Tex Williams Vintage Western Swing

Sollie Paul Williams aka Tex Williams

Sollie Paul Williams (August 23, 1917–October 11, 1985), known professionally as Tex Williams, was an American Western Swing musician from Ramsey, Illinois. He is best known for his talking blues style with his biggest hit being the novelty song, “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)”, which held the number one position on the Billboard charts for six weeks in 1947. “Smoke” was the No. 5 song on Billboard’s Top 100 list for 1947, and was No. 1 on the country chart that year. It can be heard during the opening scenes of the 2006 movie, Thank You for Smoking. Williams’ backing band, the Western Caravan, numbered about a dozen or so members. They attained an enviable level of fluid interplay between electric and steel guitars, fiddles, bass, accordion, trumpet, and other instruments (even an occasional harp). At first they recorded polkas for Capitol Records with limited success. That was changed by the success of “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke” written in large part by Merle Travis. In April 1956 Williams appeared on the Chrysler sponsored CBS TV broadcast “Shower of Stars”.

 

Tex Williams

One of our Tex favorites was released in 1948 – “Don’t Telephone – Don’t Telegraph (Tell a Woman)”. Played here on an old portable Carryola wind up record player from the mid 1920’s (old technology, built to last), the record is a 10 inch 78 rpm. The B side of record has Blue As A Heart Ache – vintage 1948 See Our Great Selection of Retro and Vintage Sound Items that include Record Players, Tube Radios, and Records

Worlds First Photograph

Niepce First Photo

Nicéphore Niépce (1765 – 1833) was a clever French inventor and one of the major contributors to the invention of photography.

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Niepce Camera Obscura Image

He is recognized as producing the world’s first photograph in 1827 – the actual year varies from different references from 1822 to 1827. Niépce took what is believed to be the world’s first photogravure etching, in 1822 of an engraving of Pope Pius VII, but the original was later destroyed when he attempted to duplicate it. The earliest surviving photogravure etchings by Niépce are of a 17th century engraving of a man with a horse and of an engraving of a woman with a spinning wheel. Niépce did not have a steady enough hand to trace the inverted images created by the camera obscura, as was popular in his day, so he looked for a way to capture an image permanently. He experimented with lithography, which led him in his attempt to take a photograph using a camera obscura. Niépce also experimented with silver chloride, which darkens when exposed to light, but eventually looked to bitumen, which he used in his first successful attempt at capturing nature photographically. He dissolved bitumen in lavender oil, a solvent often used in varnishes, and coated a sheet of pewter with this light capturing mixture. He placed the sheet inside a camera obscura to capture the picture and eight hours later he removed the sheet and washed it with the lavender oil to remove the unexposed bitumen. He began experimenting with optical images in 1793. Some of his early experiments made images, but they faded very fast. The earliest known, surviving example of a Niépce photograph or any photograph was created in 1827. Niépce called his process heliography, which literally means “sun writing”. Nevertheless, semiologist Roland Barthes, in a Spanish edition of his book “La chambre claire”, “La cámara lúcida” shows a picture from 1822, “Table ready”, a foggy photo of a table set to be used for a meal. Starting in 1829 Niepce began collaborating on photographic processes with Louis Daguerre, together they developed the physautotype, a process that used lavender oil. The partnership lasted until Niépce’s untimely death in 1833.

Little Blue Books and Big Blue Books

Little Blue Books and Big Blue Books by the Haldeman-Julius Publishing Company

Little Blue Books and Big Blue Books are a series of small staple-bound books published from 1925 to 1950 by the Haldeman-Julius Publishing Company of Girard, Kansas and was managed by E. Haldeman-Julius and his wife, Marcet Haldeman-Julius. (Visit Our Products Page for these and other collectibles.)

Mark Twain English as she is spoke blue bookThe series included both reprints and first publications, including the first publication of “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish” by Bertrand Russell. Originally selling for a nickel or dime the Big Blue Books were published to provide a basic education for the working man and to promote American Socialism.

big blue books catalogOther titles began as early as 1919, with  the Little Blue Books series starting  around 1925. Included were reprints  of literature and philosophy. As the series continued, reprints were replaced by original materials, including courses for self improvement and legal documents. The various Haldeman-Julius pocket books series titles include: The Appeal’s Pocket Series, People’s Pocket Series, Appeal Pocket Series, Ten Cent Pocket Series, Five Cent Pocket Series, and the Pocket Series. All the books measure approximately 3 1/2 x 5 inches and were printed in standard lengths of 16, 32, 64, 96, 128 and 160 pages.