Just A Trim

Reminisce: Pics of the Past/pic from Bertha Jacobson

Three-year-old Joyce Bjerk towers high above the ground below in her father Oscar’s barber shop in Karlstad, Minnesota. Pop’s sign above the swanky Maytag washing machine declares a haircut and a shave for a fair price of just two quarters. Joyce seems to be getting the standard kids’ cut of 1934. At least she knows it’s on the house.

Seventeen Encourages Good Ethics

My April 1947 Seventeen magazine includes some cute rhymes to help teens be better human beings. The threat of a $100.02 fine (or $1,212 today, adjusted for inflation) should prove effective. I’ve never paid a library fine, nor a Blockbuster fee, as I try to live my life by the rules. But I can’t imagine anyone accruing over a thousand dollars in library fees, no?

This next image warns against tardiness, a reprehensible character flaw.

I am reminded of the chorus to Genesis’ “Misunderstanding.”

There must be some misunderstanding
There must be some kind of mistake
I was waiting in the rain for hours
You were late

Lastly, we see a milkman at sunrise, stumbling upon a woman who has forgotten her key, but somehow managed to locate a fluffy pillow.

If this was geared toward 1940s teens, I’m not sure of the implications. Surely not the walk of shame. Couldn’t she simply have knocked on the door and had her parents open it? I don’t get it.

When Granddad Threatens To Harness The Power Of The Sun

Nat Geo 9/48

I don’t know anything about machines, so that looks like a cross between one of my mixing bowls (which reminds me, I need to make tuna salad tonight) and a hubcap, next to some cans of motor oil. It is, in fact, a solar-powered steam engine built by noted astrophysicist Dr. Charles G. Abbot. As any fool can see, the reflector focuses the sun’s rays on the boiler tube, which generates steam that drives the tiny engine. No duh.

But Abbot was smarter than the whole lot of us, retiring as both the director of the Smithsonian’s Astrophysical Observatory, as well as the first Smithsonian Secretary not to die in office. Furthermore, it appeared that he might never die out of office, as the bloke who was already 76 in the above image still yet had another quarter century to fiddle around with gadgets. He spent over 40 years developing and maintaining solar monitoring systems as his mission in life. Here you see him (in an almost Chester Conklin mustache) with his silver-disc pyrheliometer, which measured direct beam solar irradiance.

He invented the solar cooker, which was first built at Mount Wilson Observatory, the solar boiler, and held fifteen other patents related to solar energy. At 96, he was still going strong, holding what appears to be an extensive CVS receipt, but is actually a print-out of solar observations.

wikipedia

My observation: it’s hot.

What Eating Feels Like When You Have COVID

Blah. Everything tastes like cardboard, which is to say, almost nothing. The unfortunate thing is that sometimes, you’ll get an inkling of salt or of sour, but without context of other flavors, it’s just a nasty taste on your tongue. So you look like mopey Barbara here, a four-year-old hybrid gibbon, back in September of 1948, when this National Geographic image came out.

You might hate on zoos, but Barbara’s mother decided she wasn’t too keen on her offspring and refused to feed her. So without the keeper to spoon feed her, she would have certainly perished. Like a human, she sucked her thumb and played with a rattle. And I imagine she took that bottle there as well.

There Will Be Curls

Reminisce: Pics from the Past

Cheryl gets a back-to-school perm in the early 50s, looking positively mortified by the tentacles of the electric permanent wave machine, which brings to mind an early prototype of R2D2. Twin sister Carol had hers done as well, and the results speak for themselves.

The Hungry Pájaros

Ever since last month’s ice storm, the surviving birds have been in search of food. Normally at this time of year, trees would be budding, flowers blooming in the sea of verdant spring to which we are accustomed. Not this year. Everything is dead or brown. Or both. Our palm tree lost all its dozen fronds. Our oaks remain frozen in time, covered in ugly brown leaves that will not fall. The earth itself doesn’t know what season it is. It’s the ugliest I’ve ever seen Texas in my life because it was the coldest and the iciest it had ever been.

However, the cottonwood tree has begun putting out these yellow pods, for which the birds have gone crazy.

I’ve never seen so many birds on the branches of our cottonwood before. They stay for several minutes, then fly off, just as another drove comes to feast.

I do hope things will soon return to normal, in every sense of the word.

I

Tanganyika Triplets

6/13/38 LIFE

Wondering why you’ve never heard of Tanganyika? Well, much like Istanbul was Constantinople, Tanganyika is now Tanzania. You’ve heard of that, yes? As stated in this editorial, triplets were unusual in Africa. Frankly, triplets are always unusual. But what’s most unusual is a white couple giving birth to black triplets. That happened.

How? Well, much like the recent news that Sofía Vergara will not allow her frozen embryos with former lover Nick Loeb to ever grow into human beings, couples with fertility problems often have leftover embryos after successful in vitro. Some are donated to research and some, like Sofia’s, will die. The Halberts, missionaries who had previously adopted two children of color, decided to implant leftover embryos from the National Embryo Donation Center into Rachel’s uterus. It took! And took, and took. She delivered triplets of her own, and now they are a happy family of five.

https://www.boston25news.com/