‘Gay Grand Duke keeps Paris guessing’ and other golden oldies

A collection of 50 ‘gay’ vintage adverts and newspaper articles from 1900s – 1950s is currently up for sale

‘Gay Grand Duke keeps Paris guessing’ and other golden oldies
23 May 2012

If you were to see the headline ‘Half of Berlin gay as other half starves’ today you may well be surprised.

While the title ‘Gay Grand Duke keeps Paris guessing’ would sound like an exciting celebrity revelation nowadays.

Sadly these headlines aren’t from a glossy celeb magazine, but are from a collection of articles published in major metropolitan newspapers during the early half of the 20th century. 

Now someone has gathered a collection of 50 ‘gay’ vintage full page adverts and newspaper articles from 1900s – 1950s and is putting it up for sale.

You can see a selection below. But some of our other favories include ‘The gay return of the shuttlecock’ from the San Francisco Chronicle in 1923 while the New York Times headline ‘The gayest week of New York’s social season’ actually wasn’t about the city’s pride festival.

Meanwhile with gay marriage equality being debated everywhere from USA to Croatia, you might think ‘Those queer weddings’ is a current headline. But in fact it’s on top of an old report on strange marriage customs from the past.  

All the presentations are comical, ironic and offer you an insightful peak into the early 20th century.

Of course, this meaning of the term ‘gay’ was used in everyday popular culture right up to the late 1960s – remember the Flintstones theme tune? 

As well as The Flintstones, the word was used widely in theatre and Hollywood, with the Ivor Novello musical Gay’s the Word and the Fred Astaire movie The Gay Divorcee.

In the 1938 movie Bringing Up Baby, when asked why he is wearing women’s clothing, the character played by Cary Grant, famously replied: ‘Because I just went gay all of a sudden!’

Many believe the new sense of gay, meaning homosexual, was quite recent, when in fact it dates at least to the 1920s and perhaps even earlier. 

This early existence is as a slang and self-identifying code word among the LGBT community, only entering the mainstream of English in the late 1960s.

The original collection is priced at $2,500 (€2,000). All pieces in the collection are suitable for framing.

If you are interested in buying, or want more information you can contact the seller here.

See a slideshow of a sample of the collection below: 



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Uganda gay sex trial: British man’s case adjourned

A 65-year-old retired banker facing charges of 'trafficking obscene materials' will have to wait until next year to discover his fate
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Singapore blogger found guilty of contempt for post criticizing anti-gay law

Prominent LGBTI rights activist could face jail time
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JK Rowling asked if there were LGBT students at Hogwarts, she responds in an amazing way

'If Harry Potter taught us anything, it's that no one should live in a closet'
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First official trailer for Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game released

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the film as the gay World War 2 genius
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Why I oppose the gospel according to George

Britain’s former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, claims Christians are marginalized and persecuted because they can’t attack LGBT people
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Russia’s rail boss says: no gay rights, just shut up

Russian Railways director, Vladimir Yakunin, said gays should shut up as they have only one right - not to be beaten to death with sticks 
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And exhale... a week of yoga in northern Thailand

Anna Leach discovers a week’s yoga retreat in Pai in northern Thailand is more than a great workout
‘Equality is Our Business’ says Human Rights Campaign in Nebraska and Arkansas

‘Equality is Our Business’ says Human Rights Campaign in Nebraska and Arkansas

HRC Nebraska and HRC Arkansas have announced details of their ‘Equality is Our Business’ programs
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English singers Conor Maynard and Gabrielle to headline Birmingham Pride festival

S Club 7, Stooshe and Foxes also to perform at the two-day event in the West Midlands
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Perfect Porto: ocean breeze and the magic of wine in the Portuguese city and beyond

The country's second largest city after Lisbon proves the perfect base for exploring this wine-drenched region. Honey and orange peel-flavoured Port, anyone?