this year) in 1928. This photo is undated but probably was made around 1955.

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Vintage Pulp Aug 13 2011
THE CAT'S MEOW
Hopefully, pretty soon they’ll start licking each other's fur.

From 1957, Tomcat magazine is a prime if slightly obscure example of mid-century porn in all its non-fully revealing glory. We think they’re trying a little too hard to be cute here—referring to the models as “cheesegals”? That’s just dumb. But mixed in amongst the anonymous smut were some striking images of famous burlesque performers of the day, which we thought were worth sharing. Enjoy, and please check out our comprehensive burlesque post from last year here. 

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Intl. Notebook Jun 28 2010
INFINITE JEST
The vertical expression of horizontal desires.

Nobody really knows where the word burlesque came from—some claim its roots are the Italian and Spanish words “burla”, which mean “hoax” and “deception” respectively. We’ve also seen burla translated as “jest.” Whatever its etymological roots, the art of burlesque began in Victorian England as a type of musical variety show that satirized highbrow art forms such as opera, ballet, and costumed drama. On American soil, burlesque took similar shape, but also began to incorporate semi-clad dancers. Soon, these sexually suggestive dances became the focus of the performances, and the word burlesque became a synonym for striptease. Stars such as Sally Rand, Amy Fong and Dixie Evans became celebrity practitioners of the art. The dancers generally didn’t strip totally nude on stage, but a few, like Bettie Page, did take it all off in short burlesque films. Above is a shot of Betty Blue Eyes Howard, and below we have more assorted burlesque photos featuring some of the biggest stars of yesteryear’s striptease firmament. Of special note are Betty Rowland dancing in panel 12, and being escorted into court to face obscenity charges in panel 13, Bettie Page from one of her nude shorts in panel 20, Lilly Christine in panel 21, Lili St. Cyr in panel 22, two shots from one of Nazi Germany’s legendarily decadent mid-1930s burlesque shows in panels 23 and 24, a shot from a 1945 Tokyo burlesque show staged for American GIs in panel 25, and finally Tempest Storm in the last panel. We hope these images take the edge off those Monday blahs. 

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Vintage Pulp Jun 23 2010
FLIRTY DANCING
Slave to the grind.

June 1954 issue of Uncensored entirely devoted to the art of burlesque, with legendary dancers Lili St. Cyr on the cover and in panels eleven and twenty, Chile Pepper in panel seven, Lilly Christine in panels eight through ten, and Tempest Storm in panel fourteen. Finding this magazine reminds us that we've collected quite a few vintage images of burlesque shows, so since sooner is better than later, look for us to post the entire hoard in the next few days.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 22
1950—Althea Gibson Breaks the Color Barrier
Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American woman to compete on the World Tennis Tour, and the first to earn a Grand Slam title when she wins the French Open in 1956. Later she becomes the first African-American woman to compete in the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
1952—Devil's Island Closed
Devil's Island, the penal colony located off the coast of French Guiana, is permanently closed. The prison is later made world famous by Henri Charrière's bestselling novel Papillon, and the subsequent film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
1962—De Gaulle Survives Assassination Attempt
Jean Bastien-Thiry, a French air weaponry engineer, attempts to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle to prevent Algerian independence. Bastien-Thiry and others attack de Gaulle's armored limousine with machine guns, but after expending hundreds of rounds, they succeed only in puncturing two tires.
August 21
1911—Mona Lisa Disappears
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, aka La Gioconda, is stolen from the Louvre. After many wild theories and false leads, it turns out the painting was snatched by museum employee Vincenzo Peruggia.
August 20
1940—Trotsky Iced in Mexico
In Mexico City exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded with an ice axe (not an ice pick) by Soviet agent Ramon Mercader. Trotsky dies the next day.
1968—Prague Spring Ends
200,000 Warsaw Pact troops backed by 5,000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia to end the Prague Spring political liberalization movement.
1986—Sherrill Goes Postal
In Edmond, Oklahoma, United States postal employee Patrick Sherrill shoots and kills fourteen of his co-workers and then commits suicide.

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