Celebrate the 4th of July With These Vintage Firework Ads!

It’s just not the 4th of July without fireworks so, here to help you get in the mood today, are some vintage, 20th century firework advertisements!  I think most of these are from the 50s and the 60s.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

New York 4th of July Parade, 1911

And, for those celebrating, please remember this safety tip: lay on ground, light fuse, get away!

Happy Independence Day!

Hi, everyone!

So, usually, whenever a holiday rolls around, Doc, the ennui-afflicted TSL Cat, writes a celebratory post.  Every year, I get people asking me how Doc, with his big paws and his lack of a formal education, can handle typing out a 500-word post.  And every year, I say the same thing: “Doc can do anything he puts his mind to!”

That said, I wanted to write today’s holiday post because I do have a very important message that I want to share with anyone who might be reading this.  I share this every year but, judging by the thunderous explosions and crackling bangs that kept me away last night, it needs to be said again.

First off, it’s great that you have fireworks but you know what?  You don’t need to shoot them off in your back yard!  GET OUT OF THE SUBURBS IF YOU’RE GOING TO SHOOT THOSE THINGS OFF!  Go out to the country and drink your beer and blow your hands off out there.  A few years ago, we actually had some drunken idiots who tried to shoot off fireworks in the middle of the street and it’s the closest I’ve ever come to calling the police on anyone.

Seriously, fireworks are fun and America’s great.  But neither one of those is an excuse for being a dick.

Secondly, remember that most animals aren’t going to be aware that today is Independence Day.  What we think of as being a celebration is going to sound like the end of the world to them.  Take care of your pets and make sure they’re safely inside tonight.  Doc’s probably going to spend tonight under my bed, as he often seems to do during the noisy holidays.  Fortunately, after about an hour, he forgets why he’s hiding and instead concentrates on trying to play tag whenever he sees my ankles.

Finally, the sounds of this holiday can bring back terrible memories for some people.  Please keep our veterans in mind before you try to make your neighborhood sound like a war zone.

So, I guess my 4th of July message is this: Be kind.  Be considerate.  Let’s be the best that we can be.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Get Ready For The 4th of July With These Vintage Postcards!

The 4th of July is only a few days away so to help you get in the mood, here are some vintage independence day postcards!  Some of these postcards are dated and some of them aren’t but they’re all from the early 20th century and they show that, even a century ago, people enjoyed fireworks on Independence Day.

Check out these patriot postcards:






The American Photography of Carol M. Highsmith

Ever since the 1980s, Carol M. Highsmith has been exploring America and taking photographs of what she finds.  Starting in 2009, Highsmith has been donating her life’s work of more than 100,000 images to the Library of Congress.  Highsmith’s photographs emphasizes the corners and parts of America that are in danger of disappearing in the face of progress and development.  By donating them royalty-free, Highsmith has provided people everywhere with the chance to see parts of America that they might not otherwise have the chance to experience.  As a photographer, she’s been a huge influence on my own work.

I first wrote about Carol Highsmith and her work in 2012.  This year, for the 4th of July, I’m going to share more of Highsmith’s American photography.  The first 10 pictures below were taken in Texas.  The rest were taken elsewhere.







TOMAHAWK Fights The War of Independence – in Comic Books!

cracked rear viewer

There weren’t very many comic-book heroes (super or otherwise) whose adventures took place during the Revolutionary War era. In fact, I can only think of one – DC’s Tomahawk, who made his four-color debut in Star-Spangled Comics #69 back in 1947. Tomahawk fought not only the British, but Indian co-conspirators in the pages of Star-Spangled and World’s Finest, getting his own book in 1950, which had a 140 issue run until folding in 1972.

Writer Ed France Herron and artist Fred Ray produced the bulk of Tomahawk’s tales, and being a comic book there were some sci-fi elements added during the 50’s, and campy super villains in the 60’s. Tomahawk even introduced America’s first superheroine Miss Liberty, a frontier nurse by day who fought alongside Tomahawk in 22 issues. In honor of the July 4th holiday, here’s a gallery of covers chronicling the thrilling stories of Tomahawk:

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