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Archive for the ‘The thirties’ Category

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A European brand name with over 150 years experience in beauty and skin care

The name Kaloderma is derived from the Greek words kalos ‘beautiful‘ and derma‘skin‘

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Images found on Born In The Wrong Era

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For the 1939-1949 World’s Fair in New York, Pontiac had a special surprise in store. Working in collaboration with chemical company Rohm & Haas, who had just developed a new product called “Plexiglas”, they created an entire body shell for a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six. It was soon dubbed the “Ghost Car.”

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When the car was first featured at General Motors’ “Highways and Horizons” pavilion, it was a massive hit. Most people wouldn’t have seen Plexiglas before, so a transparent material with that many curves was almost unheard of. Here you could look through the body of the car to see all its internal workings exposed. For aesthetic purposes all structural metal was given a copper wash, while the hardware and even the dashboard were covered in chrome. All the rubber elements in the car were made in white, including the tires.

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The final price for the car? In the days when a new Pontiac was just about $700, this beauty cost $25000 to build. When this car was auctioned by RM Auctions in 2011, it went for just a little more than its original price. The one-of-a-kind car sold for $308,000.

Images and text found on Visual News – And a big thanks to Disperser from Disperser Tracks for pointing me to the link.

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Images found on Born In The Wrong Era

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Beaton struck up an instant rapport with the Queen. His diary reveals that she was an active participant in the staging of her romantic portraits, suggesting suitable dresses and accessories. Here, Beaton combined a painterly eye with the elegant style of his Vogue fashion studies. Like those, each royal portrait would be carefully retouched under Beaton’s instruction, to define facial features and trim silhouettes.

From the Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton exhibition  at  Victoria and Albert Museum [ 8 February – 22 April 2012]

Image and text from Oh! so 30s

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The Dynasphere (sometimes misspelled Dynosphere) was a monowheel vehicle design patented in 1930 by J. A. (John Archibald) Purves (7 August 1870 – 4 November 1952) from Taunton, Somerset, UK. Purves’ idea for the vehicle was inspired by a sketch made by Leonardo da Vinci.

Detail

Two prototypes were initially built: a smaller electrical model, and one with a gasoline motor that attained either 2.5 or 6 horse power depending on the source consulted, using a two-cylinder air-cooled Douglas engine with a three speedgear box, also providing reverse. The Dynasphere model reached top speeds of 25–30 miles per hour (40–48 km/h). The gasoline-powered prototype was 10-foot (3.0 m) high and built of iron latticework that weighed 1,000 pounds (450 kg). The next generation version had ten outer hoops, covered with a leather lining, shaped to present a small profile to the ground.

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The driver’s seat and the motor were part of one unit, mounted with wheels upon the interior rails of the outer hoop. The singular driving seat and motor unit, when powered forward, would thus try to "climb" up the spherical rails, which would cause the lattice cage to roll forward. Steering of the prototype was crude, requiring the driver to lean in the direction sought to travel, though Purves envisioned future models equipped with gears that would shift the inner housing without leaning, thus tipping the Dynasphere in the direction of travel. The later ten-hoop model had a steering wheel engaging such tipping gears, and was captured in a 1932 Pathé newsreel, in which the vehicle’s advantages are first described and then demonstrated at the Brooklands motor racing circuit. A novelty model was later constructed by Purves that could seat eight passengers, the "Dynasphere 8", made specifically for beach use.

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Purves was optimistic about his invention’s prospects. As reported in a 1932 Popular Science magazine article, after a filmed test drive in 1932 on a beach in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, he stated that the Dynasphere "reduced locomotion to the simplest possible form, with consequent economy of power", and that it was "the high-speed vehicle of the future". An article in the February 1935 issue of Meccano Magazine noted that though the Dynasphere was only at an experimental stage, "it possesses so many advantages that we may eventually see gigantic wheels similar to that shown on our cover running along our highways in as large numbers as motor cars do to-day." According to the 2007 book Crazy Cars, one reason the Dynasphere did not succeed was that "while the [vehicle] could move along just fine, it was almost impossible to steer or brake." Another aspect of the vehicle that received criticism was the phenomenon of "gerbiling"—the tendency when accelerating or braking the vehicle for the independent housing holding the driver within the monowheel to spin within the moving structure.

Text from Wikipedia

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Irene Dunne (December 20, 1898 – September 4, 1990) was an Irene Dunne American film actress and singer of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. Dunne was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her performances in Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) and I Remember Mama (1948). She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1958.

Early life

a12102_irene dunne_02Born Irene Marie Dunn in Louisville, Kentucky, to Joseph Dunn, a steamboat inspector for the United States government, and Adelaide Henry, a concert pianist/music teacher from Newport, Kentucky, Irene Dunn would later write, “No triumph of either my stage or screen career has ever rivalled the excitement of trips down the Mississippi on the river boats with my father.” She was only eleven when her father died in 1909. She saved all of his letters and often remembered and lived by what he told her the night before he died: “Happiness is never an accident. It is the prize we get when we choose wisely from life’s great stores.”

After her father’s death, Irene, her mother, and her younger brother Charles moved to her mother’s hometown of Madison, Indiana. Dunn’s mother taught her to play the piano as a very small girl. According to Dunn, “Music was as natural as breathing in our house.” Dunne was raised as a devout Roman Catholic. Nicknamed “Dunnie,” she took piano and voice lessons, sang in local churches and high school plays before her graduation in 1916.

She earned a diploma to teach art, but took a chance on a contest and won a prestigious scholarship to the Chicago Musical College, where she graduated in 1926. With a soprano voice, she had hopes of becoming an opera singer, but did not pass the audition with the Metropolitan Opera Company.

Career

a12102_irene dunne_03Irene, after adding an “e” to her surname, turned to musical theatre, making her Broadway debut in 1922 in Zelda Sears‘s The Clinging Vine. The following year, Dunne played a season of light opera in Atlanta, Georgia. Though in her own words Dunne created “no great furore”, by 1929 she had a successful Broadway career playing leading roles, grateful to be at centre stage rather than in the chorus line. In July 1928, Dunne married Francis Griffin, a New York dentist, whom she had met in 1924 at a supper dance in New York. Despite differing opinions and battles that raged furiously, Dunne eventually agreed to marry him and leave the theatre.

Dunne’s role as Magnolia Hawks in Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II‘s Show Boat was the result of a chance meeting with showman Florenz Ziegfeld in an elevator the day she returned from her honeymoon. Dunne was discovered by Hollywood while starring with the road company of Show Boat in 1929. Dunne signed a contract with RKO and appeared in her first movie in 1930, Leathernecking, a film version of the musical Present Arms. She moved to Hollywood with her mother and brother and maintained a long-distance marriage with her husband in New York until he joined her in California in 1936. a12102_irene dunne_04That year, she re-created her role as Magnolia in what is considered the classic film version of the famous musical Show Boat, directed by James Whale. (Edna Ferber‘s novel, on which the musical is based, had already been filmed as a part-talkie in 1929, and the musical would be remade in Technicolor in 1951, but the 1936 film is considered by most critics and many film buffs to be the definitive motion picture version.)

During the 1930s and 1940s, Dunne blossomed into a popular screen heroine in movies such as the original Back Street (1932) and the original Magnificent Obsession(1935). The first of three films she made opposite Charles Boyer, Love Affair (1939) is perhaps one of her best known. She starred, and sang “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes“, in the 1935 Fred AstaireGinger Rogers film version of the musical Roberta.

She was apprehensive about attempting her first comedy role, as the title character in Theodora Goes Wild (1936), but discovered that she enjoyed it. She turned out to possess an aptitude for comedy, with a flair for combining the elegant and the madcap, a quality she displayed in such films as The Awful Truth (1937) and My Favourite Wife (1940), both co-starring Cary Grant. Other notable roles include Julie Gardiner Adams in Penny Serenade (1941) (once again opposite Grant), a12102_irene dunne_05Anna Leonowens in Anna and the King of Siam (1946), Lavinia Day in Life with Father (1947), and Marta Hanson in I Remember Mama (1948). In The Mudlark(1950), Dunne was nearly unrecognizable under heavy makeup as Queen Victoria.

She retired from the screen in 1952, after the comedy It Grows on Trees. The following year, she was the opening act on the 1953 March of Dimes showcase in New York City. While in town, she made an appearance as the mystery guest on What’s My Line? She also made television performances on Ford Theatre, General Electric Theatre, and the Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, continuing to act until 1962.

In 1952-53, Dunne played newspaper editor Susan Armstrong in the radio program Bright Star. The syndicated 30-minute comedy-drama also starred Fred MacMurray.

Dunne commented in an interview that she had lacked the “terrifying ambition” of some other actresses and said, “I drifted into acting and drifted out. Acting is not everything. Living is.

Text from Wikipedia 

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In context

Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh (born 15 July 1914 in Bangkok, Thailand; died 23 December 1985 in Barons Court Station, London), better known as Prince Bira of Siam (now Thailand) or by his nom de course B. Bira, was the only Thai race car driver to race in Formula One. He raced in Formula One and Grand Prix races for the Maserati, Gordini, and Connaught teams, among others. He also was an Olympic sailor in the Melbourne Olympics, 1956 in the Star, Rome Olympics, 1960 in the Star, Tokyo Olympics, 1964 in the Dragon and the Munich Olympics, 1972 in the Tempest. In the 1960 Games he competed against another former Formula One driver, Roberto Mieres, who finished 17th and ahead of the prince in 19th. Birabongse was the only Southeast Asian driver in Formula One until Malaysia‘s Alex Yoong joined Minardi in 2001. Prince Bira was not only a racing driver, he was also an excellent pilot of gliders and powered aircraft. In 1952 he flew the remarkable distance from London to Bangkok with his own twin engine Miles Gemini aircraft.

Prince Bira accepting the trophy for winning the London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace in 1937, having driven his ERA.

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Text from Wikipedia

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I’,m afraid you’re going to have to wait a while for the midnight sun. I didn’t realise that this was a created playlist. Make yourself a cup of coffee, loosen your tie and prepare for a round trip of Europe 😉

Movie found on travelfilmarchive on Youtube

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QSMV Dominion Monarch was a British refrigerated cargo liner. Her name was a reference to the Dominion of New Zealand. The unusual prefix "QSMV" stood for quadruple-screw motor vessel.

The ship was built in England in 1937–39, and when new she set a number of records for her size and power. She operated between Britain and New Zealand via Australia in civilian service 1938–40 and 1948–62 and was a troop ship 1940–47. She spent half of 1962 in the Port of Seattle as a floating hotel for the Century 21 Exposition and was then scrapped in Japan.

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Building

Dominion Monarch was the world’s most powerful motor liner. She was powered by four William Doxford & Sons five-cylinder two-stroke single-acting diesel engines, each of 28 916 inches (72.5 cm) bore by 88 916 inches (2.25 m) stroke. Two engines were built by Swan Hunter and two under licence by Sunderland Forge. The engines were the largest that Doxford’s had constructed. Together they gave her a rating of 5,056 NHP or 32,000 bhp, a top speed of 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h) and cruising speed of 19.2 knots (35.6 km/h) at an engine speed of 123 rpm.

The ship had four 100 lbf/in2 double-ended auxiliary boilers. Onboard electricity was supplied by five six-cylinder 900 bhp Allan diesel engines, each powering a 600 kW 220 volt generator. Much of her cargo space was refrigerated. Her navigation equipment included wireless direction finding, and echo sounding device and a gyrocompass.

Dominion Monarch was completed on 12 January 1939. On 28 January, she had her sea trials off St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire, Scotland. before sailing to London, where she was docked at the King George V Dock in the evening of 29 January. She was then handed over to her owners, who registered her in Southampton.

Pre-war service

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The new ship sailed from North East England to London to load cargo for her maiden voyage. Facilities there had been upgraded in preparation for her, with eight new three-ton capacity electric cranes having been installed on the north quay of the King George V Dock. She left London on 17 February 1939, and made her first call at Southampton where she embarked passengers for Australia and New Zealand. She then called at Tenerife in the Canary Islands for bunkers, Cape Town and Durban in South Africa; and Fremantle, Melbourne, and Sydney in Australia. On 24 April 1939 she reached Wellington in New Zealand, where she had a slight collision with the crane vessel Hikitia. Dominion Monarch also visited Napier, New Zealand. Her voyage set more records, including fastest passage from Britain to Australia via the Cape of Good Hope, largest ship to serve Australia, and largest ship to serve New Zealand. On the Durban to Fremantle leg, she averaged 19.97 knots (36.98 km/h).

a12091_Dominion Monarch_06After her maiden voyage, Dominion Monarch switched from Tenerife to Las Palmas for her regular refueling stop in the Canary Islands. Her regular journey time between Southampton and Wellington was 35 days. Shaw, Savill and Albion promoted the service as "The Clipper Route", and fares began at £58. With the break bulk cargo handling techniques of her era the ship was able to make three round trips a year, spending almost as much time unloading and loading in Britain and New Zealand as voyaging at sea.

Post-war civilian service

Dominion Monarch returned to the Tyne where Swan Hunter refitted her as a civilian liner again. This took 15 months, during which she was converted to carry 508 passengers, all First Class. The refit cost £1,500,000 – as much as she had cost to build. She resumed civilian service on 16 December 1948, leaving Britain with passengers and 10,000 tons of cargo for Australia and New Zealand. The crew was a motley collection, there were fights among them and the ship was nicknamed the "Dominion Maniac" or "The Bucket of Blood".

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Of the 508 passenger berths, 100 were set aside for passengers between Britain and Cape Town. These were priced at £150 8s 0d, only slightly more than the fare on the competing Union-Castle Line service.

The New Zealand Cricket Team sailed from Wellington on Dominion Monarch on 26 February 1949 for their summer tour of England. They arrived at Southampton on 2 April. Following a tour of South Africa, the All Blacks rugby union team departed from Durban on 23 September 1949 for their return home. In 1950 the ship was fitted with a new set of propellers, which gave her quieter a12091_Dominion Monarch_07running. She spent 5–23 May 1953 at Wallsend slipway for an extensive overhaul. The South African cricket team arrived at Perth, Australia in Dominion Monarch on 14 October 1953 for a tour series.

In 1955 the 20,204 GRT Southern Cross was completed and joined the Shaw Savill fleet, displacing Dominion Monarch as flagship. The two ships inaugurated a round the World service in alternate directions, extending the London – Cape Town – Australia – Wellington route via Fiji, French Polynesia, Panama and Curaçao back to London.

On one occasion in the latter part of 1961 Dominion Monarch collided with the end of the pier in Sydney Harbour. The damage caused minor flooding in the crew quarters during a storm while crossing the Great Australian Bight.

On 27 June 1961 Vickers-Armstrongs on the Tyne launched Dominion Monarch ‘​s replacement, the 24,731 GRT Northern Star. Dominion Monarch left London for the last time on 30 December 1961. In February 1962 she was sold to Mitsui for £400,000 and on 15 March she left Wellington for the last time. She arrived at Southampton on or about 22 April. After disembarking her passengers, she sailed to London to unload her cargo. On 10 July Northern Star entered service in her stead.

Century 21 Exposition and scrapping

From June to November 1961 Mitsui leased Dominion Monarch as a floating hotel and entertainment centre for Seattle’s Century 21 Exposition, along with the Mexican-owned Acapulco and Canadian-owned Catala. She arrived at Seattle on 29 May 1962. Accommodation demand was less than predicted, Dominion Monarch ‘​s US charterer lost $200,000 and her charter was reduced by several weeks. The exhibition closed on 21 October and the ship arrived in Osaka, Japan on 25 November to be scrapped.

Text from Wikipedia

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Imperial Airways
was the early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but principally the British Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East, including Malaya and Hong Kong. There were local partnership companies; Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd) in Australia and TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Ltd) in New Zealand.

a12089_imp_air_06Imperial Airways was merged into the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in 1939, which in turn merged with the British European Airways Corporation to form British Airways.

Background

The establishment of Imperial Airways occurred in the context of facilitating overseas settlement by making travel to and from the colonies quicker, and that flight would also speed up colonial government and trade that was until then dependent upon ships. The launch of the airline followed a burst of air route survey in the British Empire after the First World War, and after some experimental (and often dangerous) long-distance flying to the margins of Empire.

Empire services

Route proving

Between 16 November 1925 and 13 March 1926 Alan Cobham made an Imperial Airways’ route survey flight from the UK to Cape Town and back in the Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar–powered de Havilland DH.50J floatplane G-EBFO. The outward route was London– Paris– Marseille– Pisa– Taranto– Athens– Sollum– Cairo– Luxor– Assuan– Wadi- Halfa– Atbara– Khartoum– Malakal– Mongalla– Jinja– Kisumu– Tabora– Abercorn– Ndola– BrokenHill– Livingstone– Bulawayo– Pretoria– Johannesburg– Kimberley– Blomfontein– Cape Town. On his return Cobham was awarded the Air Force Cross for his services to aviation.

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On 30 June 1926 Alan Cobham took off from the River Medway at Rochester in G-EBFO to make an Imperial Airways route survey for a service to Melbourne, arriving on 15 August. He left Melbourne on 29 August and, after completing 28,000 miles in 320 hours flying time over 78 days, he alighted on the Thames at Westminster on 1 October. Cobham was met by the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Samuel Hoare, and was subsequently knighted by HM King George V.

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27 December 1926 Imperial Airways de Havilland DH.66 Hercules G-EBMX City of Delhi left Croydon for a survey flight to India. The flight reached Karachi on 6 a12089_imp_air_07January and Delhi on 8 January. The aircraft was named by Lady Irwin, wife of the Viceroy, on 10 January 1927. The return flight left on 1 February 1927 and arrived at Heliopolis, Cairo on 7 February. The flying time from Croydon to Delhi was 62 hours 27 minutes and Delhi to Heliopolis 32 hours 50 minutes.

Short Empire Flying Boats

In 1937 with the introduction of Short Empire flying boats built at Short Brothers, Imperial Airways could offer a through-service from Southampton to the Empire. The journey to the Cape was via Marseille, Rome, Brindisi, Athens, Alexandria, Khartoum, Port Bell, Kisumu and onwards by land-based craft to Nairobi, Mbeya and eventually Cape Town. Survey flights were also made across the Atlantic and to New Zealand. By mid-1937 Imperial had completed its thousandth service to the Empire. Starting in 1938 Empire flying boats also flew between Britain and Australia via India and the Middle East.

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In March 1939 three Shorts a week left Southhampton for Australia, reaching Sydney after ten days of flying and nine overnight stops. Three more left for South Africa, taking six flying days to Durban.

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Air Mail

Flown cover carried around the world on PAA Boeing 314 Clippers and Imperial Airways Short S23 flying boats 24 June-28 July 1939

In 1934 the Government began negotiations with Imperial Airways to establish a service (Empire Air Mail Scheme) to carry mail by air on routes served by the airline. Indirectly these negotiations led to the dismissal in 1936 of Sir Christopher Bullock, thePermanent Under-Secretary at the Air Ministry, who was found by a Board of Inquiry to have abused his position in seeking a position on the board of the company while these negotiations were in train. The Government, including the Prime Minister, regretted the decision to dismiss him, later finding that, in fact, no corruption was alleged and sought Bullock’s reinstatement which he declined.

The Empire Air Mail Programme began in July 1937, delivering anywhere for 1½ d./oz. By mid-1938 a hundred tons of mail had been delivered to India and a similar amount to Africa. In the same year, construction was started on the Empire Terminal in Victoria, London, designed by A. Lakeman and with a statue by Eric Broadbent, Speed Wings Over the World gracing the portal above the main entrance. From the terminal there were train connections to Imperial’s flying boats at Southampton and coaches to its landplane base at Croydon Airport. The terminal operated as recently as 1980.

To help promote use of the Air Mail service, in June and July 1939, Imperial Airways participated with Pan American Airways in providing a special “around the world” service; Imperial carried the souvenir mail from Foynes, Ireland, to Hong Kong, out of the eastbound New York to New York route.

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Captain H.W.C. Alger and his wife

Pan American provided service from New York to Foynes (departing 24 June, via the first flight of Northern FAM 18) and Hong Kong to San Francisco (via FAM 14), and United Airlines carried it on the final leg from San Francisco to New York, arriving on 28 July.

Captain H.W.C. Alger was the pilot for the inaugural air mail flight carrying mail from England to Australia for the first time on the Short Empire flying boat Castor for Imperial Airways’ Empires Air Routes, in 1937.

Text from Wikipedia

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One of Britain’s most popular entertainers, George Formby, has died after suffering a heart attack.

Lancashire-born Formby, 56, was one of the UK’s best-paid stars during his heyday in the 1930s and 1940s. His nationwide fame was unusual in the era before ownership of television sets was widespread.

For six successive years during the 1940s he headed a popularity poll compiled by British cinema-goers who flocked to see him in films such as "Spare a Copper" and "George in Civvy Street".

His stage persona was that of a good-natured imbecile but he was a shrewd professional who amassed a fortune, earning up to £35,000 per film.

But Formby turned down many more lucrative offers, including one from Hollywood, so he could entertain British and American troops during the Second World War. His contribution to the war effort earned him an OBE in 1946.

Stage name

Born George Hoy Booth in Wigan in 1904, he was the son of Lancashire’s most famous music hall star who first adopted the name Formby for the stage.

At the age of seven Formby junior was apprenticed to a jockey but weight gain ruled racing out as a career. Instead he followed his father onto the music hall stage, making his debut as a 17-year-old.

The young Formby made his name with an act which featured a ukulele, the instrument which was to become his trademark along with his toothy grin. From that era stem some of his most famous songs including "When I’m Cleaning Windows" and his catchphrase "Turned out nice again".

Surprise fiancée

At the height of his career he topped the bill at several Royal Command performances at the London Palladium. But a weak heart led to his official retirement in 1952 although he had since occasionally appeared on the stage and in pantomimes.

His final heart attack occurred at the home of his fiancée, Patricia Howson, 36. The couple were due to marry in May. The announcement of their engagement in February was a surprise to many, coming as it did just two months after the death of Beryl, Formby’s wife of 36 years.

In Context

In a will made a few days before he died George Formby left most of his £140,000 fortune to his fiancée Patricia Howson.  He left nothing to his family.

After six years of legal wrangling an out-of-court settlement was reached which gave £5,000 to George Formby’s mother and £2,000 each to his three sisters.

In 1964 Patricia Howson auctioned some of the jewellery her fiancé had given her saying she needed the money to pay her legal bills. Ms Howson died in 1971 leaving £20,000 in her will.

Since his death George Formby has become a cult figure with hundreds of fan clubs around the world.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

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Madge Saunders and her husband, British comic actor Leslie Henson, 1920.

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Sally Halterman, the first woman to be granted a license to operate a motorcycle in the District of Columbia, 1937.

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An entrant in a ladies-only reliability trial in London, England, 1927.

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Marjorie Cottle (second from left), a famous motorcyclist, and friends in Germany, 1920.

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Three women riding motorbikes at the ACU Trials in Birmingham, England, 1923.

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Nancy and Betty Debenham, well-known motorcyclists, riding BSA bikes with their dog, 1925.

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Miss E. Foley and Miss L. Ball, entrants in the International Six Days Reliability Trials, at Brooklands race track in England, 1925.

Text and images from VintageEveryday

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Passengers in fur and high heels supped champagne from crystal glasses as bee-hived air stewardesses handed out deluxe freebies, from cigars and deodorant to embossed evening robes. Come evening time, guests could stretch out on full-size sleeper beds, where they were pampered in style with thick blankets, slippers and large, fluffy pillows.

There was no need to worry about leg room; 1950s and 60s airliners such as Imperial Airways and Pan Am came with vast amounts of space. There was room enough to have space for spiral staircases, meals served on actual tables, bathrooms with urinals in, and mile-high bars serving exotic cocktails.

From luxury dining to glamorous guests and acres of space, here’s a collection of vintage photos from the golden age of air travel, via Stylist Magazine.

1. The Marvellous Meals

Once upon a time, an in-flight meal meant bow-tied waiters serving a three-course feast on actual tables, with linen tablecloths and fresh flowers to boot. Forget cardboard and polystyrene trays – it was china and glass all the way…


Passengers enjoy a drink and a game of cards in the cabin of
an Imperial Airways plane in 1936


Dining service aboard the Pan American Martin Clipper aircraft, circa 1936

2. The Leg Room

There was no such thing as reclining rows. No-one ever had to argue over space, because they had acres of it – guests could have easily performed cartwheels round the cabin if they fancied it.

Relaxing in the main salon aboard the Pan American Martin Clipper aircraft,
circa 1936

Text and images found on vintage everyday

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Legends cling to many famous cars, but perhaps the most fabled of them all
is the story of the “Blue Train” Bentley.

Once upon a time, March 12, 1930, to be exact, a wager was made amongst a group of early motoring enthusiasts at a dinner party at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France. A high-spirited discussion was prompted by the Rover motor car’s advertisement, claiming that its Light Six was faster than the famous express train Le Train Bleu. One person in the group was Captain Joel Woolf “Babe” Barnato, a well-known playboy millionaire, the heir to a South African diamond and gold mine, an international sportsman, and one of the original “Bentley Boys,” as well as the chairman of Bentley Motors and the winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928 and 1929. He boasted that he would have no difficulty outrunning Le Train Bleu in his Bentley Speed Six. He bet £100 on his claim.

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Captain Joel Woolf
“Babe” Barnato

The next day, at 5:45 p.m., Le Train Bleu steamed out of Cannes, heading to London’s Victoria Station, while Barnato and his relief driver left the Carlton Hotel in his Speed Six. Although they battled heavy rain and fog, delays from searching for fuel, a punctured tire and having to use their only spare, and a choppy ferry ride across the English Channel, they arrived at the St. James Street Conservative Club four minutes before Le Train Bleu had even reached the ferry at Calais, France. Captain Barnato won his bet; however, the French authorities promptly fined him a sum far exceeding his winnings for racing on public roads. Bentley Motors was also excluded from the 1930 Paris Salon for conducting an unauthorized race.

The next day, at 5:45 p.m., Le Train Bleu steamed out of Cannes, heading to London’s Victoria Station, while Barnato and his relief driver left the Carlton Hotel in his Speed Six. Although they battled heavy rain and fog, delays from searching for fuel, a punctured tire and having to use their only spare, and a choppy ferry ride across the English Channel, they arrived at the St. James Street Conservative Club four minutes before Le Train Bleu had even reached the ferry at Calais, France. Captain Barnato won his bet; however, the French authorities promptly fined him a sum far exceeding his winnings for racing on public roads. Bentley Motors was also excluded from the 1930 Paris Salon for conducting an unauthorized race.

Spare parts and accessories for Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars
As for the car that he actually raced that day, that story too is one of legend. Barnato happened to have owned ten 6½-Litre cars, with seven being standard chassis and three being Speed Six chassis. For decades, the car depicted as the “Blue Train Bentley” in countless newspapers and magazines, as well as in a commemorative painting of the race with Le Train Bleu by Terence Cuneo, was Barnato’s streamlined “fastback” coupe, which had been bodied by Gurney Nutting and wore chassis number HM2855. However, the Bentley he actually drove that day was a rather unassuming black, fabric-covered saloon that had been built by H.J. Mulliner on a 1929 Bentley Speed Six chassis, number BA2592. Captain Barnato had owned that car for a year before the event, while his Gurney Nutting Coupe was still being built.

Text from RM Auctions

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a12056_Standard Superior_01

History

In the first half of 1932, Wilhelm Gutbrod, the President of the Standard Fahrzeugfabrik, came into contact with German engineer Josef Ganz. Ganz had been working on a small car design since the early 1920s and had so far built two prototypes, one for Ardie in 1930 and one for Adler in 1931, called the Maikäfer (May Beetle). After a demonstration with the Maikäfer by Ganz, Gutbrod was most interested to build a small car according to this design. The Standard Fahrzeugfabrik then purchased a license from Ganz to develop and build a small car according to his design. The prototype of this new model, which was to be called Standard Superior, was finished in 1932. It featured a tubular chassis, a mid-mounted engine, and independent wheel suspension with swing-axles at the rear.

a12056_Standard Superior_02

Models

The first production model of the Standard Superior was introduced at the IAMA (Internationale Automobil- und Motorradausstellung) in Berlin in February 1933. It had a transverse 396cc, two-cylinder, two-stroke engine mounted in front of the rear axle. Because of some criticism to the body design, not in the least by Josef Ganz in Motor-Kritik, it was followed in April 1933 by a slightly altered model.

In November 1933 the Standard Fahrzeugfabrik introduced yet another new and improved model for 1934, which was slightly longer with one additional window on each side and had a small seat for children or as luggage space in the back. This car was advertised as the German "Volkswagen" (a term that means, literally, "people’s car" in German.

a12056_Standard Superior_03

The Volkswagen Beetle connection

With the Ardie-Ganz, Adler Maikäfer and Standard Superior cars, as well as his progressive writings and promotion of the concept of a Volkswagen (people’s car) in Motor-Kritik magazine since the 1920s, Josef Ganz is claimed by some to have had input into the Volkswagen Beetle. These cars had some of features of the later Volkswagen Beetle, such as the tubular chassis, rear-mounted engine and independent wheel suspension with swing axles. While the Volkswagen Beetle was produced in its millions after World War Two, the name of Josef Ganz was largely forgotten. In 2004, Dutch journalist Paul Schilperoord started researching the life and work of Josef Ganz, and in 2011 he published The Extraordinary Life of Josef Ganz: The Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler’s Volkswagen.

Text from Wikipedia

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And the lovely ladies are: Carol Hughes, Dorothy Short, Eleanor Holm, Jean Harlow, Joan Blondell, Laurie Lane, Lilian Bond, Lupe Velez, Mary Carlisle, Olivia De Havilland, Patricia Ellis, Paulette Goddard, Raquel Torres and Sally Blane.

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a12048_the flying car
From an article from 1933 found on James Vaughan’s flickr albums

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a12048_streamlined auto
Article from Popular Science Monthly, December 1930

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