Category Archives: Features

Vinyl Laughter

Reality … What a Concept, 1979 At the age of 27, Robin Williams was already considered comedy’s darling. He had just finished season 1 of Mork & Mindy and was on the cover of TIME magazine.

by Maxine Carter-Lome   Some of the earliest albums recorded for commercial distribution were comedy albums. Various collections of humorous short stories recited by vaudeville comedian Cal Stewart were released by Edison Records as early as 1898, according to Ronald L. Smith, author of Comedy on Record: The Complete Critical Discography. Cal Stewart recorded monologues […]

Writing With Images: The Creation of THE NEW YORKER Humor

The first cover by Rea Irvin (Feb. 21, 1925) establishing the personification of the New Yorker as Eustas Tilly

by Judy Gonyeau with heavy reference from Defining New Yorker Humor by Judith Yaross Lee   Launched in 1925, The New Yorker is a mostly-weekly magazine dispersing information through a myriad of journalistic articles, commentary, satire, fiction, criticism, its famous cartoon comments, and poetry. It continues to be renowned for its journalism covering everything from […]

Wowie Kazowee! It’s BOZO the CLOWN!


by Maxine Carter-Lome In 1946, Capitol Records writer/producer Alan Livingston introduced Bozo the Clown to the world via a children’s record entitled Bozo at the Circus – a first-of-its-kind record album with an illustrative read-along book set. It lasted an astounding 200 weeks on Billboard’s “Best Selling Children’s Records” chart and sold over one million […]

Long Live The MAD-ness

The cover to MAD No. 50 (October 1959), illustrated by Kelly Freas. While Mingo could produce endless identical versions of the Alfred E. Neuman face, Freas’s Alfreds were more impish and had much more expression.

by Grant Geissman By the spring of 1952, artist/writer/editor Harvey Kurtzman was exhausted from researching, writing, laying out, drawing for, and editing the world’s first true-to-life war comics, Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. For these, Kurtzman would do meticulous and time-consuming research, including talking to war veterans, reading historical accounts, and even going up on […]

Antimacassars: Then and Now

Single example from one of two pairs of lace chair arm covers. Rectangular with lightly scalloped side and back edges and larger scalloped front edge. Inner rectangle with foliate decoration. Original to Castle Tucker (Wiscasset, ME). photo: Historic New England

Erica Lome, Ph.D. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This adage certainly applied to many of the domestic objects produced in the nineteenth century that served as creative solutions to everyday problems; and for some women, one of those problems happened to be their husbands’ hair. Avoiding Disaster In 1783, a London barber named Alexander […]

Wallace Nutting: Come Into The Parlor

At Nuttinghame, Comfort and a Cat

by Mike Ivankovich   The parlor was traditionally a gathering room where family members and friends would meet, eat, socialize, and relax. Smaller and less affluent homes had the Kitchen, Dining Room, and parlor all merged-together in a single room. Larger and wealthier homes often had a separate parlor where people gathered for formal occasions […]

Charmed, I’m Sure: Big Dreams, Love, and Luck Come in Small Packages

This gold charm bracelet of Elizabeth Taylor’s charts the milestones of her extraordinary life and sold at Christie’s for $326,500 in 2011

by Judy Gonyeau, managing editor   Evidence has been brought to light that charms were perhaps first formed as far back as 75,000 years ago according to the discovery in Africa of shells being used for adornments. Moving forward to 30,000 years ago, intricately carved mammoth tusk charms were found in Germany. Back in 10,000 […]

Eisenberg Originals

Eisenberg Originals gold-plated Sinbad figural fur clip with turbaned head with pave and enamel detailing and multi-colored teardrop framed rhinestone dangles, circa 1940. Sold for $1,250

by Ken Hall   Eisenberg Originals are the most beautiful and brilliant pieces of costume jewelry no one’s ever heard of. The massive collection of someone who literally wrote the book on Eisenbergs was recently auctioned off to many lucky buyers who, thanks to her, know what the excitement is all about. A Collection—and Specialty—Begins […]

Cameos – Wearable Sculpture in Relief

Cameos come in all sizes, forms, materials, subjects, and colors. This is an example of a carnelian shell cameo brooch

by Maxine Carter-Lome, publisher   Cameos are one of the most widely recognized types of jewelry. Many of us may even own a piece, most probably handed down from a family member. These miniature relief sculptures have a history that pre-dates the birth of Christ by 300 years, with origins in the ancient carving traditions […]