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Another German Advantage (Yank Magazine, 1945)

General Marshall's post-war report remarked on one clear advantage that the German Army was privileged to exploit again and again throughout the war:

"The German ammunition was charged with smokeless, flashless powder which in both night and day fighting helped the enemy tremendously in concealing his fire positions."

The World War Two Origins of the T-Shirt (Men's Wear Magazine, 1950)

A couple of paragraphs from a popular fashion industry trade magazine that pointed out that the white cotton knit crew-neck garment we call the T-shirt came into this world with the name "quarter sleeve" and had it's origin in the U.S. Navy, where it earned it's popularity and soon spread to other branches of the U.S. military during the mid-to-late 1930s.

When the Second World War, the garment was in the supply sheds of each service branch and ready to be issued to as many as twelve million men over the course of the war. As this article makes plain, the T-shirt was the only element of the military uniform that these men wanted to keep when the war ended. The actor Marlon Brando, who wore one in the 1947 stage production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (costumes by Lucinda Ballard: 1906 1993), is credited for having made the garment fashionable.

The rest is history.

Labor Abuses (Focus Magazine, 1938)

Many of the back-handed dealings that would be addressed in John Steinbeck's 1939 novel, "The Grapes of Wrath" are illustrated in the attached photo-essay titled, "Slavery in America".

Nol Coward (Stage Magazine, 1933)

Nol Coward (1899 1973) "was simply the best all-rounder of the theatrical, literary and musical worlds of the 20th century. He invented the concept of celebrity and was the essence of chic in the Jazz Age of the 20s and 30s. His debonair looks and stylishly groomed appearance made him the icon of 'the Bright Young Things' that inhabited the world of The Ivy, The Savoy and The Ritz. No one is totally sure when and why it happened but following his success in the 1930s he was called 'The Master', a nickname of honor that indicated the level of his talent and achievement in so many of the entertainment arts." -so say the old salts at, and they should know because they have a good deal more time to think about him than we do.

The attached article was no doubt written by one of his many groupies for a swank American theater magazine following the successful New York premiere of his play "Design for Living":

"'Private Lives' was written hastily in a Shanghai hotel room. 'Design for Living' was done in six months on a freighter in South America...He is full of creative plans - plays, music, lyrics. In the early days he wrote them off flippantly, showing how smart he was, never rewriting, never scraping down his ideas, just popping them into the theater."

Elsa Maxwell kept the party going during the Great Depression...

Profile of Albert Einstein (Literary Digest, 1935)

A year and a half after departing Germany, Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) vogued it up for the cameras at a meeting for the scientific community in Pennsylvania where he answered three very basic questions concerning his research.

"A small, sensitive, and slightly naive refugee from Germany stole the show at the winter meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science, which closed at Pittsburgh last week. Not only the general public and newspapermen, but even the staid scientists forgot their dignity in a scramble to see and hear the little man, Albert Einstein, whose ideas have worked the greatest revolution in modern scientific thought."

A 1940s Tour of Manhattan (Click Magazine, 1940)

A black and white photo-essay of a New York that is gone with the wind, written in that wonderfully irreverent slang-heavy patois so reminiscent of the movies of that era. We posted this piece to please that New York archivist in all of you: you will see images of the watering holes preferred by the high and the low, the museums, Fifth Ave., Harlem, and the Fulton Fish Market.

Click here to see another 1930s photo-essay...

Sexy Graphics Comes of Age (On the QT, 1960)

The Sexual Revolution began slowly building with the release of the Kinsey Report in 1948 and from that point on more and more mainstream magazines began publishing articles about sexual concerns: adultery, frigidity and homosexuality. This article concerns the changing aesthetic that was taking place in American pop-cultural imagery at the time; for the first time ever, large numbers of American art directors employed by record labels, ad firms and publishing houses were all interested in the use of images featuring scantily clad women. The author also touches upon the general lust that the American male was experiencing for girly nudes between 1950 and 1960 - never before had there been so many companies willing to send pornography by mail and never before had there been so many men placing the orders.

French Soldiers Desperate to Leave the Trenches (The Atlanta Georgian, 1917)

So horrid was the terror of World War I trench warfare that more than a few of the Frenchmen serving in those forward positions (and others who were simply overcome with life in the military) began to post personal ads in French newspapers, volunteering to marry widows and divorcees with large families in order to obtain military deferments.

Read what the U.S. Army psychologists had to say about courage.

Uniform and Equipment Cost Illustrated (Scientific American, 1917)

Oddly, the other U.S. magazine that concerned itself with matters mechanical, "Scientific American", also explored the question of World War One uniform and equipment costs during the same same month -however they took the question a bit more seriously and hired an artist to address the concern. The cost illustration dealing with uniforms and equipment was printed on their December, 1917 cover which we offer herein.

FYI: Doughboy service jacket cost the U.S. taxpayer $15.20-while the Doughboy overcoat cost $14.92...

Versailles Treaty Violations (Literary Digest, 1936)

Attached is an interesting article that announced the Nazi march into the Rhineland as well as the island of Hegoland. The journalist also listed various other Versailles Treaty violations:

*"The treaty said that Germany should have no troops in the Rhineland. On March 7 of this year, they marched in.

*The treaty said that Germany should never have a conscript army. On March 16 of this year, conscription was announced by Chancellor Hitler.

*It said that Germany should have no military aviation. She has it.

*It said that the Great German General Staff should be abolished. It was never disbanded.

*Violations of the Versailles Treaty began, in fact, a week before it was signed."

Click here to read an additional article concerning the Versailles Treaty violations.

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