1.Ampersand Duck has an entry up about a rather curiously-named chap, one Manly Banister.
Who was Manly Banister? Apparently, a bookbinder, writer, and, (according to a brief autobiographical piece by by Manly himself, an ex-editor.
Names like this can have a life of their own. Since his name appears on a number of books, it seems fairly safe to assume that the correct spelling is as appears on the books ('Manly', no 'e', Banister, one 'n'). But wait! A google search for 'Manly Banister' returns approximately 34,800 hits. That's a lot, but then, a google search for 'Manley Banister' returns 22,300 hits; for 'Manley Bannister', 48,700 hits; and 'Manly Bannister' gets the most of all at 55,700 hits. Popular opinion, then, seems to fall in favour of the last spelling ('Manly', no 'e', and 'Bannister', two 'n's').
There are red-herrings galore: John Tranter's Jacket Magazine has an 'interview' with Manly Bannister that is fictional - isn't it? Elsewhere, on a fantasy discussion website, fans quibble over the correct spelling of his name
Actually, there was an author named Manly (Manley?) Bannister back in the days of Weird Tales. His most reprinted story is "Eena," about a hunter who falls in love with a female werewolf.
They indulge in a round of bad puns:
And everyone knows a manly bannister is a mannister.
"That's a heck of a manly bannister you've got there."
"Well, we tried installing a womanly stair-rail but the boys wouldn't stop sliding down from morning till night. This seems to have done the trick."
And even invent non-existent relatives of our friend:
Not to be fussy, but isn't it Manly Banister (with one n)?
Fussy Banister was Manly Banister's spinster cousin, who wrote an etiquette column for the Didn't Really Exist Bugle-Picayune.
JMP("Picayunier Than Thou...")
But who was he? Surprisingly enough, there is a brief charming biographical sketch here, by Steve Jackman:
Several weeks ago, I temporarily posted an article on my website from a 1955 Popular Mechanics Home Handyman Encyclopedia which illustrated construction details of several pieces of bookbinding equipment with descriptions of the bookbinding process. When someone offered to post the article permanently on their website, I checked my local library for the original appearance of the article in the August 1940 Popular Mechanics Magazine, hoping for better engravings of the photographs. To my surprise, the byline on the article was by a then 26 year old Manly Banister (the byline was not shown in the encyclopedia article). Although Banister died in 1986 and the copyright on the article was probably not renewed, I am uncomfortable with posting the article while some of Banister's books are still in print. So at the end of the week I will remove the article from my site.
Jackman performed a search under the name:
... and found mixed views on his work. The most condescending was the one that said "Manly Banister is to Book Arts and Printmaking what Richard M. Nixon was to acting".
He also finds:
short fiction in various science fiction magazines, culminating in the publication of the science fiction novel "Conquest of Earth" in the 1950's. He published a science fiction fanzine in the 40's and 50's called NEKROMANTIKON.
In the concluding paragraph, he adopts an elegaic tone - will we ever see the like of Manly Banister again? - before suddenly diverging to discuss bookbinding:
In our current consumer society, most of us simply go out and buy what we need to pursue our interests. Manly Banister belongs to a mostly vanished breed who had to MAKE the tools to pursue their interests. While he may have used Elmer's Glue when he should have used a more archival product, and used alum in his paste when we know now that's not a good idea, his works are a product of his time.
2. Wikipedia has a list of 'Place Names With English Meanings'. (Thanks, Mark!) Included are the towns of Accident, Maryland, USA; Boring, Oregon; Egg, Austria; Kinki, Japan; Wank, Bavaria; Fucking, Austria; and Wet Beaver Creek, Arizona. Not included are the Australian towns of Come By Chance (although the Canadian version is), Mount Debatable, Usless Loop, the electorate of Batman, Melbourne; or, indeed, the suburb of Manly in Sydney.
Wikipedia is un-Australian.
3. Wikipedia also has a list of cakes, including Depression Cake.
4. As an afterthought, what sort of parent calls their kid Manly Banister, anyway?
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