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July 28, 2017

Burlesque Dancers As Game: Pictures of a Gunmaker Melvin Johnson's Dinner Party in 1947

1947- The entertainment at gunmaker Melvin Johnson's dinner party was a balloon-clad model whom guests (apparently a bunch of old men) shot at with a pellet gun between courses. To the guests' great frustration, the balloons failed to break.

These photos of gun porn from LIFE magazine of 1947. This photo spread was meant to celebrate the launch of a “harmless” toy gun, the manufacturer demonstrating this point by having two dozen dinner quests shell dining room targets with imitation Tommy Gun-ish pellet guns.

Perhaps appropriate in more ways than one are these two older men shooting “ineffectually” at a model dressed in balloons–the point being to break the balloons to reveal her nakedness. But the ejected pellets hit and dribble away, the rubber balloons remaining intact, with the foiled men left feeling “astonished and distressed”. You can almost smell their impending failure in this picture (as well as the relief of the model).

Then there’s the Holiness of the Gun moment, a father holding the toy gun in flattened palms., making himself a portable altar for his respectful sons, a deep reverence for the object present in the man’s face.

(via JF Ptak Science Books)


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