Strike a pose.

Vogue magazine, April 1, 1950, and it’s mine!

Sometimes the cover of vintage magazine catches my eye more than others and I end up digging around to learn more about it. This was one of those times, especially since this particular Vogue magazine from April 1, 1950, wasn’t listed in the lot I won on eBay and received a few weeks ago. I’m not complaining, as another copy of this issue recently sold on eBay for $249.

The cover photo of “Queen of Fashion Inc.” Jean Patchett is by Irving Penn and was the first black and white Vogue cover since they started using color in 1909. The black lipstick Patchett wore was MacGyver’d from mascara to maximize the contrast. Penn was rather prolific and prodigious for Vogue, shooting 165 covers between 1943 and 2009.

Additional trivia: A 17”x15” signed print of this Irving Penn photograph sold for $481,000 at a 2008 Christie’s auction.

Damn, I have good and expensive taste!

Would you like to know more?

In Vogue: From Penn to Leibovitz, Seven New Exhibitions Spotlight Our Photographers and Their Work

As “Irving Penn: The Centennial” Opens at the Met, We Consider the Photographer’s Vogue Career

Christie’s — Photographs — 11 April 2008, New York — Lot 343

Jean was “a young American Goddess of Paris Couture”.

Inceptional!

Whisper the Wonder Puss achieves the legendary Cat in a Box in a Box in a Box in a Box position.

So many boxes, so little time.

Smoking is for Squares!

Hey, kitten. There’s a lot going on in this 1964 comic book anti-smoking PSA by DC Comics.

Smoking is for Squares! 1964 DC Comic Book PSA from an issue of Tales of the Unexpected

I’m still not quite sure why Paulette Breen suddenly turns into a 53-year-old truck stop waitress in the fifth panel. Probably from all the pointing. Continue reading

When the VP of Sweaters tells you to hurry the heck up and send out that darn Target email already!

So close.

It happens to the best of us.

This shit is bananas.

1954-ish magazine ad for United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International) that I found in a box of scraps.

It starts off innocently enough. Vague, nice-sounding, feel-good advice on how to live better and longer. And then… BANANAS! EAT BANANAS! DID WE MENTION BANANAS?

It’s a double-truck ad from United Fruit Company, one of the companies quite literally responsible for bringing the term “Banana Republic” from fiction to the real world.

(Her yellow gloves were a very nice touch.)

So eat lots of bananas, kiddos, or Miss Chiquita will cut ya.

Banana Fun Facts: There is no such thing as a banana tree. Bananas come from a herbaceous flowering plant with a pseudostem often mistaken for a tree trunk.

The tiers of a banana cluster are called hands, and each banana is also known as a finger.

If you hate those gross stringy things you find on a banana after peeling it, then you hate phloem bundles.

Lastly, bananas are naturally radioactive. Yay! Continue reading

Is this a bust of John F. Kennedy or William H. Macy?

The world may never know.

Does a Bear Schlitz in the Woods? — Dawn of the Furries

1949 magazine ad for Schlitz Beer that I found in a box of scraps.

Ad Thoughts:

That clown is totally doing the Creepy Stalk & Stare on the bunny, which changes the narrative’s dynamic a tad.

I’m impressed they allowed a one-eyed pirate with depth perception problems to pour the beer and navigate a crowded party.

America needs a matador these days, to kill the bull.

After panel three, does the bear and bunny hump with the costumes on or off? I’m thinking on.

Fun Facts:

In 1902, the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was the biggest brewer in America.

Along with the tagline used in this ad, Schlitz later had “”When you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer.” Oh no! I’m out of Schlitz! Continue reading

“Hey, baby, what’s your sign?”

Popular answers: “Do not enter.” “Dead end.” “Stop.”

Sadly rare answer: “Slow children playing.”

1969 magazine ad for Smirnoff vodka. Umm… What’s with the tree? IS IT A SATAN TREE!?

Continue reading

Because who doesn’t enjoy pointy bras from 1961!?

Earlier this year, an antique shop owner in town was retiring and winding down her store. I picked up a pretty good batch of vintage magazines at a nice price on the last weekend, and went back after work on Monday, the final day, just to see if I had missed anything.

Well, turns out I was recognized and she had an impressive stock of vintage magazines in back that never made it out on the floor. She made me a great offer and I took it. And on top of that, she had a collection of various things she had cut out of other old magazines — random photos and illustrations from ads, stories and features — that she had started on for an unspecified “girly project” but decided after a while that it was too much work. She had this particular collection stored in the cover/lid from a case of office copier paper and it was filled to overflowing. She offered it to me for five more bucks and I said yep.

I still haven’t made it to the bottom of her cutouts, but so far have found a plethora of full, intact vintage ads, and also many partial ads where she was only interested in the primary photo or illustration and saw no need to cut out or keep the rest (headline, body copy, logo, etc.). The image below is one such example.

I am Spartacus.

Continue reading

Umph?

Umph!

1981 magazine ad for Triumph 100s cigarettes.

Umph.