1940s

Showing 12 posts tagged 1940s

From 1941’s Hellzapoppin’, watch this phenomenal performance by Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, the Savoy Ballroom's supreme swing dance group founded in 1935 by Herbert “Whitey” White. This clip is annotated with the teams’ names: William Downes & Frances “Mickey” Jones (0:39). Billy Ricker & Norma Miller (1:09). Al Minns & Willa Mae Ricker (1:29). Frankie Manning & Ann Johnson (1:55).

You’ll recognize Al Minns from these classic clips with dance partner Leon James. There’s more swing in the archives. Also, don’t miss The Nicholas Brothers in another one of the greatest dance performances ever filmed.

Midget Motor Mania! With some history from Jalopy Journal

Great pre-war tether car footage brought to you via Newsreel (as shown at the front of movies in the theater) from October of 1940. At this fairly early point in the hobby, there were already six of these rail or cable-type Thimbledromes in the US, and the speed record was noted as 71 mph (after the war, the cars were hitting 100+ mph and tracks sprung up all over). This footage shows how the rail in Reading, Penn. was set up, and packed with spectators on the outside edge with little or no protection from runaway racers.

What’s interesting to consider, is that by the late 50s, the tether car hobby was nearly extinct. It’s been said that this happened due to a shrinking amount of spectators, as the pint-sized cars had just become too fast and the fans could no longer view them in action very easily.  The little racers also lost some of their appeal when they began to get too streamlined in appearance, and no longer represented the real midget race cars of their day.

In the video archives: more toys and vehicles, including this 1962 flying bicycle airplane.

via Jalopnik.

Mother Goose Stories was made in 1946 by pioneering stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen. Distributed to schools, it includes Little Miss Muffet, Old Mother Hubbard, The Queen of Hearts, and Humpty Dumpty.

He used armatured models. The ball and socket armatures were made by his father although based on Ray’s designs, and were clothed in tiny costumes made by his mother.  Each had a series of replacement heads, with extreme expressions and he would dissolve from one head to another to simulate reactions. 

Harryhausen is best known for his work on Mighty Joe Young, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and Jason and the Argonauts, but he created a number of children’s stories early in his careerHarryhausen’s The Story of King Midas was not approved by the entire TKSST editorial team, but if your kids don’t mind mysterious, scowling, lesson-providing beings that appear and disappear into thin air, you should definitely watch that, too.

There are more stop-motion videos in the archives.