You ever get the feeling the game is rigged?
Above is a 1950s Technicolor lithograph with an unknown model losing her shirt and more in a poker game. The litho is titled “Out of Luck,” and it came from the company KLM. There are about eighty of these in the site, but we have a few favorites. See if this selection doesn't grab you: here, here, and here.
Bad news: the dye job was expensive. Good news: she has the same hair color today for free.
An unidentified model appears above on two 1965 Technicolor lithographs, the first of which, from A. Fox Corp., is called “How Nice,” and the second of which, from KLM, is called “Silver Siren.” The model sports striking silver hair in both, and we've noticed this trend has gotten pretty big of late, so these serve as a reminder that, once again, your grandmother beat you to it.
A bouquet so nice it needed to be delivered twice.
Does this model look familiar? She might, if you visit here frequently. She’s the same unidentified star of an undressable Technicolor lithograph we shared around Christmas time. In the above image her pose is almost—but not quite—identical to that in the December image. You can compare them by looking here. The earlier shot was from K.L.M., while the one above was published by J.S.I. Both of them are from the early 1950s. Now look below. Yes, you’re seeing double. Well, almost. The print down there came from Corp. A. Fox in 1956. If you look closely you’ll see that the logo at lower right and title at lower left are different than above. The above shot is titled “Secret,” as in secret admirer, we presume, and the below shot is titled “Remembrance,” as in we hope the florist remembered to remove the thorns.
The change of logo and title shows how these images spread from company to company. Possibly each publisher bought the rights for a short time, leaving the owner free to peddle the same shots again later. Alternatively, K.L.M. bought the negs for a long period but was absorbed by A. Fox at some point. We wouldn’t doubt it—there were many publishers of these shots, and it seems unlikely they all thrived. Buying out a failing company and acquiring its images would be good business. It gets complicated, though, because as we now know, some of these pin-ups come from negatives owned by Playboy and were printed with the bunny logo, which suggests licensing deals. We’re still doing research on that aspect of the industry, so maybe we’ll know more later. In meantime, anyone recognize the model?
The top layer looks nice, but in the end it’s really just in the way.
Above, another Technicolor pin-up that undresses when you peel back a glassine overlay, which as we mentioned before, was probably pioneered by the French magazine Paris-Hollywood. This particular pin-up from the company KLM featuring an unidentified model is entitled “Dreaming of You,” and the original, unobscured version dates from 1950. The overlay was added for a republication of the shot, probably around 1953 or later.
Here’s one more gift to unwrap.
This Technicolor lithograph from KLM features something we’ve seen before—a semi-transparent overlay that provides coverage for the model. But all you have to do is lift the glassine top layer et voila!—instant nude. We’re pretty sure these were first done in France, as we showed you here, here, here, and in a couple of other places. Those examples date from 1951 and 1952. The above lithograph is originally from 1951, but it was published without the overlay. We think the nightie was added sometime in the mid-1950s. The model is unidentified.
Edit: Boom! We never quit! Here it is October 2022 and we've just learned that this is Karin Lane, a popular model who posed for photographers such as Irving Klaw. We'll share more from her soon.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1947—Edwin Land Unveils His New Camera
In New York City, scientist and inventor Edwin Land demonstrates the first instant camera, the Polaroid Land Camera, at a meeting of the Optical Society of America. The camera, which contains a special film that self-develops prints in a minute, goes on sale the next year to the public and is an immediate sensation.
1965—Malcolm X Is Assassinated
American minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam, who shotgun him in the chest and then shoot him sixteen additional times with handguns. Though three men are eventually convicted of the killing, two have always maintained their innocence, and all have since been paroled.
1935—Caroline Mikkelsen Reaches Antarctica
Norwegian explorer Caroline Mikkelsen, accompanying her husband Captain Klarius Mikkelsen on a maritime expedition, makes landfall at Vestfold Hills and becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica. Today, a mountain overlooking the southern extremity of Prydz Bay is named for her.
1972—Walter Winchell Dies
American newspaper and radio commentator Walter Winchell, who invented the gossip column while working at the New York Evening Graphic, dies of cancer. In his heyday from 1930 to the 1950s, his newspaper column was syndicated in over 2,000 newspapers worldwide, he was read by 50 million people a day, and his Sunday night radio broadcast was heard by another 20 million people.
1976—Gerald Ford Rescinds Executive Order 9066
U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signs Proclamation 4417, which belatedly rescinds Executive Order 9066. That Order, signed in 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, established "War Relocation Camps" for Japanese-American citizens living in the U.S. Eventually, 120,000 are locked up without evidence, due process, or the possibility of appeal, for the duration of World War II.
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