Tag Archives: magazines

Oh say can you yeeeeeeee-hawwwwww!

The Country Gentleman magazine for July 1926. Cover art by N.C. Wyeth.
The Country Gentleman magazine for July 1926. Cover art by N.C. Wyeth.

In honor of Independence Day, here’s one of my favorite magazine covers in my collection — The July 1926 issue of The Country Gentleman with cover art by American artist (painter/illustrator/muralist) N.C. Wyeth. It was also one of the more elusive magazines for me to track down, but totally worth it.

It’s nice to see Wyeth’s biography is a lot more complete and accessible online than many other illustrators of the era, but sad to find his life ended by a freight train.

Also, it’s no surprise that horses really aren’t very fond of fireworks. Be kind, y’all.

The Little Girl is Right

Magazine ad for Hart Schaffner & Marx - late 40s/early 50s
Guess who forgot to write the month/year/mag again? Umm… I was originally thinking probably late-40s, maybe early-50s. But she appears to be using some sort of Dictaphone or Ediphone, which would place it in the 1920s or earlier. Unless their boss never upgraded the office equipment, which is also entirely plausible. The shirt collar and necktie kind of have that Roaring Twenties look though. I’m talking to myself again, aren’t I. Yes, Clay, you are.

This ad must’ve taken place before they invented personal zones.

A bit about the artist Jay Hyde Barnum.

Hey! The company is still around!

A guide to wearing wool in the summer.

And speaking of wool, meet Shrek, the sheep who escaped shearing for six years by hiding in New Zealand caves.

Or perhaps you would prefer a wood suit?

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Bring Yourself to Budget

Full page Budget Tapes & Records ad from the July 8, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone magazine
Full page Budget Tapes & Records ad from the July 8, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone magazine

During my back half of high school and first year of college in the late-80s, I worked at a strip-mall store called Budget Tapes and Records in Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota. It didn’t pay much, but was definitely one of the coolest jobs around. When I started, CDs were still sold in “long boxes” and beta videos and vinyl were on the way out. And yes, we also sold tobacco accessories for use with tobacco and only tobacco. Tobacco.

The Budget Tapes & Records logo from my era.
The Budget Tapes & Records logo from my era.

So imagine my surprise when I was flipping through an old Rolling Stone magazine and found a full page ad for an earlier version of Budget Tapes and Records. Full page. Rolling Stone magazine. Daaaaaaamn. Also, it appears they were way cooler back then.

Note: Even though the Eighties-era Bismarck and Fargo stores weren’t as cool as the 1971 stores, they were still much cooler than the Williston, North Dakota store. Yeesh.

Another note: Hey! My old boss (and his brother) made it into Billboard magazine back in the day!

Whew. Lots of memories coming back from this gig, few of which I’d share here. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

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This is Sean. Don’t cramp Sean’s style.

1974 magazine ad for Midol.
1974 magazine ad for Midol. 

Fun facts: Midol was originally advertised as a headache, neuralgia and toothache remedy, then later as a cure for hiccups. After that, it headed south.

An anti-spasmodic (antispasmodic these days) drug suppress muscle spasms. Hello, IBS!

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Pretty Girl Holds Glass Wyomingly

1958 magazine ad for Coca-Cola
1958 magazine ad for Coca-Cola

He’s totally going to accidentally kick that other bottle over… 62 years ago.

Fun facts: Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. (1869)

A higher-end fringed suede jacket could set you back over $1,600.

Copywriters really liked ellipses back in those days.

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When a problem comes along, you must blanket.

1969-ish ad for the Norton SPACE Blanket
1969-ish ad for the Norton SPACE Blanket

This isn’t the Norton security folks; it’s the Norton blanket folks. Linus would be confused.

Fun fact: Believe it or not, blankets are named after Thomas Blanket.

Or… Maybe Thomas Blanket was named after blankets.

Then again… Sigh. History is hard.

Do not borrow this man’s blanket.
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Adventures in Accounting

Midcentury magazine ad for National Accounting Machines / National Cash Register Company. Yes, I forgot to write down the year again.
Midcentury magazine ad for National Accounting Machines / National Cash Register Company.
Yes, I forgot to write down the year again.

I think the most precious bit in the body copy is “…what machines do automatically, operators cannot do wrong.” LOL.

What happens when you ask your company to get you an expanded keyboard.
“Is Gern Blanston there? This is? Bitch, where’s my money?”

Fun facts: The first mechanical cash register was named “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier”. The year was 1879. The reason? Skimming bartenders.

If you ever saw “No Sale” pop up on an old cash register, it means the till drawer was opened without a transaction taking place.

National Cash Register is now known as NCR and was once part of AT&T.

Some White Motor history at the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. It’s not every day that a company makes the switch from sewing machines to trucks.

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Ding Dong

Avon Cosmetics ad found in the October 1953 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.
Avon Cosmetics ad found in the October 1953 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.

Avon calling.

Fun facts: The first Avon Representative was Mrs. P.F.E. Albee in 1886.

There were one million Avon Representatives by 1978.

On a personal note, there are two perfumes that have seduced me at pivotal moments in my life. Avon’s Odyssey is one of them.

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Get woke.

1969 ad for the Sony Digimatic Alarm Clock Radio
1969 ad for the Sony Digimatic Alarm Clock

This ad has a pretty utilitarian headline in the innovation/differentiation/unique-selling-proposition/how-will-it-improve-your-life vein, but once you get into the body copy, it’s a golden-age masterpiece of copywriting.

Fun fact: The snooze alarm was invented in 1956.

While we’re at it, here’s a 2,000-year history of alarm clocks thanks to Atlas Obscura.

Hey babe, are you into horology?

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In hindsight, perhaps a teeter-totter wasn’t the best visual metaphor.

Packard "Balance" ad from the June 4, 1927 issue of The Literary Digest
Packard “Balance” ad from the June 4, 1927 issue of The Literary Digest

Something for the auto buffs: Why Packard Died

Want a Packard of your very own? Looks like a 1929 Packard 645 Deluxe Eight goes for an average of $212,926 these days. What a bargain!

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