Corbin Canadian Cats


back of cat tray

Pam’s Pictorama Advertising Post: A giveaway from the Corbin Lock Company of Canada. Needless to say that if I lived in Canada and needed locks these folks would have been my square one – in fact, I’m sure I would have bought a lock just to get one of these!  Purchased as a pair on eBay recently, these were advertised as pin dishes, but as someone who has very few pins these days, these will probably hold paperclips on my desk in the office and rings on my dresser – although I don’t know if I can bear to hide those cat faces, maybe I should just put them up somewhere.  I would buy things like this all the time if I ran across them more often, but I can’t say that I do. I feel very fortunate to have found and purchased these!

Starting Small with Mice


Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post:  Of course what is a cat collection without –  mice! This wonderful bunch of little Mickeys (and one Minnie) is courtesy of Britain’s Dean’s Rag Book Company – the greatest maker of the off model Mickey Mouse that I know of.  It was (is) a large company and I have to believe they had the license to Mickey, but that leaves us scratching our head about why he came out so wonderfully toothy and terrifying! Whatever did Walt think?

These were purchased at auction – I think three from Hake’s and one from Morphy’s, but I could be wrong. Definitely not eBay however, although there are usually some to be found for sale there.  They are delightful. The smaller ones are about four inches in length.  Don’t know what that little orange prison-type suit is on the second one in – the shorts are the more typical outfit.  It appears to be original to him however.

I have been told that these are “jazzers” – little, light figures with wire legs that you could put on the arm of your (wind-up) phonograph and they would gently bounce along as the record played.  Don’t try this at home kids – has to be hell on your 78’s!

Ugly Children, Good Toys

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Pam’s Pictorama Post:  Okay, my title is perhaps a bit unfair, I think the baby in the carriage with Felix is perhaps the only really unattractive child – but let’s face it, the point of these photos is the toys. For those of you who think that is harsh – I have only this question, Who would buy these photos today without the toys?

From the top – a photo postcard of a very scary, toothy Mickey – no wonder that child looks terrified!  Even the plane becomes a bit frightening in proximity to Mickey.  Below it, another photo postcard – a small child strapped into a carriage with a Felix that would probably give some people nightmares. Last, a small albumen print of a boy holding a rather nice elephant toy in addition to a wooden Felix he is rather proud of, as he should be.

Jazz up your kids with a toy I say!

Felix on Parade

felix parade

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post:  As you can see it isn’t like the Brits and the Aussie’s had this Felix thing all sewn up! Here are two photos of Felix parade floats in the US.  One is a photo postcard (Oregon Laundry) and the other is a tiny snapshot. On top, the Rose Festival in Portland, OR,’29 – man, they could do my laundry any day! My hat’s off to the fine people of Portland, OR which seems, oddly, to be a hotbed of Felix photo activity. Go Portland!

The snapshot, identified as the Bamberger’s Parade, Thanksgiving, ’31. Presumably this is Newark, NJ – a fine little home movie color film snippet, Bamberger’s Thanksgiving Parade circa 1933,  is absolutely worth the four and a half minutes on and suffering through the commercial at the beginning.  Felix doesn’t show up, but Mickey puts in a very brief appearance. An indication that perhaps by ’33 or so Felix’s star was starting to fade a bit in the USA, and Mickey was the big kid on the block now. Mickey parade photos to follow in the future!

Felix Makes the Picture Better!

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post:  Two choice photos from my collection – folks taking advantage of the Felix appeal! From the top – a press photo dated August 19, 1924, (yep, exactly 90 years ago tomorrow!) which reads:

“Felix” expected to bring his luck to British.  “Bubble”, the crack polo pony owned by Lord Wimborne, financial backed of the British Polo team, gives “Felix”, cartoon cat of the movies and official mascot of the English team an exercise.  Having been “rawther” unsuccessful in winning sporting events from Uncle Sam on pure merit, out [sic] British friends will not try a bit of mascot luck – hence Felix.  United Newspictures Incorporated, 461 Eighth Avenue, New York City.


Next, Dolores Costello takes him up, “DOLORES COSTELLO is now a full fledged start and will again play opposite John Barrymore in an adaptation of the opera “Manon Lescaut” now being made at Warner Bros. Hollywood studio, but she still loves her dolls and makes toy animals her chief hobby. 

He looks a bit like he has a toothache in this one – they can say what they want, but I question if Dolores is a real Felix fan – for that we’ll have to wait until I devote a post to German film star Lilian Harvey!

A late addition, this photo below purchased in ’12 from German eBay.  Don’t know who it is but Felix having a mighty fine time!  It belongs with the other two.


Mickey and Felix Costumes, Part 1

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: Mysterious applications of Mickey and Felix as costumes really could be their own category! Starting with this is a tiny photo which really defies easy explanation – someone dressed as a long-nosed, slightly off-model (paunchy) Mickey on skies or snow shoes.  Hard to imagine what was going on here, or that he remained standing long.


Back of card reads (complete with lack of punctuation):

Mrs. W Stoodley
Folly Farms
Lovewkerne (?) Som

am glad it is much cooler now but our place is cooler inside than out.  The children had their carnival yesterday but this is the one.  Will

This Felix costume is much jollier and a lot more sensible – as such.  I’m sure he raised a lot of money for them. In fact, so much, that they did it more than once!


This card features stuffed Felix dolls for the action – mine of this type is posted too so you can get a better look – irresistible to put these together – another example of rather brilliant photo collage work.  Nothing on the back of this card so we don’t know which came first.  They were purchased separately over the course of several years and the seller of this card said he had never seen anything like it.  I sent him a scan of the other – both of these came from British sellers.  I say Hooray for Felix!

Felix Tintype – Little Gem

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: Came across this while I was doing my post earlier today and thought I would add it. While at some point I want to do something comprehensive on the Felix tintype, they are fun one at a time too.  While the quality on these is generally pretty hideous – they hang on a dark, interior wall in the apartment where they get a minimum of light so they don’t darken further – I find them utterly irresistible, and have paid dearly for most of the ones I have – about a half-dozen.  This is among the least faded images.

Among those that got away was one with a stuffed Mickey Mouse – Australian I think.  Can’t win ’em all – but always surprised I haven’t seen others of Mickey.  (I also lost out on a photo of people posing with Spark Plug the horse – Hake’s auction I think – which went for a fortune.  Again, the only one I’ve ever seen.  Where do these things go?  Were there that many more taken with Felix?)

Anyway, here we have everyone in 1925 all tricked out for their day at the British Empire Exhibition with Felix – the parasol is a nice touch!

Aesop Fable Photo and Art Post


Pam Pictorama Post: Featured at the top, a splendid press photo The Making of an Aesop’s Sound Fables.  It says, “A close-up of the cameraman at work.  The ‘Frame’ is now down in position over the background and ‘cells.’ This shows a complete single picture about to be taken.” It is dated ’32.

Below are three drawings, original art (I couldn’t be certain until I had them in hand, but there are traces of pencil and the ink is clearly original) on penny postcards. I purchased first two and then a subsequent one months later, on eBay. The first two were acquired from a seller in Great Britain (although these are clearly American and one wonders how they got there) and I can’t remember where or who the third, the one with color, was purchased from, but it was a different seller.

When I originally posted these on Facebook a FB friend (Stephen Worth) told me that he had a similar piece by Mannie Davis – the farmer and several animals, and he posted it for me to see.  They certainly seem to be of the same hand.

No idea what the purpose of these was – there is no writing on them and mine are not signed. Perfectly wonderful though and clearly drawn and inked by a practiced hand that had drawn thousands before.  As a huge fan of the cartoons I find all of it pretty fascinating.

Moon Photo

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post:  Allie, This is you and Lonnie, isn’t it?  I love photos of people posing on the moon! While this is a pro card (special for Valentine’s Day evidently) I have a few choice examples I will follow-up with some of the photo studio ones – I have one in my office I am especially pleased with.  I continue to search for an opportunity to have my photo taken on one. I love just sorting through them on eBay and looking at all the different ones.  They could be their own book.

The French took the moon postcard into a whole different realm – naked women, even cats – all sorts of variations. I am less fond of these, preferring the unexpected and unique ones taken at fairs and seaside resorts, but some are quite wonderful. I look forward to organizing these into their own section and sharing more of them.

Flapper Page – Photo Album Continued

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: Shortly after my cat photo collage post (August 10) I found this interesting page on eBay and decided to stretch a point and buy it – no cats, but a sort of wonderful glimpse into what was likely a young woman’s life in the twenties. It is a small page, less than 8×10 – so each image is quite tiny. I am wondering which, if any, might be the owner of the album and page maker – maybe the girl with the fur collar and pearls at the top in the middle? Or the one with the hat above her? Blurry photos were not beneath use in their place, see lower left – and the line of legs and shoes at the bottom is what really does it for me. Were these showing off the new shorter skirts of the day? Or just the fashionable shoes – or both?

When I posted the other one someone speculated on how attempts at making contemporary collages never have the same charm. I tend to agree, although I think it is more difficult than it looks and you need a good eye for it. I also believe that there’s something to it being a less cynical time – no striving for irony and a sense of real wonder and fun with the availability of the new medium of photography.

(I just realized that you can’t blow this up unless you drag it to your desktop – please do and have a good look!)