Battle of the Ballots! 🗳🇺🇸
A revolutionary nudist election, a litigious sore loser trying desperately to overturn the results, and the fight for democracy in the early nudism movement. #thread
At the center of this drama was #IlsleyBoone, aka “Uncle Danny” — the charismatic founder of the #AmericanSunbathingAssociation, and chair of its board. With his majority share of member proxy votes, he could — and frequently did — sway #ASA elections any way he wanted.
The backdrop of the revolution was the #AmericanSunbathingAssociation’s 20th Annual Convention at #PennSylvan Health Club in Mohnton, Pennsylvania. Thursday, August 9th, 1951.
Fed up with Boone’s autocratic control over their elections, an insurgent group of #ASA members led by #NorvalPackwood— in a meeting presided over by ASA Pres #RudolphJohnson — orchestrated a complex legal ouster of #UncleDanny and passed a new set of bylaws for the corporation.
Spurned and furious, #IlsleyBoone sped home to the #ASA HQ in New Jersey where he locked down the company bank accounts and mail. He returned to #PennSylvan the next day with his own PA system and held a dueling convention, claiming the prior day’s events were illegal and void.
Boone had strong supporters, but the majority of attendees had voted against him, and most did not recognize his protests as valid.
Following the convention, the divided #AmericanSunbathingAssociation existed as two factions, each one claiming to be the true ASA. Each had its own magazine. The new ASA published their side of the story in American Nudist Leader. Boone shared his take in his Sunshine & Health.
Sunshine & Health’s editor #DonaldJohnson (a pseudonym used by famous American novelist—and prominent nudist—#JohnBall) abruptly resigned. He supported the rebel faction, and disapproved of #IlsleyBoone’s tantrums. Johnson later wrote about the events in his 1959 book The Nudists
Boone and his fiercest ally, #EdithChurch, soon filed suit against the new #ASA — naming its Exec. Dir. #NorvalPackwood and Treasurer #RoseHolroyd in their filing with a New Jersey court. Their claim was that the proceedings in which they were kicked out had been illegal.
As the case dragged contentiously on, the Boone camp ran a propaganda campaign against the new #ASA, sending a series of “reports” out to the membership list from a fictional “Consitutional Rights Committee” — in which they assert a number of wild claims about their opponents.
Left: A survey Boone distributed to build his case and base of support.
Right: An article by #NorvalPackwood in American Nudist Leader in which he counters claims from Boone’s “reports”.
Ultimately the judge, after reviewing the corporation’s organizational documents, declared that the language therein — which had been personally written by Boone — was “legal gobbledygook” and that ALL of the #ASA’s activity from the previous 15 years was illegitimate.
The judge placed the #AmericanSunbathingAssociation in temporary receivership in #NorvalPackwood’s name and ordered a new legal election to occur at the 21st #ASA convention, to be held in August at #SunshinePark in NJ. The election would be overseen by a court appointed officer.
The election was held on one of the hottest days of 1952. Boone, Pack, and over 100 naked attendees — plus a clothed court appointed officer who refused several invitations to remove his coat — witnessed the official election results: The new bylaws were passed. Boone was out.
Boone immediately turned around and started the #NationalNudistCouncil, modeling it after the old #ASA with his full control over its operations. The new, more democratic voting structure of the ASA was implemented and in many ways remains today.
#IlsleyBoone was not a villain, in fact had accomplished great things for nudism — but his ego was his downfall. The nudists who stood up against him did so in a world that was still fresh out of WWII. Righteousness in fighting for democracy over autocracy was thick in the air.
Much was written about these events at the time and in the years that followed, but some of the most entertaining coverage this researcher has found came from #EarlWright in his rare self-published nudist journal “Black Horse”. The excerpt below from ANL is worth a read.👇
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More from @NaturistVintage

8 Sep
Sunshine & Health, Vol. XX No. 10; September, 1951. ImageImage
Photo by #EdLange Image
Read 16 tweets
7 Sep
Experimenting with A.I. image enhancement using @ReminiAppStore. Original photo of #RudolphJohnson by #EdLange, 1950.
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31 Aug
The adversarial benevolence of Mervin Mounce. #thread
#MervinMounce’s early life was spent as a shopowner in the Spokane, WA area. Here he is pictured smoking a pipe in his store in 1932, courtesy of the Washington Rural Heritage Foundation.
Mounce rose to prominence in American Nudism in the 1940s first as a president of a nudist club known as #SunwayRanch in Spokane. In 1947, he co-founded @aanr_nw (then known as the #ASA). Pictured here with other NW founders, incl. #RudolphJohnson, #RayConnett, & #JimSutherlin
Read 23 tweets
28 Aug
I’m excited to share my first piece for #TheBulletin. Appropriately, it’s about the history of The Bulletin itself, which is integral to the history of the American nudism movement. @AANR_Int members, the whole September issue is history themed. Some great articles to check out!
Three separate publications from January 1952, all claiming to be the official #TheBulletin. Note the different #ASA presidents. Left, #RudolphJohnson in American Nudist Leader; Right, #AloisKnapp in Sunshine & Health. The standalone journal in the middle prevailed.
The evolution of #TheBulletin logo: every logo from 1933-2020. Credit to the @ANR_Library, without whom my research for the above article and this image would not have been possible.
Read 4 tweets
28 Aug
Suntan; Vol 3 No 5; Sep-Oct. 1956. ImageImage
Photo by #EdLange. Wife #JuneLange in the center. Image
Is Nudism Holding the Teen-ager? By #KarenSueDaniels ImageImageImageImage
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17 Aug
The short-lived #monokini fad of 1964, explored on the pages of Paradise magazine [No. 8, 1964]. ImageImage
This was a real thing, which you can learn more about it from the excellent blog @MessyNessyChic here: messynessychic.com/2014/03/05/the…
#PeggyMoffitt models a #monokini for #LifeMagazine, 1964. Photo by #PaulSchutzer. Image
Read 7 tweets

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