Front pages (and usually back, middle or other pages) chosen at random (more or less) from my collection of mostly 20th Century mostly British newspapers. Weekly new posts on Sundays, a Random Cutting on Wednesdays and a Random Advert on Fridays.
The Lady Margaret portable radio manufactured by Vidor Ltd of Erith, Kent circa 1953/4. I hope that she won't be driving while it is playing on her knee. They also produced Lady Anne and Lady Elizabeth models - some sort of specifically targeted marketing strategy?
Marlene Dietrich became an international film
star during the Silent era when language was no barrier to success. As to how
old she was - this cutting dates from either 1949 or 1950 and Dietrich was born
in 1901, making her 48 or even 49, but then a lady has the right to lie about
her age. 'No Highway' was released in 1951. Dietrich spent the last decade of
her life mostly bedridden and died in 1992.
Founded in Northampton in 1903 Barratt Shoes were a successful country wide chain by the 1920's. Who needs x-ray machines or special gauges to get the right size shoe when you have a pencil and a bit of paper handy?
John Fairfax was the first person to row the
Atlantic solo. He set off on January 20th 1969 and arrived in Florida 180 days
later on July 19th. In 1971/2 he rowed, along with Sylvia Cook, the Pacific
taking 361 days. He died in Nevada in 2012 at the age of 74.
Elise Raymonde Deroche, known as Baroness De
Laroche, was a pioneering French aviatrix and the first woman in the world to
receive a pilot's licence. Unable to join the air force during WWI she became
an Army driver for the duration. She returned to flying in 1919 but as shown
here was killed on July 18th while a passenger in an experimental plane
Published in December 1952 this poll of
Britain's leading box-office attractions is headed by Ronald Shiner. I imagine
anyone under 50 will ask, "Who?” Shiner made 86 films between 1934 and
1961. Surprisingly he is above such greats as Alastair Sim, Alec Guinness, Jack
Hawkins and Trevor Howerd. This was when Britain had a film industry and 8 of
the top 12 moneymaking films were British!
If you fancied yourself as Mr Mackay or Mr Barrowclough from Porridge then the Prison Service was the job for you, if the postal strike ever ended and you could send off your application. No e-mail or online contact in those dark days.
Joseph Conrad was born Józef Teodor Konrad
Korzeniowski in 1857 in the Ukraine, and was raised and educated in Poland
before a sea-faring career in the French and British merchant navies. He
settled in England and wrote short stories and novels like Lord Jim, Heart of
Darkness and The Secret Agent, which combined his experiences all over the
World with an interest in moral conflict and the dark side of human nature. In
his time he was regarded as one of England great writers but is now best
remembered as the author of the novella (Heart of Darkness) on which the film
'Apocalypse Now' was based. He died in Canterbury on 3rd August 1924.
King's Cross to Doncaster for the St Leger for only £1 11s 9d (£1.58 or allowing for inflation £59.75) or if you were posh 1st class for £2 13s (£2.65 or £99 after inflation). The journey took 3hours and 30 minutes whereas now it would be about 1hour 45 minutes (unless there were leaves on the line) and the first class return would set you back £285
The Bank of America in Mayfair, London was robbed of
£8million in 1976. After the inside man turned informant 7 of the gang were
jailed but the mastermind Frank Maple fled abroad. He was later sentenced to 9
years in Austria for a hotel robbery.
Norman Vaughan replaced Bruce Forsyth (whatever happened to him) as host of the TV show 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' in 1962. He also devised the TV gameshow 'Bullseye' and appeared in a series of adverts for Roses Chocolates with the catchphrase "Roses grow on you". He died in 2002 following a road accident.
I think I became aware of the silent film comedian Harold Lloyd when I saw the compilation film 'Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy' in 1962. Originally a 'poor man's Charlie Chaplin', Lloyd soon found his own character, bespectacled accident-prone optimist, and made a fortune. His films often featured seemingly dangerous stunts which Lloyd participated in with the help of stuntman Harvey Parry. He died on the 8th March 1971.
Rock'n'Roll has become associated with Teddy Boys but the characters in these pictures are, to use the word coined only a couple of months earlier, beatniks, who tended to go in for cool jazz and reading Kerouac.
The novel Cocaine was published by George Newnes in 1921 and I think the 'recent case' referred to was that of the death of actress Billie Carleton who died of an overdose after attending a Victory party at the Royal Albert Hall in 1918.
This is a cutting from the Children's Newspaper dated 13th September 1924.
The original Klu Klux Klan was organized by ex-Confederates after the American Civil War but had died out by the mid-1870's. In 1915 D W Griffith's epic silent film 'Birth of a Nation' seemed to create a revival of the Klan, who now adopted the costume and regalia shown in the film, white cloaks and pointed hoods. The original Klan looked more as they were depicted in Quentin Tarrantino's film 'Django Unchained'. By 1924 they were claiming 4 to 5 million members but by 1930 this had dropped to 30,000.
The Democrat candidate for the 1924 Presidential Election, John W Davis lost the race to the White House to Republican Calvin Coolidge.
Born in 1906, Hermoine Baddely began her stage career at 8, playing a page in The Marriage of Figaro. She went on to appear in plays, musicals and revues in London's West End. She also appeared in over 90 film and TV productions, including a memorable performance as the kindly barfly Ida in the 1947 'Brighton Rock', which starred Richard Attenborough. In 1960 she was nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar for her part in 'Room at the Top'
Originating in the USA Citizen band Radio was popularised in the UK by films like 'Convoy' and 'Smokey and the Bandit'. "What's your handle, good Buddy? I'm knocking on your back door and I've got the pedal to the metal. Ten Four."
This was Kenya on 10th October 1998. Kenya had, and still has, the death penalty for murder, treason and armed robbery but no-one has actually been hanged since 1987. In East Africa the traditional belief in the powers of witchcraft is widespread and witch hunts continue to result in police action or, more frequently, the murder of suspects by the accusers. A Kilo of pure 24 carat gold - free!. For the life of me I can't see the catch, but there must be one. Mustn't there?
These cutting are from February 9th 1938. As the number of vehicles on our roads increased during the 1930's so did the need for legistration and control. Since 1925 it had been an offence to be found drunk in charge of any mechanically propelled vehicle on any highway, but no legal drink driving limit was set until 1967. The annual MOT test, which includes specific brake efficiency measurement, was introduced in 1960.
If you thought 3D films were something new then you obviously hadn't seen 'Supersonic Super Girls' back in New York in 1973. Google this title and you find a story in the Austin (Texas) Chronicle that it was amongst a pile of 'lost' trash films found in a warehouse in 2001, so you may get to see it yet.
This letter by Irish dramatist Sean O'Casey was published in the Reynold's News dated the 1st October 1939. In August 1939 Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany had signed a non-aggression pact and had divided Poland into Soviet and German regions. The USSR would finally join the Allies against Germany in 1941. Sean O'Casey a life long Socialist seems, with hindsight, to have had a terribly naive view of life under Stalin, although it must be admitted that even those who knew what was going on in Russia turned a blind eye after 1941.
It is now common knowledge that John F Kennedy had suffered from back pain since 1938 and normally wore a corset or back brace, but this and other information about his health issues had been kept secret throughout his campaign and election to the White House. JFK also had Addison's disease and hypothyroidism.
Pyrex kitchenware originated in the USA in 1915 and was introduced to the UK under license in the early 1920's. I'm not sure that the Trading Standars mob would be happy with the '3 for the price of 1' claim - 1: the dish with the lid, 2: the dish without the lid and 3: the lid turned upside down.
The Rolling Stones' singer, Mick Jagger had married Nicaraguan born Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias in 1971, but she filed for divorce in 1978 when she accused him of adultery with model Jerry Hall whom he married in 1990. The $1 million settlement was peanuts compared to the one when he split from Jerry Hall in 1999.
What better was to survive living in the 1980's and having to listen to The Smiths, U2, Pet Shops Boys, Prefab Sprout and Phil Collins, than to take Kalms containing a sedative made from the root of the Valerian plant?
Back in 1924 the two rich friends Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped and murdered 14 year old Booby Franks, caught and put on trial. They both received life plus 99 years. It was probably the efforts of their famous defence lawyer, Clarence Darrow, that saved them from being executed. James Day was never convicted of killing Loeb and served the rest of his original sentence, being released in 1942.
Chester Gould created the cartoon strip 'Dick Tracy' in 1931 for the Detroit Mirror, writing and drawing it up until his death in 1985, although other artists contributed when Gould's ill-health prevented him working. This episode features the blind inventor of such gadgets as the 2-Way Wrist Radio and the TV burglar alarm, Brilliant. Gould and his strip have been criticised for being too Right-wing.
'The Singing Fool' was Al Jolson's follow up to the film generally regarded as the first feature length Talkie, 'The Jazz Singer' (1927). Not everyone was in favour of the Talkies and having seen several Silents from the late 1920's as well as several early Talkies, I think I would probably have been amongst the nay-sayers.
Doctor prescribes heroin injections, patient gets hooked on 'repeat' heroin prescriptions, patient gets ill, patient dies. Verdict - death by natural causes. The Billie Carleton case referred to in the cutting, happened the previous November when the young actress died of a heroin overdose after a Victory party at the Royal Albert Hall.
Margaret Rutherford had a stage acting career starting in 1925 at the Old Vic Theatre and ending in 1966 when she played Mrs Malaprop in The Rivals at the Haymarket Theatre, alongside Sir Ralph Richardson, and a film career spanning 1936 to 1967. She is probably best remembered on film as Agatha Christie's amateur sleuth Miss Marple.
I'm not sure today's newspapers would print such a graphic picture of a dead celebrity. Ernie Kovaks an American radio and TV star, comic, scriptwriter, film actor, novelist and during the early 1950's the first TV innovator who, by stretching the existing video technology to its limits, won a posthumous Emmy in 1962. As shown above he died in car accident in Los Angeles on the 13rh January 1962.
The Queen, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret having just seen the Old Vic production of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' on February 3rd 1938. It starred Robert Helpmann as Oberon, Vivien Leigh as Titania and the cast included Ralph Richardson and Anthony Quayle.
I was not quite a teenager in 1958 and my parents had a car and a washing machine with a ringer on top, but we didn't have a television, telephone or a fridge. There might have been a lawnmower somewhere in the old Anderson shelter we used as a shed. We rented a 2 channel black and white TV from 1960 onwards.
Published in March 1919 this article in support of aviation as the future in both war and peace is suprisingly perseptive. Boer War and world War I veteran and politician General John Seely had recently been made Under-Secretary of State for Air but he resigned at the end of 1919 after the Government refused to create a Secretary of State for Air.
Prince Charles and Diana Spenser's wedding in July 1981 spawned a good many pieces of memorobilia. Here we have three examples - stamps, a medallion and coins. All guaranteed to last longer than the marriage?