This woman encased in emerald from the November 1941 cover of Astonishing Stories conveys a real tube girl or ASFR feel, but unfortunately is unattributed and also, in its Internet Archive version, a little battered. There is a slightly more vivid and clean, but also smaller, version of the cover to be found at Galactic Central. It appears to illustrate the story “My Lady of the Emerald,” by Robert A.W. Lowndes (1916-1998), one of many writers who began his career with the encouragement of H.P. Lovecraft. The story has an interior illustration by Leo Morey, whose work we have seen before on this site.
In hopes of spreading a bit of additional happiness in these difficult times I’ll be running a few images by a new artist discovery from over the weekend, inksGirls, who has a definite feel for shrinking, mad science (or magic) and transformations. The image above is Bottled, an example of the tube girl meme, which you can find on the artist’s DeviantArt site. You can also follow inksGirls on twitter at @inksGirls and also pixiv as inksGirls. And if you like the art enough, please support inksGirls on Patreon as I do.
The overall action in this illustration series is described in a fragment of draft screenplay, which you are welcome to download if you are interested in such things. This image is available in a much larger size. Right-click to download.
“Mary Lou Smith is my name and, being temporarilty out of work, I turned to the want ads. The ad in the paper looked innocent enough: ‘Wanted, a young girl to assist in scientific experimennts.'”
Thus opens a story called “Captives of the Scientists,” apparently originally published in 1954 by American fetish-meister Irving Klaw (1910-1966) and illustrated by an obscure artist known only as “Mario.” It has a very classic fetish look, and also, another early example of tube girls.
Mary Lou is in for one hell of a time. Our two lady mad scientists deal with one of her companions first.
The scientists weren’t satisfied with the results of the oxygen tests they tried out on Jane, so they created a large vacuum tube for another, more exhaustive test. The secured electrodes to Jane’s wrists, which extended through specially made slots in the sides, wired to recording instruments. Jane was placed in the center of the tube and made to stand on the very tips of her thigh-length, laced boots, while an effective oxygen mast was clamped over her nostrils and mouth, to provide air to keep her from suffocating.
I could only star in wonder, at the rapt attention the two scientists paid to their scientific readings, and I grudgingly paid them a silent compliment a their ingenuity in contriving all those complicated gadgets used in their experiments. I could not speak, for I too was bound and gagged with a contrivance of similar nature waiting for me to be placed in.
Then it’s Mary Lou’s turn (so to speak):
They had left off the boots on my costume, and i was glad of that, for the constricting lace boots were mighty uncomfortable after a period of time.
They finished with Jane and moved over to me to start their experiments anew. This time, they strapped me face down to a worm gear driven turn screw in the vacuum tube, with my arms, elbows, thighs, and legs strapped together. As the turn screw started, it gave me a not unpleasant sensation of floating on a cloud, as if I was in an airplane, but the speed quickened. I got a dizzy sensation and if the gag had not been secured tightly, I’d have felt my stomach turn inside out and make the throw up from nausea.
As I whirled around and around, I thought my end had come and, like a drowning person, my life seemed to flash past and in my mind I cursed myself for getting myself into such a dilemma.
The dizziness grew stronger as they turned up the speed, taking notes of my reactions and facial contortions. Just before i blacked ot an unconsciousness crept over me. I saw they will [sic] calmly were taking notes, watching me intently.