13 Absurd and Design-Savvy Vintage Employee Handbooks

Today’s employee manuals just can’t compare to the handbooks of yesterday, with their quaint rules and vintage designs. Corporate rulemakers like Disney and Playboy asked a lot of their employees in order to maintain a strict order and image-focused facade that launched each organization to the top of the pop culture charts. See what the manuals for stewardess, amusement park attendant, and Playboy bunny required in this collection of vintage employee handbooks. … Read More

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Photorealistic Paintings Give Vintage Photos a Cultural Makeover

David Lyle is a cultural archaeologist, digging through thrift store bins, online auctions, and flea market photo stacks for the perfect subjects. The New York City-based artist, whose work we discovered on Design you Trust, reimagines lost snapshots from the ‘50s through ‘70s in his oil paintings, adding modern details that mock, celebrate, and comment on American nostalgia. Most of his transformations are naturalistic and seamless, which presents an uncanny meeting of the past and present. … Read More

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Vintage Photos of Enviable Partygoers

Now that we’ve entered the dead of winter, the cold weather and snow are great excuses to throw a little party (you know, like in the new season of Girls). This week, we were crushing hard on some vintage photos of a wild Halloween shindig in 1964, spotted on Dangerous Minds (featured below). The costumes, revelry, and apparent furniture glued to the ceiling (is that a dead body?) really set the mood. We went searching for some party inspiration and gathered these photos of vintage blowouts that we wish we could have attended. … Read More

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The Weirdest Advice from Vintage Lit

Acclaimed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami can now add “advice columnist” to his list of credentials. As we mentioned earlier this week, Murakami is launching an advice column on a new website called “Mr. Murakami’s Place” (“Murakami-san no tokoro” in Japanese). The news inspires visions of an old-school Dear Abby column — but with more man-eating cats and Norwegian wood. We expect unusual and eloquent words of wisdom from the postmodern author. Advice columns have dished out some pretty strange tips over the years. We’ve collected a few favorites for your perusal. Share any doozies you love, below. … Read More

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Vintage Photos of Pop Culture Icons Hitting the Slopes

Winter is officially here — and depending on your tolerance for the freezing cold, that means it’s also ski season. The snowy slopes feel like one of the few places a celebrity can blend in and evade the cameras, which is why vacationing at the most exclusive resorts around the world has been a decades-long pastime for the fabulous and wealthy. We also imagine the humbling act of balancing two feet atop icy hills gives them an odd thrill. In the spirit of the season, we’ve collected some fantastic photos of pop culture icons hitting the slopes that will hopefully inspire you to strap on a pair of skis. Enjoy the vintage fashions and stunning surroundings, below. … Read More

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Cheeky, Fictional ’70s-Era Porn Magazines for Synth Lovers

For the music snob who fetishizes their synth is a collection of fictional, naughty magazine covers boasting hilarious titles and article teasers (written by Simon Holland and Dave Williams), spotted on Dangerous Minds. “I was asked to imagine a series of seventies-era magazines aimed at young men seriously into synthesizers and electronic organs which would all betray their sexist origins by their covers!” artist Rachel Laine explains. The covers are part of the Bedroom Cassette Masters project — “eclectic selections of lo-fi electronica produced in bedrooms around the globe between 1980-89.” See more synthtastic porn covers in our gallery. … Read More

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The Complex Inner Workings of Vintage Calculators Revealed

We imagine that photographer Kevin Twomey cringes just a little when he sees crafters on Etsy selling typewriter parts as jewelry. The Bay Area artist prefers to keep the vintage machines he finds intact so he can examine their inner metal workings through the lens of his camera. His series Calculators, which we first discovered on Colossal, started when he was asked to photograph a mechanical engineer’s collection of old adding machines. “The stripping of the external shell of the calculators was not the original concept for shooting these machines,” Twomey explains. “But when Mark removed the covers to show the complex internal working of the calculators, I immediately knew that this was the heart of the project.” Take a closer look at the bones of these complex calculators in our gallery. … Read More

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The Wolfen Book Covers of Jack London

“He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time,” wrote Jack London in his 1903 classic novel The Call of the Wild. The story centers on a dog named Buck who is sold off and shipped to the Klondike to be trained as a sled dog. The harsh conditions and treatment ignite his primitive, wolflike ways — and he becomes the story’s mythical hero. London’s 1906 novel White Fang finds a wolfdog on the journey to domesticity. The author’s experiences as a “hobo,” sailor, and journalist took him to faraway places — many which become the settings for his stories. “It was in the Klondike I found myself,” he wrote while reflecting on his days in the Yukon Territory. London always had a penchant for dogs and animals, and his cold-weather travels found him surrounded by them. The wolves and dogs of London’s stories made their way to the covers of his books, which we’ve collected in memory of the author. … Read More

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Retro Glamour Photos and Headshots Styled in Ridiculous ’70s and ’80s Fashions

From one of the makers of the Original Video Pizza — featuring an hour-long montage of saucy, spinning pie with sizzling sound effects — comes the Glamour & Headshots series. Portland photographer Robbie Augspurger, who we first discovered on Ignant, takes a page from the Sears, yearbook, and Glamour Shots portraits of yore, styled in the best-worst of the 1970s and ‘80s. Random firewood? Check. Creepy double-exposure portraits with pets? Check. Lightsaber and brown knitwear? Check, check. “This photo series started when I purchased an old light kit. Its power settings put limits on what I could do in a studio portraiture context, having only ‘on’ and ‘off’ as my main controls,” writes Augspurger on the project website. Vintage Instagram filters are fun and all, but we can’t get enough of Augspurger’s hilarious and frequently convincing photos. See more in our gallery. … Read More

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13 Spooky Vintage Board Games

The verdict is in: films about possessed board games sell a lot of movie tickets. The Michael Bay-produced horror movie Ouija, about a group of friends who confront a dark supernatural force after playing with an ancient spirit board, topped the box office this weekend. As anyone who has frequented slumber parties or had a lonely high school goth existence knows, the Hasbro game — which uses a plastic planchette to spell out messages from the afterlife — has scared curious players since it was first introduced in 1890. In the spirit of all things spooky and vintage, here are other horror-themed board games to satisfy your inner Halloween geek. … Read More

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