Autodidactic Rabbit Trails: Lingere Pins and Classics Illustrated

[Where I meander around the web, bring back links of things that are oddly interconnected in some way, and in theory we all learn interesting things. Hey look, this time the trail's shorter!]


Back in this post when I was pondering smelling salts, I also ended up looking up information on the vinaigrette - not the salad dressing, the thing ladies would sniff so's not to faint. Which led me to a book on jewelry making, which led to a book with this quote:

Jewelrymaking Through History: An Encyclopedia (2007)
by Rayner W. Hesse (Amazon US)

p 54:
Lingerie Pins
As women's fashions changed in the nineteenth century, and a woman showed more and more of her shoulders to an adoring public, the need arose for a way to hide all the thin straps of lingerie and other underclothing. A quite inventive conceit of this period were lingerie pins, narrow, small bars, usually of 14k gold, often with an imbedded pearl or small gemstone, that were designed to align the strap of the dress with the strap of the slip and the strap of the brassiere. They were sometimes worn on top of the outer garment, or underneath the dress to keep the lingerie from "peeking out." With the invention of the halter top and other new dress styles in the 1920s, the lingerie pins went out of fashion.


I'd never heard of these - and I have some random old pins like this that belonged to various no-longer-around relatives. However I think these bar like pins were used for a lot of other things as well. Check out this google image search. I'm not sure you can tell which would be for lingerie and which were purely decorative. Unfortunately my googling only led me to random ebay and pinterest listings, nothing more historical.


Random different topic! One of the best parts about visiting my grandmother was rooting through all the stuff she had stored in bureaus and chests. Once while rummaging I found an old typewriter case full of Illustrated Classics:

"...a comic book series featuring adaptations of literary classics such as Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Iliad. Created by Albert Kanter, the series began publication in 1941 and finished its first run in 1971, producing 169 issues. Following the series' demise, various companies reprinted its titles. This series is different from the Great Illustrated Classics, which is an adaptation of the classics for young readers that includes illustrations, but is not in the comic book form."

So when I was paging through Amazon it was a fun surprise to find out that a lot of these have been digitized!

Classics Illustrated, under William B. Jones Jr (Amazon US link)


Classics Illustrated (the Regular editions, pages for each comic has links to multiple sellers)

I'm eventually going to have to try one (when there's a sale), just to see how well they've been scanned. But I'd advise being careful on Amazon - this link to the Time Machine for instance has the text version for the sample.


It's thanks to these comics that I first learned the basic plots to the works of Jules Verne, and other scifi. According to my dad, some of the boys he knew used these instead of reading the actual book for school - treated them as a sort of CliffsNotes. Note that I'm not exactly recommending these - most of them are abbreviated and emphasize the action/adventure content, and the artwork is kinda cheesy. (I never imagined the Count of Monte Cristo wearing jeans.) They never were fully accurate representations of the books.


Classics Illustrated #124: The War of the Worlds (Gilberton, 1955)

Review of the comic at War of the Worlds website


Closer view of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde cover

I really do like the ones with cover art that looks like old movie posters.


There used to be more images of the comics within these books online - but most have been removed. Not a horrible thing, now that they're for sale again. But I do wish more of them had the "look inside" option.


Life With Classic Comics: In Praise of an American Art Form

Life magazine photo gallery of people in the 1940s/50s reading comics.