Clang clang clang went the trolley

…back when there still was one! (Spotted at Berkeleyside)

This is from a 1906 mutoscope reel (in-depth information at the Library of Congress). Here’s something to make up for the missing sound:

Wikipedia tells us that

“The Mutoscope worked on the same principle as the “flip book.” The individual image frames were conventional black-and-white, silver-based photographic prints on tough, flexible opaque cards. Rather than being bound into a booklet, the cards were attached to a circular core, rather like a huge Rolodex.

…and, more interestingly, that these reels were commonly used for “pornographic” imagery presented to paying patrons (a progenitor of YouPorn, if you will) – to the detriment of public morals:

“In 1899, The Times printed a letter inveighing against “vicious demoralising picture shows in the penny-in-the-slot machines. It is hardly possible to exaggerate the corruption of the young that comes from exhibiting under a strong light, nude female figures represented as living and moving, going into and out of baths, sitting as artists’ models etc. (…).”

A collector’s site describes the contents of one such reel, “Birth of the Pearl” which “pictures a nude woman rising from a seashell and standing.”” (Wikipedia: Mutoscope)

Posted in Nobody Beats Berkeley. Comments Off on Clang clang clang went the trolley
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