Simian Takeover

LIFE September 1, 1947
By 1947, George Vierheller had already been director of the Saint Louis Zoo for nearly 20 years and felt at ease with his wards. As you can see, he had a certain laissez-faire approach to monkey business. Here, we find Tommy and Cookie taking issue with who really is who at the zoo, while George takes a cigar break. The zoo's website quotes Vierheller as such: Shortly after I became a zoo man, a friend of mine advised me: "George, don't merely sit in the chair and listen to it squeak." 

So George became a hands-on boss. 

You’ll note that he went ape over gorillas as well.

Even in the last year of his position at the zoo in 1962, Vierheller was still making friends and sharing vices.

LIFE by Francis Miller

A bronze statue of him was commissioned that same year, representing the love he shared with the animals.

racstl.org

Gifts For Dad For 2021

1954

An era of subtlety, the 1950s was not, as evidenced by these Cutter Cravat artist originals. Frankly, it’s difficult to interpret what the patterns actually were. We have words for argyle and houndstooth and checkered, but these are littered with sprigs and swirls in bold (and often clashing) colors. What man dare sport the blue one in the center, that splays out at the bottom? It appears to depict an engagement ring.

Note how wide one appears against the lapel of this jacket. A bold and festive statement. Would you dare?

1951

Prince Ali, Fabulous He

LIFE, July 22, 1946

Okay, let’s unpack this post-war ad for White Rock. We’ve got a trio of businessmen in straw boater hats and a Middle Eastern prince whose head has turned toward the topless fairy/cocktail waitress. Remember, somebody had to pitch this idea to White Rock, and White Rock said, “Absolutely, it’s a go.”

Then somebody said, “Let’s use ‘by the beard of the prophet‘ because that’s what Muslims say.” And they did. And it’s wonderful. Here’s some context.

And doesn’t Psyche looks smug? She knows she’s all that and a bag of chips–and a barrel of oil. Plus, she has the courage to use terms like “bracing alkaline tang.” Yum! That’s how I like my water.

Though she may have been coy, suddenly she’s (how you say) riding high with Ali. The artwork makes you wonder if she’s wearing a sheer halter or going completely topless. All we know is no matter how many gang signs he flashes, she most certainly will not share his throne.

And stay on the label, she did. In fact, White Rock purchased the rights to a painting titled “Psyche at Nature’s Mirror” by Paul Thumann at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and it’s now the longest running beverage logo. Cheers!

Terrier Tends To Terrain

1943 Arbutus

No doubt about it, those ads in the back of vintage college yearbooks are odd. But who can ignore this dandied-up pooch? Not me.

Some ads have state embodiments to catch your eye like Old Man Texas here.

1938

Texas Power & Light does them one better with its intricate artwork.

1943

Some ads are so simple, that they’re barely there.

1938
1943

Some hardly make a lick of sense.

1937
1943

And some conjure up the devil himself!

1950

Tips For Keeping Warm This Winter

Univ of Miami 1955

No, that’s not a young Bing Crosby; it’s Joe Henjum, Band of the Hour drum major, “resplendent in his plumed bonnet.” I don’t have to tell you how his head retained warmth in that hat. It could also transport wine bottles, a leghorn chicken, or even a pair of Justin Ropers.

Musically inclined, Joe also played clarinet and saxophone. He met and married his college sweetheart, JoAnne there in college, and they enjoyed 56 years together. But I doubt he kept the hat.