Sunday, July 31, 2011

Polio Shot Immunization Card from the 1950s

It's hard for anyone under 60 to remember the panic that polio caused before the 1960s. It was a crippling disease, often leaving victims hunched over for life. It was also contagious, adding to the fear factor.
Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine in the 1950s, and families lined up to get their shots. The government and other organizations flooded the mail with immunization cards like this one, with spaces for each family member.

 Later, the shots were given in school. The typical shot was a pressure activated needle with several smaller needles around it in a circular shape. The shot was usually given in the upper arm, and the circular pattern sometimes left a scar with a circle of dots and a larger dot inside.

Obviously even the ancient Spartans knew this, as evidenced by this still from "300". Click to enlarge.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hans Conried and Fractured Flickers

One of the funniest and silliest shows of the 60s was Fractured Flickers, a Jay Ward production hosted by actor Hans Conried. The show took old silent films and added audio, turning them into all new and funny stories.
 Hans also interviewed stars in a special segment each week, like this Rod Serling video.

Fractured Flickers ran in syndication for 26 episodes during 1963. Several years ago the entire series came out on DVD, and I have my copy. You can order yours here.

In the late 80s I visited the Dudley Do-Right Emporium on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood to buy some souvenirs. Among them were these Fractured Flickers Stickers, click to enlarge.

Hans, a Baltimore native, is gone now, but his voice lives on in Dan Castellaneta's Robot Devil character in Futurama.

R.I.P. Hans Conried, Jay Ward, and The Dudley Do-Right Emporium.