Why We Say…

15 09 2008

Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Ever wonder about the history of various common American/English idioms and expressions? An adventure in exciting educational etymological entertainments can be YOURS!

I will be sharing illustrations and anecdotes from this vintage 1953 book by Robert L. Morgan, illustrated by Peter Hoffman.

Expect to see various examples, in no set alphabetical or thematic order, appearing in my “Why We Say…” flickr set, in the upcoming days and weeks, starting with ATOM and BABY DIAPERS. (The combo of atomic baby diapers comes to mind, and that is not a pleasant thought!! Luckily, in this case, they are separate entities. Thank goodness.)

Much thanks to Glen Mullaly, who pointed out a great 2004 Interview with Pete Hoffman (by Dave Karlen), and found out that this book was based on a single educational feature panel strip series (that lasted 28 years!)

More about Pete Hoffman:

WHY WE SAY… A Guidebook to Current Idioms and Expressions — and Where They Came From
By Robert L. Morgan, Illustrated by Peter Hoffman
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.,  New York, 1953.
(out of printget your own copy on AddAll)


Oh! Dr. Kinsey!

9 10 2007

Oh! Dr. Kinsey!
by Lawrence Lariar
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

When Dr. Kinsey’s reports on human sexual behavior came out in 1948 (Sexual Behavior in the Human Male) and 1953 (Sexual Behavior in the Human Female), ever so much hullabaloo was made over the publications.

I found this entertaining comic parody of women’s reactions to Kinsey’s questions on their sexual behavior, Oh! Dr. Kinsey! by Lawrence Lariar, published in 1953 after the report on female sexuality. Lawrence Lariar was a talented cartoonist, editor (Best Cartoons of the Year series) and author of mystery novels. (NY Times Obituary).

(The photos, as the author explains, are all of professional models, and the book is “in no way scientific.”)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

7 10 2007

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes.

I’ve been looking for the original first edition hardback of this novel by Anita Loos, with illustrations by Ralph Barton (one of my favorite illustrators) for ever so long.

Until then, this paperback edition (with the sultry cover illustration by Earle K. Bergey) will have to do. Check out the expressions on all those lecherous men, ogling the blond beauty and her substantial charms!

For hundred of other scintillating pulp covers, please visit my pulp cover collection, or the Flickr Pulp Fiction pool.

The Adventures of Tom Swift, Jr.

4 10 2007

Tom Swift and His Giant Robot
Illustrated by Graham Kaye
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Call me old fashioned, but I’d much rather see a boy transfixed by a good book, than slack-jawed in front of a computer screen, any day. And this series would fuel the imagination, I dare say. More about the series

These Tom Swift, Jr. dust cover examples were illustrated by Graham Kaye, former illustrator of the Saturday Evening Post.
See more covers

(Much thanks to Cary Tucker for giving me these dust jackets!)