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From the wonderful Fulltable site, in a section dedicated to advertising art during WWII–an episode in the history of stuff that I have looked into before on this blog–comes this improbable two-pager, of combined absolution and advertisement, regarding chewing gum, of all things:

Chewing GUm

JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post Daily Dose from Dr. Odd series

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Dr Odd series069I have rather deep well of sublimely different publications, some of which strain the merits of acceptable thought and the boundaries of logic; and some are filled with their own outsider logic, occasionally acting as a Black Hole of interpretation. Some of these publications have incredible titles that obscure some good thinking in its pages; sometimes the title is bland or discerning but hide a text that is anything but that and sometimes nonsensical or outre. And sometimes the works have incredible titles with contents to match. Such is the case with Frank Freemont Frazee's Russians You are Crazy about the Atomic Bomb and Secrecy; Americans, You are Crazy about the Atomic Bomb and Gold Money; Americans you are Crazy about this Bomb for Commercial use also about a Gold Standard Money System. This work is certianly upper-drawer for publications with difficult titles.

And as it turns out, the content does not disappoint, if by "disappoint" we mean "confuse"–I'm still uncertain about what the man was saying in his Fabius, New York publication. But after much talk of god and Henry Ford and bimetalism and fire and "cost and storage" and Moses and barter and "epitomes and repetition with inflation" and the like, it looks like the author presents a monetary system based on anti-atomic-bomb fear and freedom from major enterprises, along with steel dollars, which "would be a sound valuable dollar, because made of enough rust-proof sttel to be worth a hundred cents internally". He terms it "free steel…to be acutally produced competitively new dollars necessarily made of steel", though by "free" he means "competitively produced and accepted by us and our government as money, freely and without limit", which really doesn't have anything to do with "free". And so it goes, on and on.

JF Ptak Science Books Post 1970

This pamphlet, 70,000 American Refugees, Made in U.S.A., by Truman B. Douglass1, was a sympathetic appeal to the deeply grave situation legislated to 140,000 Americans. They were Americans of Japanese descent, many of them U.S. citizen, who by Executive Order 9066 were ordered to stand down from their lives for the sake of national security and be removed to distant and remote internment camps beginning in May 1942, mostly for the duration of the war. There weren't that many appeals for the primacy of the rights of these people at this time–the war for the United States was newly begun via the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor some months before–and the understanding was to protect the security of the country via the segregation and housing of what were seen to be the potential enemies in the existing Japanese-American population.

Japanese relocation058

[This pamphlet is available for sale at our blog bookstore, here.]

Franklin Roosevelt’s February 1942 Executive Order 9066 (issued 19 February 1942) to imprison more than 100,000 American (70,000 of whom were U.S. citizens, including children) for the duration of the war–it was the legal bombshell that gave the War Department the authority to authorize the removal of the Japanese to theoretically prevent those people from engaging in sub rosa and fifth column activities asd wartime terrorists fighting for Imperial Japan.

Given that this pamphlet was in it third edition just a few months past its first appearance in October 1944 says that there was at least some interest in this political/moral anti-Executive Order 90662 position, though how much of that is from a popular groundswell of support it is not possible to say. I imagine that the print runs of this pamphlet were rather small given that there are only ten copies of all three editions in the collections of libraries worldwide. And since there are many collections that should have this pamphlet but don't–copies are found in California State University Northridge, California State Irvine, Yale, Wisconsin Historical, Cornell, Berkeley, Davis, Huntington, according to WorldCat–and no copies seem to pop into the rare book market very often at all, I suspect that not many copies were printed per edition, which means that there was a repetitive demand for the pamphlet that exhausted small print runs, which means maybe there were 2000 copies printed…not exactly "groundswell" support for what was an unpopular position). Third edition, October 1944 (following the first edition of August 1944).Full text available via the California Digital Library, here. (The Library of Congress evidently doesn't have any copies any more–my copy had been in their collection, and it seems as though the back-up copy is no longer there).

The story of the removal and control of the American Japanese population is complex and deep and has been addressed in many places in print and online (and even on this blog several times), and it is not my intent to address that issue in this post. I want to highlight what must have been a largely high-minority and mostly lonely voice of consideration and caution.


1. The printing and publication information for the pamphlet: "The Citizens Committee for Resettlement, 6501 Wydown Blvd., St. Louis 5, Missouri,
25 cents. May also be ordered separately at cost indicated. Reduced price in quantities.
Community Preparation for Resettlement of Japanese Americans, published by
The Committee on Resettlement of Japanese Americans, The Federal Council of Churches". Truman B. Douglass Grinnell, Iowa, 1901-1969, was instrumental in the forming of the United Church of Christ in 1957.

2. Transcription courtesy of the History Matters project:

Transcript of Executive Order 9066: Resulting in the Relocation of Japanese

Executive Order No. 9066

The President

Executive Order

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible
protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material,
national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section
4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30,
1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title
50, Sec. 104);

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the
United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize
and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from
time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such
action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of
such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from
which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right
of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever
restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may
impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide
for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation,
food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of
the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other
arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation
of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of
prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations
of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority
of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such
prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said
Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military
Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions
applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated,
including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority
to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent
establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the
said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the
furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use
of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and

This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the
authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12,
1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and
responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the
investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the
Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of
December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of
alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the
designation of military areas hereunder.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,

February 19, 1942.


JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post

Say what you will about the man–I have said a lot in my time since 1970–Richard Nixon was ready to appeal to compassionate hearts in America and around the world had the Apollo 11 lunar mission ended in tragedy on the Moon. The speech ("In the Event of Moon Disaster") was written for Nixon by speechwriter William Safire (1929-2009, later NYT columnist and social recorder and lexicographer) and delivered to presidential assistant H.R. Haldeman (1926-1993, and White House Chief of Staff, 1969-1973) a few days before the lunar landing, 18 July 1969. It was the contingency address, written for Nixon to address the nation in the event that Apollo 11 had a fatal accident on the Moon or couldn't return to Earth. Its a very good speech.

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is
no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for
mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be
mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the
world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her
sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as
one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the
constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are
epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come
will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever

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JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post

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This is the beginning of a set of patent drawings images of not-so-terribly-antiquarian approaches to neurosurgery. The materials include the nuts and bolts of surgery–literally–as well as head clamps and boring devices. This will concentrate on the more modern era (1880-1925) so that some of the equipment–as archaic as it may seem–was used within living memory.

The boring-end of a trepanning device:

This is a detail from the full-page patent drawing:

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JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post

Telephone girl969
Telephone girl970

For an interesting side-bit on introducing the telephone for popular
use, see my earlier post, The Magnificent Mundane: an Instructional With
Prop on How to Use the telephone, 1946, here.


(Revisiting an earlier post from 2008)

I do love Santa.

And I know a little about him; but when I looked closely at this wood engraving of the man hard at work something struck me as very unusual to my Santa experience.

The image is from 31 December 1871–coming after Christmas for some reason–and it is one of the very earliest depictions of the most universally recognized form of Santa. It was created (his image that is, of course) by the incredibly prolific and almost-entirely socially responsible (except for Catholics and the Irish) Thomas Nast. Nast created this standard, iconic image of Santa–plus the Republican elephant, the Democratic donkey, the Tammany tiger, and many more iconic public images.

In fairly famous and often used images I had never noticed that the letters that Santa is reading are being taken from the piles on his desk–but the letters are not written by children, but rather were sent by the parents.

Is this end-of-the-year grading? Were the “naughty” children being ratted out by their parents? Does Santa really need to be told all of this? And who on earth really is deserving of a lump of coal, anyway? I'm guessing though that this was simply a warning cartoon to children, saying to them that they'd better well be good or a letter will be going out from Mom and Dad to Santa in the afternoon mail

This might make more make more sense if the cartoon wasn't published five days after Christmas but appeared before the holiday. Perhaps it is perfectly placed–tis would've been the first issue of the weekly magazine after the holiday, so reminding children to be good after a Christmas in which they might not have received what they wanted may have been caused by their behavior. And since part of Nast's social power came from depicting events that were of interest to the working class and the poor and making them intelligible to the illiterate, where the cartoon/caricature could speak without words and make themselves understood, it might've been the case where parents would show the image of Santa to the kids and then tell them about the letter part to try and codify a different behavior in the new-coming-Christmas season.


These questions aside, the lesson yet again for me is to look very closely when looking at complex images like this—especially when you think that you already know what you’re looking at…

Continue reading here.

JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post Part of the Zoomology series.

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Bath beauties huntington detail girl

It would be easy to rhapsodize on the "quieter" or "simpler" lifestyles and demands of society from 90 years ago, especially when you compare this bathing beauty image (below) to the pupal-pulsating extravaganzas of the modern image-formulating beauty fairs. For people who were alive in this photo in 1925 I have no doubt that their life was just as complexified as any life situations as they exist today. One thing that has changed are the speeds at which societal inputs can be responded to–we can certainly achieve more-or-less instant satisfaction addressing a problem today than could have ever been dreampt of in 1925. The fluidity of thought and communication that are a given in 2012 were not even a scientific fiction possibility in 1925–as a matter of lexicograph record, the term "science fiction" didn't even exist in 1925, much less be a bucket for collecting rumblings of future possibilities. There were certainly fewer levels of things to deal with in 1925, but the time it took to deal with the dealables would have been far greater than today's timetables of answers, so perhaps the issue of the simple vs. the complex would be a wash/trade off so far as the actual amount of time was concerned in the global addressing of combined complexities. Anyway, that horrible sentence out of the way, the idea of the "simpler life" is highly relative, and relational.

That said, here is the line-up of contestants for a beauty contest at Huntington Beach, California, in 1925.

Everything seems interesting in this photo–the women themselves, their bathing attire, the men standing behind them, the footwear on the beach, and of course the girls peeking out through the legs of the contestants.

All images are found at the Library of Congress, here. All image are also greatly expandable.

Bathing beauty huntington beach

Bath beauties huntington detail girl 2

Library of Congress, here.

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Above is a detail of a stipple engraving of the great mathematician and astrologer, John Dee. It is simply titled "Dr. John Dee" (1527-1600), and was published and printed in London by T. Cadell, 1798. This is a very fine portrait (5×4" on a 7×5" sheet) undertaken in an accomplished/naive style after the painting by George Perfect Harding (d. 1868) and engraved by Nicolas Schenker (1760-1848). [We offer the original (pictured below) at our blog bookstore, here.]

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