The Early Years

This page captures some of the Babies during their travels starting in the mid 19th Century.  It also provides a sampling of the Babies experiences and origins.  We hope you will enjoy learning more about the individual Babies.

Tartan Purry (R) with Andrew Irvine (L) in Nepal, circa 1922. Tartan cautioned Andrew Irvine and George Mallory that they did not have adequate clothing for the ascent of Mount Everest. Much to Tartan’s dismay, his friends Mallory and Irvine did not ultimately heed his advice. For many years, Tartan has struggled with his belief that he was not earnest enough in his attempts to persuade Mallory and Irvine. This belief has catalyzed Tartan who continually seeks to help prevent such future cata strophes and help teach the youth every lesson possible. Witnesses present during his conversation with Mallory and Irvine confide that Tartan was adamant and steadfast that Mallory and Irvine should not attempt the summit. Still, Tartan remains unsatisfied.
Tartan Purry in Siberia, circa 1917, escorting life saving supplies to the village of Murukta during the Russian Revolution. Tartan conducted numerous life safety training courses and saved many lives during his sojourn in this vast frozen wasteland. It was during this sojourn that he also encountered and saved the family of Sergi Rachmaninoff and a hidden trove of unpublished Tolstoy novelettes. Tartan will occasionally advertise a novelette for public auction and donate all revenue generated to charities which help educate children. This is one of many acts Tartan regularly performs to improve the quality of life for all mankind.
General Ryan Gould, in Virginia circa 1862, prior to his meeting with President Lincoln and General Grant concerning Union war plans. Ultimately, President Lincoln and General Grant did not heed the brilliant proposal provided by General Gould during their meeting. Their mistake delayed the end of the war by over two years. General Gould brilliantly postulated that the variety of the railroad track spacing used throughout the Confederacy would ultimately serve to hinder the South’s ability to transport troops and war materials. General Gould’s strategy capitalized on this concept and forced the Confederacy to fight on multiple fronts simultaneously. Unknown to all present, this meeting was the last time General Gould would see President Lincoln.
General Ryan Gould, in Pennsylvania, circa 1867, during the composition of his second treatise on combat tactics. It is during this time that he struggles most with his longing for black eyed peas and his frustration with the cuisine of his native Pennsylvania. Although it cannot be readily observed, General Gould engraved “BEP” into the canvas approximately 4 inches to the right of his mouth immediately after this portrait was made. General Gould relocated to the Republic of Texas shortly after the making of this portrait.
Frank Lee Devine, outside of Beaumont, Texas, circa 1866, fishing with his father, Papa Devine. During this era, most families did not formally name their children for the first several years of life due to the high infant mortality rate along the Texas Gulf Coast. At the time this photograph was taken, Frank Lee Devine was known simply as Baby Devine. This portrait has been incorporated into many American dinnerware collections due to its charm, warmth, and simplicity.
The Doctor’s Hospital, in the Swiss Alps near Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, circa 1948. The Babies entrust this world renown hospital with their lives. Countless life saving procedures have been performed on the Babies at this Hospital following the assassination attempts and other reported “accidents”. A tunnel system connects the Hospital with a heliport on a nearby mountain. After recuperating from their harrowing experiences, the Babies enjoy playing for Hospital staff in the tunnel system. It is said that the spirits of the persecuted dating from the castle’s use as a prison during the middle ages roam the tunnel system during the summer and winter equinox.
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King Crazy Oliver Steck, in Antarctica, circa 1948. This historic photograph documents King Steck’s arduous search and site evaluation pertaining to the Antarctic alien technology laboratory and repository. Traveling with the intense, passionate furvor as can been seen in his expression, King Steck personally surveyed the Antarctic continent in its entirety in four months. King Steck credits the extraordinary physical fitness and stamina he developed during his vaudevillian years as a major contributor to the success of the alien spaceship relocation project. His evolving physical fitness regimen continues to be an object of research for medical science. This photograph has never before been published.
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Professor Joseph Cordi, outside the fabulous Chateau de Bourdeaux, circa 1931. This historic landmark was Professor Cordi’s locale of choice for the acclaimed “Cordi Recordings” for which so many have given their lives to hide from Axis forces during World War II. Professor Cordi theorizes that some of the recordings may still be hidden and preserved in the wine cellar, although it is widely believed that most of the recordings have been lost for all time.
King Crazy Oliver Steck, captured on photographic film while providing a reprise performance of Shakespeare’s classic “MacBeth” in Theatre on the Thames, circa 1953. This private performance given for the Royal Family reminded the world audience and the younger generation of the riveting oasis of talent and undying energy commanded by King Steck. This performance marked the beginning of King Steck’s triumphant return out of retirement from the theatre; a gentlemen once again poised to capture the heart of the world from the stage.
Tartan Purry, outside of Hollywood, California, circa 1982. In the early 1980’s, Tartan consulted for the producers of Rainbow Brite to bring his undeniable wisdom and lend professional credence to the burgeoning manufacturer of children’s educational material. In the endearing fashion of Tartan Purry, he is shown here leading by example the method by which Rainbow Brite should introduce herself to the world.
Frank Lee Devine, incognito, near Penemunde, Germany, circa 1944, receiving encoded messages regarding German rocket scientist defection plans from Verner Von Braun’s father. These encoded messages aided the United States in the selection of German scientists to be recruited for scientific research with the United States military at the close of the war.
The pride of shout/stride pianist Will “The Lion” Smith was permanently damaged after he attended the Babies’ March 20, 1949, Cotton Club public performance of the exciting Candy Cane Airplane Parade. After 1949, Smith performed only rarely until his death in the early 1970’s. Despite this, he remains as one of the Babies favorite pianists and musical inspiration. It is said that he though only of March 20, 1949 for over twenty years.

Lord Mondegreen, whose ingenuity extends far beyond his incredible skill on the Tuba and the Valve Trombone, worked with the A. C. Gilbert Company in the early 1960’s to develop and contribute fresh ideas to the large scale Powermatic series of motorized Erector toy sets. This award winning Erector Set toys, loved by children since early 1913, was one of many sources of inspiration to Lord Mondegreen, who also owned the early edition “Mysterious Walking Giant” robot series of Erector set. A. C. Gilbert was considered by many as a fine inventor who was ahead of his time and while he was a trained medical doctor with a distinguished degree from Yale University, he, like the Babies, devoted his energies to educate and entertain children. Learn more about the incredible Lord Mondegreen at the website: www.atjs.orgARSJB

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This candid photograph of Professor Joseph Cordi (third from left) with various musical and film personalities was taken near Hollywood, California in the late 1920’s. Samuel Goldwyn used this picture as part of his film production studio’s public relations campaign to catapult the careers of those pictured with Professor Cordi to nationwide stardom. Professor Cordi enjoyed the company of those pictured in the photograph and is reported by Variety Magazine to have said, “We had caviar, champagne, roast duck, it was a beautiful California afternoon, I was then, as now, in love with my beautiful wife Debbie (not shown). I did not mind having my photograph taken with these people under such casual circumstances–I thought it was a gag. I had no idea at the time that the photograph would ever be used for anything.”ARSJB

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Pictured with King Crazy Oliver Steck are various program managers from NASA’s Mercury Space Program during a media briefing, circa 1961. King Crazy Oliver Steck was instrumental during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s in the technical development of the Mercury Space program. In this photograph, he is reassuring inquisitive reporters regarding the overall safety of the new space program. Due to national security concerns regarding the presence of King Steck in this photograph which would have raised questions concerning the amount of alien technology that was used in the Mercury Space program development, this photograph was censored from media outlets.

General Ryan Gould, pictured here with President Theodore Roosevelt and other members of the Roosevelt cabinet, circa 1903. Those present during the photograph recount that Roosevelt is proclaiming General Gould’s advice regarding the development of the Panama Canal as “Bully”, a term he coined from General Gould’s idea of constructing a canal through the Central American country. Although General Gould had advised prior attempts to construct the canal, General Gould had traveled to Central America early in the 1900’s to re-survey it for its possible benefit to the United States and propose ideas that would maximize the use of the region, at the specific request of President Roosevelt. Unknown to General Gould at the time the survey was performed, Roosevelt intended to use this information in his controversial “Gun Boat Diplomacy” plan, which General Gould abhorred, being a gentlemen of principle.ARSJB

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Frank Lee Devine, pictured here with Al Jolson, near San Francisco, California, circa 1927. Al sought out Frank’s advice to the select the songs for “The Jazz Singer” and Al’s possible relocation to the West Coast. Frank and Al are shown here with Al’s new custom made Austin automobile, which he purchased from profits obtained through his movie contract. Frank cautioned Al that because he loved to sing so much and worked so relentlessly on his music, he may experience marital problems if he did not seek balance between his profession and his personal affairs. Although many years would pass before he would see and follow the wisdom in the words of Frank Lee Devine, Al eventually made the transition and lived happily for many years thereafter.ARSJB

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Pictured left to right are Yutul Grobanski, Professor Joseph Cordi, and Frank Lee Devine, in the coastal city of Bremerhaven, Germany, circa 1941. Yutul, a leading figure in the Polish underground, escorted Professor Cordi and Frank Lee Devine through their extensive travels along the coast of France, Germany, and Poland during the spring and summer of 1941 as part of a traditional German musical entertainment trio popular with the German Army and Luftwaffe. Their appearances at Army and Luftwaffe functions provided ideal intelligence gathering opportunities in which the trio garnered incredible quantities of useful information for the Allies that was transferred to the Allies through the Polish Underground. Unfortunately, Yutul was eventually discovered by the Gestapo and executed near Gdansk, Poland, with Professor Cordi and Frank Lee Devine narrowly escaping capture. This photograph is the only known photograph of this Polish Underground hero.ARSJB

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Pictured left to right are King Crazy Oliver Steck, Bela Lugosi, and Nancy Casparian at a New Year’s Eve Actor’s Banquet near Santa Monica, California, circa 1939. It is rumoured that Bela Lugosi, upon seeing Ms. Casparian wearing a flambouyant Boater, became so enraptured by her beauty that he claimed to be Dracula. Witnessing King Steck’s response to this remark and Ms. Casparian’s welcome response to Bela’s unusual advance reportedly convinced Bela Lugosi that he could prolong his role as Dracula indefinitely. It is for this reason that Bela Lugosi became fixated with the concept of Dracula and his desire to continuously live as Dracula on and off stage. King Crazy Oliver Steck advised Bela that while this may be an entertaining party gag, it was not the way an actor should conduct himself and warned that Bela’s career would suffer. Unfortunately, King Steck’s advice was not heeded by Bela Lugosi and Bela’s popularity with audiences declined appreciably after his memorable role as Dracula.ARSJB

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Pictured with General Ryan Gould is Johnny Weissmuller in Chicago, Illinois, circa 1923. General Gould, an avid and talented natural swimmer, provided much inspiration and training to Johnny Weismuller during Johnny’s early preparations for the 1924 Olympics. Johnny maintained that General Gould’s techniques and advice were forefront in his mind as he saved countless lives when the excursion boat “The Favourite” sank in Lake Michigan in 1927. Spurred on by General Gould’s training, Johnny developed into an amazing athlete who went on to win 5 Olympic Gold Medals and became widely known for his cinematic role as “Tarzan”.
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Pictured from left to right are Boris Karloff, W. Anton Freeman, and Frank Lee Devine, in Grand Central Station in New York, New York, circa 1948. En route to a private event, the Babies paused for a moment to chat with these legendary figures of the horror film industry prior to their appearance on the Milton Berle television show, and the moment was captured by a free-lance photographer from Look magazine. Boris, world renown as a gentlemen, was very complimentary of the Babies and indicated that their contributions to society were exemplary and outstanding. During their visit, he recalled his student years at London University in the early 1900’s, and the fateful day when he first heard the talented General Gould’s prowess on the Double Bass during a Babies’ concert at the University. Although he had originally anticipated a diplomatic career, Boris was particularly inspired by General Gould’s love for music and his Double Bass playing told Boris to “follow his passion”. Subsequently, Boris eschewed his diplomatic career and ultimately moved to California, where he portrayed the ubiquitous monster ‘Frankenstein”, among many other memorable cinematic roles.ARSJB

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Frank Lee Devine pictured with various early 20th century jazz luminaries, on the foredeck dance floor of the picturesque Paddlewheel “Sweet Madie Belle”, traveling along the Mississippi River near New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1919. Upon close examination of the photograph, a very young Louis Armstrong, Pops Foster, and Baby Dodds, among others, can be seen. The Babies were fortunate enough to have traveled through New Orleans during this time period before the demise of “Storyville” and the migration of these legendary musicians to Chicago and New York and cherish the opportunity to have played with these incredible musicians. Professor Joseph Cordi prominently displays one of the large flags shown in this photograph on the living room wall of his Central Texas ranch home. Aunt Ruby’s Sweet Jazz Babies trivia experts will notice that Frank Lee Devine is wearing his favorite string tie which was custom made for him by his mother, Mama Devine. ARSJB

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When subpoeneaed by the 2005 Congressional Committee on Violent Amish Activities, General Gould gladly appeared and deftly refuted any connection between he and the purported uprising of a violent sect of Pennsylvania Amish farmers known as the Bearded Brothers of Freedom. The obviously forged photograph shown above was submitted to the Committee by the Brothers as proof of General Gould’s connection. Their leader, Klaus Steiner, had provided testimony regarding General Gould’s inspiration for their cause. In a stunning and clever maneuver, General Gould provided photographic experts from the F.B.I. who were able to prove the photograph a complete forgery. To further his proof, General Gould’s team generated similar photographs depicting all of the committee members kneeling before General Gould. After the laughter subsided in the hearing room, General Gould was cleared of any wrongdoing, thanked by the Committee, and was presented the Golden Order of Truth Medal for his service to the United States

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Shown in the photograph above is King Crazy Oliver Steck in Testing Room No. 305 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory near Los Alamos, New Mexico, circa 1953. King Steck is readying for test an experimental weapon, a portion of which was adapted from the Roswell Space Ship King Steck had stored in Antarctica. “In the process of adapting our Human ergonomic needs to the alien device, we have unintentionally imposed accuracy problems and we project that it will not be ready for use for another 3 months, approximately. The device was not originally designed in accordance to our physical needs and such design challenges are to be expected in these circumstances.”, King Steck reports. This photograph has never before been published

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General Ryan Gould preparing for hunting outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, circa 1853. Shown with General Gould is his famous hunting dog, Friar Humphrey, who General Gould claims could smell deer several miles away. Historians report that General Gould unknowingly acquired vast quantities of southern field terrain knowledge during his hunting visits through the south in the years leading up to the Civil War which served him well in his later military campaigns throughout the region. Friar Humphrey met an untimely demise several months after this photograph was taken while attempting to defend General Gould from four attacking alligators during General Gould’s hunting foray into the swamps near Lake Charles, Louisiana. General Gould fondly remembers the debt he owes to Friar Humphrey

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King Crazy Oliver Steck and General Ryan Gould at the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Illinois-Urbana Campaign, circa 1975. The War Department requested General Gould attend a demonstration of a innovative laser design developed by King Steck’s Antarctic Alien Technology Research Group for possible military applications. Both King Steck and General Gould feigned ignorance of one another for reasons of National Security, a skill both had mastered years ago during their wartime and other espionage activities. “Every new weapon design should be evaluated for its own contribution to military tactical theory,” asserts General Gould General Ryan Gould in London, England, circa 1916. General Gould, shown here by limelight working in multiple incognito as theatre actor Archibald Kirk portraying the revolver-wielding wealthy aristocratic dandy Sir Peter Morgan Fairchild. Using this convoluted multiple identity scheme with a traveling theatre troupe, General Gould was able to obtain secret communicades from various anti-German intelligence sources throughout the British Isles and subsequently use this intelligence information to refine and optimize war plans ad hoc in order to maximize their impact upon the German Army. In innovator in “out-of-the-box” military thinking, General Gould first employed this tactic to great success during the civil war

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Frank Lee Devine, outside of Beaumont, Texas, circa 1866, fishing with his father, Papa Devine. During this era, most families did not formally name their children for the first several years of life due to the high infant mortality rate along the Texas Gulf Coast. At the time this photograph was taken, Frank Lee Devine was known simply as Baby Devine. This portrait has been incorporated into many American dinnerware collections due to its charm, warmth, and simplicity.
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