Tag Archives: history

In just seven days I can make you a man – 1960’s Charles Atlas

’tis true, Rocky Horror didn’t just make it up. In seven short days Charles Atlas (or¬†Angelo Siciliano to his friends) can make you a new man with his “Dynamic Tension” workout system.

1970s Charles Atlas

1970s Charles Atlas

Everything I needed to know about exercise I learned from musical theatre.

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Filed under Peronsal Grooming

1919 Simplex Ironer – Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift…?

This 1919 ad for a rather large household device to do the ironing touts itself as a “never-to-be-forgotten gift”.  I can say without fear of contradiction that that’s exactly true.  She’ll remember it and you’ll remember the beating that she’ll lay on you after you give it to her.

 

1919 Simplex Ironer - You're sure to get a beating.

1919 Simplex Ironer - You're sure to get a beating.

What sort of culture made it appropriate to gift such things? Or perhaps advertisers were just duping the male populous into such misinformed gift giving. Woe to the man that listens. He’s likely to find himself doing his own ironing for a while.

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Filed under Household

Before there was Bud-Weis-er…. 1981 Budweiser

Before there were talking frogs, there were pull-tab cans. The current slogan of “this bud’s for you” appears in the newspaper on the right-hand side of the street.

1981 Budweiser

1981 Budweiser

Except for the obsolete can-opening mechanism the ad is fairly unremarkable except for the reaction of the gentleman in the foreground. His lady friend is leading him across the street but he’s become distracted by the giant beer in the sky. She clearly couldn’t care less but he is enthralled. Is the advertising trying to tell us that beer is more important than a relationship with a woman in a blue velour dress? Well, maybe. Well… velour? Very probably.

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Filed under alcoholic, Drinks

The Pause the Refreshes while Shopping – 1936 Coca Cola

There’s certainly no fear of gender stereotypes here. These gals are decked out in the absolute latest fashions as they’re out shopping in fur coat and jaunty cap.¬† Luckily for these thirsty shoppers Coke is available “just around the corner from anywhere” for just five cents!

1936 Coca Cola

1936 Coca Cola

And when you get home, Ray Noble and his orchestra play “the kind of music that youthful people go for” at 9:30 eastern on the Columbia Network. When’s the last time you saw a print ad for a radio program? That Ray Noble is really decked out to the nines. With that little baton you can bet that they’re going to be playing some real swingin’ tunes!

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Filed under Coca-Cola

1920s Kodak 2c Jr

As much as I love modern photography equipment in all its technological greatness, I still think it would be rather cool to carry about a camera with a bellows.

1920s Kodak 2c Jr

1920s Kodak 2c Jr

This sucker would have run you between $12 and $19. That’s $129 if you account for inflation which isn’t a bad deal.

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Filed under photography

Her First Telephone Call – 1937 Bell Telephone System

So I grew up in the 70s and to me, for whatever reason, the telephone was something that adults used. Long distance had an exorbitant cost and phones had cords. It was just… very, very different.

In this advert from 1937 it’s evident that the phone is still an item used for business and business only. Betty Sue is making her first call today and “the telephone may some day become commonplace.” My how times have changed. Kids not only consider the phone commonplace but many have their own numbers. Also, check out the size of that receiver. You could bludgeon a polar bear with that thing.

First Phone Call

First Phone Call

What’s your history with the phone? Was your first phone call a significant day in your life?

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Filed under technology

When Bigger Meant Better – 1914 Hamburg American Cruise Lines

Just a few years after a rather unpleasant occurrence with an unsinkable ship, we find the cruise line industry is still going strong. The Vaterland would find itself seized by the Americans at the commencement of World War I and put to service in the U.S. Navy.

From Classic Ads – Travel

Note the text offers a 135-day cruise for $900. That would be $19,000 in today’s dollars. Pretty sure I don’t have that sort of money laying about but if you all just donate $20 I’ll promise to write to you every day.

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Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream – 1911

I like this advert so much that it hangs framed in my bathroom. Firstly, we’ve got a brick wall in the background. What says solid, firm and true better than a brick wall? My teeth feel stronger already and I haven’t even brushed yet. If I’m not careful I may take a bite out of my laptop in a fit of overzealous machismo.

If you read the text, it’s very martial in tone. You’re WANTED! Wanted to ENLIST in the Call of Good Teeth! And to think that all this manly bravado comes in a little pink tube at the cost of only four cents. Damn! Now that was some value!

Manly as Hell in a Little Pink Tube

Manly as Hell in a Little Pink Tube

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go brush my teeth and try like the dickens to whistle the Marine Corp Hymn at the same time. IT’S GO TIME PEOPLE! GET IN THERE AND APPLY THAT DECAY PREVENTIVE DENTIFRICE!

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Filed under tooth care

Star Wars Promo – 1978 TEAC Tape Decks

With the purchase of any TEAC open reel tape recorder, we’ll give you a commemorative set of Star Wars tapes! These specially packaged open reel tapes are a limited edition and are not for sale anywhere. They include the music, sound effects and narration from the film. Your TEAC dealer has all the details but the offer expires April 30, 1978! Oh. Sorry. Guess we missed that great offer.

1978 TEAC Tape Decks - Star Wars Promo

1978 TEAC Tape Decks - Star Wars Promo

I recall that my dear old papa had a reel-to-reel tape deck when I was a wee lad. I must admit that as tape machines go, they certainly did give one the sense of awesome professionalism in a way that cassette tapes just could not touch. Though I daresay they wouldn’t stand a chance if they were really under attack by those x-wing fighters. I’ll bet Vader had a TEAC.

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Filed under music equipment

Sweet Georgia Boombox – 1980 JVC Boombox

Before they were officially dubbed boomboxes, they were “Portable Component Systems” and this one has an optional record player though it escapes me how you’d carry that down the street with you.

Sweet Georgia Boombox

Sweet Georgia Boombox

Not long after, the boombox would become king and the record player would die a slow death filled with needle-drop hiss. But don’t feel bad because albums are back with a force. Can eight-tracks and wax cylinders be far behind?

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Filed under music equipment