In the year 2024 the Institute will be 27 years old. I am hesitant to admit that, since it means there should be a lot more things here.

What is it, exactly? In the beginning of, when the various areas of the site were coalescing into their eventual shape and finding their proper orbit, it was the place where I put “vintage” things and had sport with the outmoded images and attitudes. Over the years, grew to absurd proportions, and new sites arose, pulling away content from this page. Can you tell I recently watched a TV documentary on the planets? I did. Point is, a lot of what was here ended up in the various sites devoted to the decades of the 20th century, and the very, very large Miscellany site, which functions as a parallel version of the Institute where not everything is intended to be humorous.

This sidebar copy has been revised over the years to note that the Stagland feature is in need of an overhaul, and a new version has been promised since 2014. I’m happy to say it’s done, and it’s in the upload queue for the end of 2021. I’m also revising and resizing Interior Desecrations, as well as adding new content.

Most of these sites are frozen, though. They attained perfection and no updates are possible. At best I tinker with the design, impose some new standard or paradigm I think is brilliant, only to regret the next time I look at it.

More than a quarter of a century. Not a bad run, eh? Here’s to more, and another year of fond japery at the expense of a defenseless past.








There was a time I thought this place was the height of gauche and kitsch, and while that's still the case . . . I've grown to love it. Go HERE.



The website that put on the map for its 15 minutes. New updates in 2024! Go HERE.



Every few years I'll get mail explaining why underwear elastic was so poor in the 50s. But they can't explain the celery. Go HERE.



The ghastly designs forced on decent, hard-working Americans by the trend-setters. There's no justice, but there is this. UPDATE: The 1999 site has finally been resized and revised for the 2020s!




The return - and total revision - of an ancient site. Advertising art repurposed as Actual Art, complete with pretentious commentary! Updated in 2024. Go HERE.




A site from the early days of the Institute: old advertising mascots who no longer have a job. Rehabbed and re-up'd in 2024. Go HERE.





An appreciation of a long-forgotten abstract artist whose work was literally under our noses all this time. New in 2020; go HERE.




A small selection of promotional material for short-lived animation of the early 70s. HERE you go.



DIY crafts fun with egg cartons and Elmer's Glue! Garage sale junk, in other words. It's HERE.




A panoply of the most curious ads from the 30s through the 70s. This tumblr ran from 2014 to 2017 or so. Go HERE.














English Fashion in the 60s and 70s. Yikes.  


Whoa, Nellie. A collection of men's fashion photography from the 50s, 60s and - shudder - the 70s. Go HERE



Vacation Pamphlets! From the Dells to the Ozark Deeee-lights. Go HERE.



He escaped the Orange Plague to bring you MEAT. Let's go HERE and read all about him.

In 1949, the Sunbeam Bread company put out a comic book to get kids to eat bread. Their secret weapon: an interminable history lesson that tied the jobs of iron miners and classical violinists to your toast. LINK.  


A salute to everything deeply creepy about 50s and 60s "men's" mags. Old site long due for a redesign. Go HERE.


An old collection of weary japery from the 20s, interspersed with hangover remedies. Go HERE.

  For years the Institute sent out a monthly magazine, the American Home Ironizer; here are some selections from the archives. Updated as our ongoing digitization of the archives continues. (Old site, c. 2000; updated 2012.) LINK.


How do you get kids to eat right and take their vitamins? Simple - scare the urine out of them with hideous meat collages! Meet the Dayalets - they're child-tested and doctor approved. LINK.   Before the personal computer came along, companies sold their big iron with carefully staged promotional photos. Thrill to the yesteryear mainframes and the bouffanted women who loved them! Go HERE.

A pamphlet describing the Glories of Socialist Opera! Please to be enjoying. LINK.   For years, newspapers could always rely on a dog photo to soften the grim news of the day. It was a boon for humans; we like dogs. It was hell on the dogs. A collection of newspaper photos from the 40s, 50s and 60s. LINK.