There's all sorts of Carole Lombard memorabilia out there, and today, we've uncovered another item. It has to do with her 1931 Paramount film "Up Pops the Devil," co-starring Norman Foster (shown above)...and the item is something that I've never heard of before.
What is it, you ask? Well, here's what I'm talking about:
Confused? Of course -- it looks backwards, and that's because it is. So we'll flip it around, to make it more legible:
Still can't read it? Then let's turn the negative image into a positive one:
It's called a "movieblock" printing plate. Ever wonder how theaters back in the day created programs for shows? Movieblocks was one of the methods. Metal, photo-engraved and mounted on a block of wood, they used oil-based paint and a letterpress printing press for a program. This item measures 2 1/2" x 1 1/2", and was created by the National Program and Printing Company, based in Chicago.
The eBay seller of this item is from Florida and goes by the user name "movieblock." His or her store has about 400 of these available, from the early 1930s to the late sixties (my Facebook friends Julie Newmar and Mamie Van Doren are each represented). The entire list can be found at https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?item=122920409898&hash=item1c9ea09b2a%3Ag%3AKhYAAOSwCMtaYDC~&_ssn=movieblock&rt=nc.
The "Up Pops the Devil" movieblock is in generally clean condition. It has an opening bid of $139.95, and the auction is set to end at 12:34 a.m. (Eastern) Thursday. If you'd like to bid, or are simply curious about this curio, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/Skeets-Gallagher-Stuart-Erwin-Carole-Lombard-Movieblock-Up-Pops-The-Devil/122920409898?hash=item1c9ea09b2a:g:KhYAAOSwCMtaYDC~.
But that's not the only Lombard movieblock available. There's one from arguably her most famous movie, presented in the same order as what you saw above:
Yep, the movieblock for "My Man Godfrey," also in generally clean condition. This one has a "buy it now" price of $139. To take a look, go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/William-Powell-Carole-Lombard-Alice-Brady-Gail-Patrick-Movieblock-My-Man-Godfrey/111386610135?hash=item19ef28c9d7:g:CeoAAOSw7PBTmnRn.