The Mysterious German Fad of Posing with a Man in a Polar Bear Suit

A bizarre German craze of posing for pictures alongside actors dressed up as polar bears has been unearthed in a series of photographs dating back to the 1920s. The pictures were found hunting through flea markets for the past 20 years by French collector Jean-Marie Donat and are currently being exhibited at the Arles Photography Festival in the south of France.
There is little in the way of explanation for the social phenomenon except to say that for whatever reason Germany has had a long and crazy fascination with polar bears. 
 Why men in polar bear suits posing w/ tourists at the beach? No one knows, but thats the thing w/ fads, here one day, gone the next. Though this particular fad lasted about 40 years (1920’s – 60’s) and an occasional polar bear imitator can still be found on the streets of Germany to this day.

*Please forgive the occasional swastika – it was Germany in the 30’s after all. 

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Not Just Colored Vinyl

Unless you’ve been living in a cave (or the midwest) you’ll know that vinyl records are back, and back big.  Right now vinyl is outselling all formats of recorded music. I guess people were just bored w/ stealing badly compressed music off the internet – hopefully so. In order to give the buyer a completely different experience record labels have upped their game by producing unusual and uniques pieces. It’s usually the smaller record companies like Jack White’s Third Man Records that will do the real cool stuff – You may find a pink vinyl copy of Madonnas new LP from a major label but you’re never gonna’ find one filled with her hair and urine (honest to god – see below). Most of the records don’t play that great but what the hell – they’re just so damn cool.

Liquid filled

Liquid filled – Friday the 13th OST

Aliens OST - Alien Blood Version. Limited to 75 copies

Aliens OST – Alien Blood Version. Limited to 75 copies

X-ray

X-ray

In the cold war era Soviet Union, bootleggers built homemade recording machines and ingeniously copied and pressed forbidden records by the state on discarded X-Rays which they clandestinely obtained from hospitals. They would etch a copy of a record into the X-Ray, cut it into a circle with scissors, and use a cigarette to burn a hole in the middle, allowing the record to be played on any record player.    http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/

Glow in the dark

Glow in the dark by Man or Astroman?

String filled record by The Liars  - LP - MESS

String filled record by The Liars – LP – MESS

 

Multi cuts

Multi hole, lathe cut

 

Bible Ash

Bible Ash

Hellmouth burned an old German Bible from the late 1800s and pressed the ash into the ‘Bible Ash’ variant of their Gravestone Skylines album, which was limited to a total of 33 copies.

Ice Mold

Ice Mold

Shout Out Louds, a band from Sweden managed to create a playable ice disk for their single ‘Blue Ice’ in collaboration with TBWA Stockholm. The track can be recreated on a record player but only a few people got the chance to use it. They sent a kit to ten select people along with a set of instructions on how to make the album, along with a mold and a bottle of water.  http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/

Zoetrope

Zoetrope

Zoetrope vinyl releases have printed or etched images on them that produce continuous moving pictures when spun on a record player.

Color combos

Color combos

Glassjaw‘s Coloring Book has 120 unique color combinations using yellow, orange, green, red, blue and white. The vinyl separates into a 7″, 10″ ring and 12″ ring and comes framed with a hand-numbered sticker on the back of the frame.

Chocolate

Chocolate

French DJ and producer Breakbot had a limited pressing of 120 copies of his single cast in edible chocolate and was intended to be played only once and then eaten.

3 RPM

3 RPM

The world’s first 3 RPM record, given away for free at Third Man Records‘s Three Year Anniversary Party. It’s cut at the slowest speed yet it plays super fast (and needs to be spun by hand as no turntable can play it). It’s a compilation of 7 inch records but packaged like a 12 inch, containing every Blue Series single released.  http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/

Asteroid Dust

Asteroid Dust

Emperor Yes’s LP – An Island Called Earth had a limited pressing of 100 records, containing crushed meteorite dust.

Blood

Blood

Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy had her blood mixed w/ clear vinyl for a limited release. The Flaming Lips went went step further for their LP Heady Fwends having the blood of Kesha, Nick Cave and Yoko Ono (among others) pressed into their LP.

Hair and Pee

Hair and Pee

Eohippus went even further with their single “Getting Your Hair Wet with Pee” single. That’s right yellow vinyl embedded w/ urine soaked hair.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Barren Harvest‘s Subtle Cruelties clear vinyl edition was pressed with real autumn leaves inside and was limited to 100 copies.

Cremains

Cremains

British company And Vinyly offers a unique service to their customers. They press your or your loved one’s ashes into a 12″ clear vinyl, containing music or any audio of your choice. All you have to do is to deliver the ashes to a pressing plant in London and pay the £3,000 for the ‘Basic Package’, which includes 30 copies of the record.

Platinum and Gold

Platinum and Gold

Both LPs for The Great Gatsby soundtrack are set are blindingly reflective metallized discs. Disc one is platinum and disc two is gold. These are the first-ever commercially available records made using these precious metals via this process. Not stopping there, the records come housed in an entirely unique laser-cut wooden LP jacket riveted to aluminum spines. If you can find one it’ll set you back about $400.

Lazer Etched

Lazer Etched

Normally, laser etching is only done on a non-playable side of a vinyl record. However, with some tweaking, laser etching can be done also on the groove side of the record without affecting the playing grooves. If hit by a light, the etching reflects in polychromatic colors.

Thanks to      http://coloredvinylrecords.com

Bettie Page by Weegee

 

Weegee – real name, Arthur Fellig was short and fat and took pictures of dead people on the streets of New York. He was a Tom Waits song waiting to be wrote. With his very graphic crime scene photos he became responsible for a new kind of journalistic photography as art.  Bettie Page was the top pin-up model of the 50’s – small, slim and gorgeous. Famous but troubled and hounded by anti pornography crusaders. They were also friends, living a few blocks from each other off of Times Square (Weegee on West 47th Street and Ms. Page on West 46th Street). Weegee didn’t take a lot of pictures of Bettie but the ones he did were funny and innocent. The photos below are all by Weegee, some for newspaper and magazines others (the Page shots) for his own pleasure. Having fun in a camera club setting w/ his good friend.

Arthur Fellig aka Weegee

Arthur Fellig aka Weegee

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weegee-photographs

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Jimmy Armstrong

Jimmy Armstrong

BETTIE PAGE

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

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Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

Camera Club

Camera Club

Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images

Ernesto García Cabral

Ernesto García “The Chango” Cabral (18 December 1890 – 8 August 1968)  Cabral first made his name as a caricaturist for newspapers and magazines during the Mexican Revolution of 1911, illustrating the exploits of Pancho Villa & Emiliano Zapata. From these drawings he was able to study in Paris for a short time on a grant from Mexico’s President Madero. For the next few years, Cabral would travel and worked in Madrid and Argentina before returning to Mexico in 1915. On his return he would start developing his recognized style of bright colors and exaggerated features, (working for many publications – it is said that he has over 25,000 published images). It is the movie posters from the 50’s though that have provided him his notoriety. Beautiful, bright and exciting, his work became synonymous with the burgeoning Mexican film industry of the early 1950’s.

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Cabral 1

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The Real Age of Burlesque

I’ve posted a number of these great photos over the years and it’s time to do it again. These are not your modern Dita Von Teese burlesque queens. These are the originators – great names, great hair, great bodies. Some became hugely famous in their time; Lili St, Cyr, Tempest Storm (recorded a single for Jack White a few years ago) and Blaze Starr. Some (most) faded into obscurity. All are beautiful.

Frosty Conners

Frosty Conners

Candy Hart

Candy Hart

Dee Angela

Dee Angela

Kupie Doll

Kupie Doll

Lili St. Cyr

Lili St. Cyr

Venus La Doll

Venus La Doll

Star Markee aka The Cherokee Flash

Star Markee aka The Cherokee Flash

Sheena aka The Fantastic Savage

Sheena aka The Fantastic Savage

Angel Blue aka The Heavenly Body

Angel Blue aka The Heavenly Body

Baby Jane aka The Original Doll

Baby Jane aka The Original Doll

Jessica Rogers aka The WOW Girl

Jessica Rogers aka The WOW Girl

Blaze Starr aka Miss Spontaneous Combustion

Blaze Starr aka Miss Spontaneous Combustion

Gia-Mo

Gia-Mo

Julie Gibson aka The Bashful Bride

Julie Gibson aka The Bashful Bride

Paula Fontane

Paula Fontane

Precious Diamond

Precious Diamond

Rita Alexander

Rita Alexander

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) RIP

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