I was crawlin' through an antique mall last week, thirsty for something different and unusual, when suddenly I stumbled upon this wonderfully packaged Whiskey Well, aka the "hilarious liquor dispenser" --likely from the 60's or 70's. A simple wooden box with an old time handle pump that, in fact, dispenses whiskey instead of water. I mean, you could just as easily make it dispense water, but it's telling you to add your own fifth right there on the box! Speaking of the box, ain't that parched character illustration a sight for sore throats, scrambling' through the desert, gaspin' for something to quench his etc etc... okay, you guys know I don't drink, so yeah, this post is basically more about that goofy guy than anything else here. The jigger size ladle seemed to be unfortunately missing. Made not in the sandy Chihuahuan region of the US, but in Cincinnati OH by Poynter Products, this is a fun, and totally loaded novelty gag gift that just keeps on giving, for that certain special drinker in your life. (FYI more Halloween posts up next!)
That's a pretty big novelty item as it can contain an entire bottle of booze.
Only in the swinging 70s would you dare to share a ladle!
On a lot of these illustrations, a lot of work goes into dealing with only two colors, like outlining the ladle against the background, and have the background cactus being either one color or outline. That takes some skill!
I like the way the wood grain goes negative for the shadowed side of the well. It's subtle and effective. But my favorite thing about the art is that prickly lower cactus. It reminds of Virgil Parch cartoons for some reason.
I'd love to stick a bottle into that thing and see it work. It really seems like there should be kitsch watering holes all over, say, downtown Reno (or up and down Bourbon St.) with these lined up along the back of the bar.
Forgot to mention the interesting story about Poynter Products, who were responsible for quite a few classic novelty items back in the day like the Addam's Family and Audrey II mechanical coin boxes, Blushing Frankenstein, and the Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle, among other gems... read more about it here:
And as always thanks for the comments :)
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