That's where we went on Memorial Day. All those paddlewheel boats, docked for the Duration. The pestilence would rip through that thing like fire through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

First we went to the Ft. Snelling Cemetary, joining a long line of cars snaking through the grounds. Rotaria was impressed and found it all very American, this patriotism, these flags. Then we drove over to Stillwater, a river town of great charm and beauty.

This, to a certain type of person, probably says "aye, here be rubes. Or at least once rubes were here, doing their rubey things with thick hands and sweaty brow. I enjoy making fun of them from the distance of history, because I know they'd probably squint at me and wonder what sort of person I was supposed to be, then."

It's all rehabbed into chic places now. How many survive is a question, but main street today . . .

. . . had more foot traffic than this picture suggests.

People were walking around, looking for take-out, shopping in the candy store, basking on the grass at the riverfront.

Mask usage: I'd say 7%, tops.

I've always loved this old sign:

You can tell it's been repainted - and now the repainting has faded.

The Lift Bridge:

Beloved but troubled, and hated when it was up. Murder on traffic. Not in service now; a new bridge down the road serves the area much better.

So . . . it's been a wet spring?

No. Well, yes, but no - it's a boat landing, I think. Not a road as you'd think, but the sign gets the message across.

 

 

 

 

   

   
   

 I’m watching a show LOATHED by PURISTS. I might side with them if I knew what they were talking about. It’s “A Pale Horse,” based on an Agatha Christie work, and the same team apparently RUINED the “ABC Murders” last year. Well, I liked that one well enough. The reason I’m enjoying “Horse” is the period: early-mid 60s England. It has a particular fascination for me, and I don’t know why. I certainly don’t think it was a glamorous era, all that London-swing-like-a-pendulum-do nonsense. Ever been to Carnaby Street? It’s short.

The graphics that came out of the English pop explosion, as seen on album covers, were different, but haven’t quite stood the test of time. Cartoony typefaces, lithographed Edwardian clip art, an old brass instrument on a painted stool, yeah, whatever. I like the cars and the thin ties and the women’s styles, right before it all goes soft and daft.

The show is art-designed down to the molecules.

You can’t help notice the wallpaper:

 

Is this now the stand-in signifier for Evil Is Afoot? It’s ghastly, yes, always has been, but you can’t use this pattern without knowing you’re sending a message.

Unless you don’t know its heritage. But that seems unlikely. It’s in Midsummer, too, and I'd find a picture somewhere, except why? You trust me.

 

 

 

 

It’s 1950. The following ads are selections from next year’s 1950s site, which is depressingly huge. It'll take forever to post it.

I’ve finished the advertising portion. It took three months of writing, but that overstates the actual work.

You might ask: it’s strange that you have an ad for celophane. Why did you clip and set aside an ad for celophane? It must be rare.

Me: the cellophane section of the 1950s ad site has 40 pages, and it’s just the highlights

There's a huge section on tech, too.

Everyone knew these machines would be a big part of the future, and would change them way things were done.

Hardly anyone knew how they worked.

Heck, that's still the case.

If you can't distinguish your brand by the usual means, try disembodied heads that signal surprise and aimless sexualn desire! Also, football.

 

THE MOST EXCITING DRINK.

Hmm: this looks like an outtake I set aside; can't find it in the 1950s Celophane section.

I might have filed it under CHEMICALS.

Chemical companies did a lot of advertising. Hey, here's us! We make lots of things! Be glad we're around! Okay, we'll be over here inventing other stuff, have a great day!

The old rule, according to the copy, was that bowling alleys had to be “big and barny.” This was done up in Gold Bond Insulation Board, with a dropped ceiling.

Piece of cake! Close up for two days at the most. Everyone will love it! unfortunately, this is just the model of what you hope to do someday, with cocktail olives for balls. Sure is cute, though.

By the way, this is from the Interiors section of the site, which is distinct from the ads site, and contains almost 300 pages. I am absolutely mad.

Yes, but not a particularly long one.

AMERICAN CYANAMID

Could they have chosen a name that sounded a little less poisony?

GET IT?

What is it Sanforizing?

Sanforization is a process that stabilizes the fabric before it is cut by stretching and shrinking it. Named after its inventor, Sanford Lockwood Cluett, it was patented in 1930. In 1936, Blue Bell (now Wrangler) began using the method for its Super Big Ben overalls. During the sanforization process, the material is fed into a sanforizing machine and moistened with water or steam to promote shrinkage. It is then stretched through a series of rubber belts and cylinders before it is finally compacted to its final size.

So we could have had Cluettized. Quite an American life, that fellow.

Look, child! It is the crude, leering simulacrum of life, a mockery of all we hold dear about ourselves! And it cost thousands of dollars to bring this undead horror into our hiome.

"Ultra-Fidelity." It was also "planned entirely from the family angle." Well, as you'll see in the next series of pages, they made quite a few claims.

There you go - a brief look at the range and depth and breadth and other dimension-related words of the 1950s ad site. It's a familiar world, close and yet remote.

 

That'll do; see you tomorrow, and hither / yon-like.

 

 

 

 

 
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