Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes
Details for this: Book
Introduction by Charles Schneider; appreciation by David Copperfield
6.5" x 9.75"
black & white/color
Do you wish to separate the jolly good fellows from the dour sour pusses from
those who seek to ASCEND TO THEIR SIDE DEGREES — but you suffer
from lack of imagination when it comes to constructing elaborate hazing rituals
and DEVICES? Does fake vomit, joy buzzers and a party pack of fake moustaches
only produce yawns, rather than giggles, among your once-merry members?
Well, look no further than Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes, in which the manufacturers De Moulin Bros.
& Co. from Greenville, Ill. feature the finest electro-dropo benches, goat-shaped
tricycles, electric branding irons (and much much more)!
Not only does this 1930 catalog, reproduced with marvelous 21st century machinery, provide tightly rendered pen-and-ink period illustrations and detailed product descriptions, it also has helpful how-tos and scripts to aid in the pulling
of these pranks on initiates!
(WARNING: Fantagraphics Books is in no way responsible for any resultant maiming, crippling, immolation, or disfigurement
resulting from the construction and/or use of devices pictured in this catalogue. At least, we don’t think so.)
Today, DeMoulin Bros. & Co. is one of the largest suppliers of costumes for marching bands in the United States. But
in 1930 the company produced an amazing array of props and devices created specifically to be used in minor “hazing”
of candidates in the side degrees of various fraternal organizations. The great 1930 DeMoulin Bros. & Company Fraternal
Supply Catalog No. 439 is truly a holy grail for the prankster, arm-chair sadist and those interested in the some of
the zanier historic arcana lurking behind that neighborhood odd-fellows lodge.
This is the ultimate desert-island book for pranksters looking for something edgy and new to dream about, Rube
Goldberg-like devices created to instill terror and bemused respect, before the candidate ascends to receive a more sublime
form of illumination. All in good fun, it is — or was — the American way!
Download an EXCLUSIVE 24-page PDF excerpt (1.5 MB). Plus, read an exclusive interview with Introduction writer Charles Schneider here on our website. And see below for another bonus feature!
In January 2010, The Greenville Advocate covered Charles Schneider's visit to their town to research the DeMoulin Bros. and take photos for his Introduction to the book. Click the image above for a much larger, legible version. Thanks to Daniel Clowes for providing the scan.
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