Lauren Sperber

Miss Spontaneous Combustion!

Blaze Starr Dirty Dishes Gloves

Today, what seemed to be a shameless boingboing plug of useless hipster gear turned out to be oh-so much more.

The pair of “Dirty Dishes” gloves pictured with the post just happend to say “Miss Spontaneous Combustion” above the requisite strumpet. The stalkers curious who’ve read my about me page might recall that I (though not an outlined pinup on dishwashing gloves) am a sort of a Miss Spontaneous Combustion myself, according to the whimsical votes of high school classmates. But I had never heard of T-H-E Miss Spontaneous Combustion…

Blaze Starr Dirty Dishes Gloves

How did I manage all these years to not find out that Fannie Bell Flemming, aka Blaze Starr, aka Miss Spontaneous Combustion was a fiery, red-headed 50s burlesque star—not just some run-of-the-mill stripper, but a really famous sensation with a namesake movie about her political love affair and her own Wikipedia article (the pinnacle of fame in my book)! According to, she even knew JFK quite personally.

Apparently Blaze (heh) was given her name by her first manager, but made it stick by stripping on a burning couch. And she’s still naughty—Fannie Bell only retired from stripping at 51 (!) and now owns and manages the same club at which she was once the headline stripper. And she sells jewelry.

Well. The things you can learn from a pair of dirty dishwashing gloves.