• Old Photos: Women of the USSR

    Sometime ago I was arguing on twitter about the number of women in the medical profession in the USSR. While I knew I was right (because I am always right), my opponent ridiculed my anecdotal references, like a number of female doctors I visited in my childhood, or a number of female students in my Dad’s medical school photo-album. I thought maybe a scientific-looking study would be more convincing.

    Soviet Women in the Work Force and Professions
    WILLIAM M. MANDEL Highgate Road Social Science Research Station, Inc.(Berkeley, California)

    Women had been 10% of doctors and dentists in 1913. They rose to 77% in 1950 (Tsentral’noe Statisticheskoe Upravlenie, 1969a: 103), but then declined to 72% in 1969, when they were also down to 55% among medical students, pointing to an equalized sex ratio in medicine a generation hence.

    Although remuneration in the Soviet professions shows nothing remotely like the spread in the United States between the teacher at the bottom of the heap, the engineer somewhat better off, and the doctor way out in front, there is a differential there as well. The Soviet government, always economically pinched, has raised wages and salaries in a[264] manner to attract people into fields which would not otherwise be entered by enough candidates to meet the need. Engineering is the best enumerated. Law is the lowest paid of the professions in the Soviet Union, and in it women are precisely the same proportion (one-third) as in engineering,the highest paid. Women had been 5% of the lawyers in 1926. At present there are 2,500 women judges. So women are majorities in the two professions in the middle of the payscale –  medicine and teaching   minorities in the two at the extremes-engineering and law. However, the 1971-1975 Five-Year Plan provides sharp salary increases for the two professions of medicine and teaching. Those seeking signs of discrimination no matter what are faced with the fact that, in numbers as distinct from percentages, there are more women engineers than physicians, and more physicians than librarians. The 775,000 women engineers in the USSR (1969) is almost equal to the total number of engineers in the United States (870,000), of whom only 1% are women.

    On this International Women’s Day I am posting some photos of the Soviet women at work and at play. Wishing the best to all my female readers, even those who thought they can prove me wrong.

    Worker and Peasant Statue. 1956 © Time Inc.Lisa Larsen.
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  • Back Off Devil!

    Continuing with the subject of random vehicle photos altered with annoying photo filters, here is an awesome moving piece of art. This Gulliver-like Jesus sitting in the low-flying cloud, winged angels leading people out of their coffins with lids still attached, and even a bible-gripping Yosemite Sam, could be yours if you manage to locate the owners phone number.

    I am the way, the truth and the life....
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  • Old Photos: Old-Timey Christmas

    Christmas is a very nostalgic holiday, probably more so than any other. It’s the time when people realize that another year is left behind, kids have grown older and now want an iPhone instead of a barbie, and everyone else is sporting more and more gray hairs. People remember their own childhoods, old presents, relatives who are now gone, and the time when Christmas dinner meant killing your own goose.

    These photos were taken in Neosho Rapids,KS in 1945.

    Son watching James F. Irwin (R) selecting a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II. © Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Son watching James F. Irwin (R) selecting a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II. © Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Family members watching James F. Irwin (C) killing a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Family members watching James F. Irwin (C) killing a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    James F. Irwin (R), his wife and son preparing a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    James F. Irwin (R), his wife and son preparing a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Mrs. James Ferdinand Irwin (2L) standing on porch watching the men in her family, most recently returned fr. service in WWII, carrying home freshly shot rabbits and a cedar tree for Christmas family reunion.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Mrs. James Ferdinand Irwin (2L) standing on porch watching the men in her family, most recently returned fr. service in WWII, carrying home freshly shot rabbits and a cedar tree for Christmas family reunion.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Mrs. James Ferdinand Irwin in kitchen preparing stuffed goose for Christmas dinner that marks the first family reunion in years w. her sons safely returned fr. WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Mrs. James Ferdinand Irwin in kitchen preparing stuffed goose for Christmas dinner that marks the first family reunion in years with her sons safely returned from WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Members of farmer James Ferdinand Irwins family trimming native cedar Christmas tree in living room during family reunion and early Christmas celebration marking the return of Irwins sons and sons-in-law fr. service in WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Members of farmer James Ferdinand Irwin’s family trimming native cedar Christmas tree in living room during family reunion and early Christmas celebration marking the return of Irwin’s sons and sons-in-law from service in WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Daughters of James Ferdinand Irwin bottle-feeding their babies at Christmas family reunion celebration marking the return of Irwins sons from service in WWII, L-R: Jeanne Haney & son Joe, Myra Lee Love & son John, Betty Roush and her daughters Julia Ann.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Daughters of James Ferdinand Irwin bottle-feeding their babies at Christmas family reunion celebration marking the return of Irwin’s sons fr. service in WWII, L-R: Jeanne Haney & son Joe, Myra Lee Love & son John, Betty Roush and her daughter Julia Ann.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    James Ferdinand Irwin family sitting around table having Christmas dinner, their young men safely returned fr. WWII, (clockwise fr. L) Fred Andrews, Mr. Irwin, Jim, unident., Jeanne, Joe, Levern Love, Myra Lee, Jack, unident., Mrs. Irwin Scotty, and 2 un.ident.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    James Ferdinand Irwin family sitting around table having Christmas dinner, their young men safely returned fr. WWII, (clockwise fr. L) Fred Andrews, Mr. Irwin, Jim, Jeanne, Joe, Levern Love, Myra Lee, Jack, Mrs. Irwin.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    James Ferdinand Irwins family singing carols at early family reunion Christmas celebration marking safe return of sons fr. WWII (L-R) Mr. Irwin, Scotty, Carolyn, Betty Roush, Jim, Myra Lee Love, Jack, Jeanne Haney, Mrs. Irwin, Jeff Haney, Levern Love, I.I. ris Beth Love.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    James Ferdinand Irwin’s family singing carols at early family reunion Christmas celebration marking safe return of sons fr. WWII (L-R) Mr. Irwin, Scotty, Carolyn, Betty Roush, Jim, Myra Lee Love, Jack, Jeanne Haney, Mrs. Irwin, Jeff Haney, Levern Love, Beth Love.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Adult members of farmer James Ferdinand Irwins family gathered nr. tree watching his brother-in-law Fred Andrews (in Santa Claus costume) give presents to young family members at early Christmas family reunion marking safe return of sons fr. service in .WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis
    Adult members of farmer James Ferdinand Irwin’s family gathered near tree watching his brother-in-law Fred Andrews (in Santa Claus costume) give presents to young family members at early Christmas family reunion marking safe return of sons from service in WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

    Read the original Life Magazine article with more photos.

    This story had a surprise ending.

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  • Old Photos: Rows And Rows Of Well-Fed Democrats…

    This tagline struck me as being weirdly funny, but I don’t write them, I just copy them. Without further ado – some photos from the William M.Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner conducted in Kansas City in October of 1949. William M.Boyle Jr. was the Chairman of the DNC at that time.

    Banquet of the Century. The home folks of Kansas City were proud of Bill Boyle—none more vociferously than shrewd, elephantine Roy Roberts, Republican president of the Kansas City Star— and they had vowed to give him the banquet of the century. By the time the President entered Kansas City’s vast civic auditorium that night, they had come comfortably close to success.Three thousand men & women in evening dress were sitting at tables on the great floor (at $15 a plate). Among them were virtually all the ranking officers of the Administration and all shades of local politicos, including Democratic Boss Charlie Binaggio, who had just been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury to tell what he knew about the revival of racketeering in Kansas City. Six thousand non-diners watched and applauded from the flag-bedecked balconies. An army of harried waiters served 3,000 tenderloin steaks without allowing more than minor peripheral cooling to set in—no mean achievement since all had come from the kitchen of the Muehlebach Hotel, three full blocks away.

    Rows and rows of well-fed Democrats attending William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner, listening to the speeches.
    Rows and rows of well-fed Democrats attending William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner, listening to the speeches. © Time Inc.George Skadding
    Posting of banners and signs during testimonial dinner for Bill Boyle
    Posting of banners and signs during testimonal dinner for Bill Boyle.© Time Inc.George Skadding
    Cold turkey with all the trimmings, embellishing a big buffet lunch given during Bill Boyles Day celebration.
    Cold turkey with all the trimmings, embellishing a big buffet lunch given during Bill Boyle's Day celebration.© Time Inc.George Skadding
    Steaks consumed during the testimonal dinner for Bill Boyle, requiring 600 attendants to serve dinner.
    Steaks consumed during the testimonal dinner for Bill Boyle, requiring 600 attendants to serve dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding
    Family and friends attenting the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.
    Family and friends attenting the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding
    James Pendergast (CL) autographing a menu while attending the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.
    James Pendergast (CL) autographing a menu while attending the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding
    Charles Binaggio sitting with his wife, while attending the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.
    Charles Binaggio sitting with his wife, while attending the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding
    Presidential aide Clark Clifford and Major General Harry H. Vaughan, talking with Roy A. Roberts while attenting the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.
    Presidential aide Clark Clifford and Major General Harry H. Vaughan, talking with Roy A. Roberts while attenting the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding
    Guest of honor William M. Boyle Jr. (R), looking over a silver service that cost $2,250, given to him at the testimonial dinner by the Democrats.
    Guest of honor William M. Boyle Jr. (R), looking over a silver service that cost $2,250, given to him at the testimonial dinner by the Democrats.© Time Inc.George Skadding
    Time cover: 10-08-1951 of William M. Boyle.
    Time cover: 10-08-1951 of William M. Boyle. © Time Inc.

    Notice the caption: “Democrat Boyle: Bureaucracy Thrived On Bureaucracy“. Also of interest is the price of yearly subscription for the Time – just $6.

    in 1951, (Boyle) was implicated in an influence peddling scandal involving loans made by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. While a Senate investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Boyle, he resigned later that year due to “ill health”

    This article in the Time “Boyle’s Law” talks about his rise to prominence, connections to Truman and Pendergast, and shady machinations for which he was investigated. Some passages in the article read like they were written today.

    Some names you might have recognized: Charles Binaggio, Jim Pendergast, Roy A. Roberts.

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  • Old Ads: Automotive

    I’ve been clipping copying these ads from the old Life magazines for a long time and, chances are, you might have seen some of them on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. The ads are just as neat and interesting as the actual content of the old magazines; nowadays some of them would be considered racist, sexist or both, but it doesn’t make them any less of a historic record of their epoch; they were perfectly acceptable at the time and they make the progress much more obvious. Makes, models, shapes, prices long forgotten; “amazing auto-pilots” and cars “for women drivers” – you won’t see ads like these in the magazines of today. I thought I’d share a few ads on this blog in a somewhat organized manner. The first installment will be about cars, but I am planning to follow up with food and other things. These ads are in no particular order since I was too lazy to make a not of the year and issue.

    I’ll start with this awesomely sexist ad:

    ©Time/Life
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