Vintage Pulp Jun 28 2009
WOOD NYMPH
Newspaper survey says skin is in, but we have our doubts.


We talked a bit about the nudist movement before, and mentioned that the concept of nudism as a healthy lifestyle choice really took off during the pulp heyday of the 1950s. Above you see the August 1962 edition of American Sunbather. One thing you’ll notice—other than the cover model risking serious splinterage by posing on a tree stump—is the stamp of the American Sunbathing Association. The group still exists, surprisingly, albeit under the name American Association for Nude Recreation. But it’s the same org and they’ve been around since 1931. 

We wrote in that previous post that we thought nudism was possibly less accepted now than fifty years ago, but based on a visit to the AANR website, we retract that. The site quotes a USA Today poll result claiming that 15% of Americans “would consider a resort that offers a nude recreation experience or a clothing-optional beach experience” a very desirable part of a vacation. Of course, the key words in that poll question are “beach” and “vacation.” People will vote for anything having to do with those, no matter how weird it may be (consider that a little free advice for 2012, Sarah Palin).

Still, one in six Americans is willing bare all in front of strangers? We think this is a prime example of the chasm between polls and reality. Because while many people say they would strip in front of strangers, most get cold feet when it comes actual time to do the deed. We know whereof we speak—anytime we ask a girl to strip she flat out refuses. Usually while kneeing us in the groin at the same time. But now we’re going to join the AANR, receive a couple of membership cards, and make our requests in an official capacity: “Ma’am, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to strip—it isn't just natural and healthy, it’s the law.” More totally healthy AANR-approved nakedness below.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 21 2008
NAKED BUNCH
Don’t look too closely or you might spot your grandmother.

International nudist magazines promoted group nakedness as fun, healthy, and innocent—and even an unavoidable next step in human social evolution. If someone raised their eyebrows at your Campus Jaybird, it just proved they weren’t ready to be free, man. At least you knew better than to invite them on your next nude biking trip. Nudist magazines proliferated throughout the 50s and 60s, and remained popular into the 1970s. The Nudist Idea and American Nudist Leader, both below, feature covers with Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey, a former Playboy centerfold who remains one of the most renowned nude models of all time. Also putting in an appearance is Virginia Gordon, another Playboy model, seen on the cover of Paradise. Though the international nudist movement still exists, it is possibly less accepted than fifty years ago. We’re too young here to know for sure, so you’ll just have to ask your grandma about that. What we do know is you’ll be seeing more of these covers from us.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
January 19
1915—Claude Patents Neon Tube
French inventor Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube, in which an inert gas is made to glow various colors through the introduction of an electrical current. His invention is immediately seized upon as a way to create eye catching advertising, and the neon sign comes into existence to forever change the visual landscape of cities.
1937—Hughes Sets Air Record
Millionaire industrialist, film producer and aviator Howard Hughes sets a new air record by flying from Los Angeles, California to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes, 25 seconds. During his life he set multiple world air-speed records, for which he won many awards, including America's Congressional Gold Medal.
January 18
1967—Boston Strangler Convicted
Albert DeSalvo, the serial killer who became known as the Boston Strangler, is convicted of murder and other crimes and sentenced to life in prison. He serves initially in Bridgewater State Hospital, but he escapes and is recaptured. Afterward he is transferred to federal prison where six years later he is killed by an inmate or inmates unknown.
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