Well, we missed our flight, but at least we have our clothes and toiletries.
Yes, it's a Hiatus AGAIN. Yes. And once again I am not sorry, because A) I've good reason, B) I am a generous host who does not swan off for a fortnight and trust you'll all reconvene when I decide to favor you with my presence; C) a break from the standard routine of BTF is good, D) There will be site updates at the end, and E) I've prepared a great batch of stuff. More than ever!
Well, you think, I'll be the judge of that. And so you will. Each day will have a common theme below the fold, and if you're in the mood for what I've found, you'll be in mid-century heaven. It's nothing you couldn't have found on your own, if you were in the mood to search for it, but here's the thing: you probably haven't, because you have a life.
If you did look for it, you ended on YouTube, glassy-eyed, clicking SKIP on the ads, scrolling to the comments, wondering what was coming next. I hate that experience. This is not that. As you'll see.
Best of all: the things I have found are short.
But first, the Above-The-Fold portion of today's visit. It's 1947.
If I had to say, gun pressed to my temple, I'd say it was a freebie handed out at grocery stores or other places the ladies would shop. I would also ask why it was so important to have gun to my head about this.
The Homemaker's Institute, Evansville. Not a lot on the web.
||The first feature concerns spiffing up your house so your teens actually want to be there.
If you like to know where your offspring are of an evening (as what parent doesn’t?).
The answer is "encourage them to bring the gang home." But if you're also a parent who doesn't get the proper thrill out of teen-age "jump' sessions, the latest hot hot band records, the general exuberance of youth en masse, vou'll need to provide a spot where the young set can gather, away from you stuffy adults.
Another dream room. When I hit color-correct on this one, it shook off the yellow and came to life
A bit much to modern eyesm, but I'm sure it was dreamy to lass in '47.
A 17-year-old occupant of this room would be 93 today.
Post-war bounty and prosperity was not immediate and evenly accessible:
Disjointed oxtails in hot drippings
Mm-mmm can I have seconds mom
Of course, we had to have the model kitchen, available in a kit, installed in a day. Gleaming and new!
The virus is airborne, latches on to the fabic, then spreads throughout the room.
Some things never change:
Juicy hamburgers in toasted jumbo buns, below! Built to Dagwood proportions with slices of tomato, onion, and pickle. Mmmmm. Will it be mustard or catsup for you?
I don't know, I feel like a Rockefeller, maybe both.
"Built to Dagwood proportions" is a phrase still understood today, but less and less.
Fat frankfurters in Coney Island buns, too. Or does your family call them hot dogs, wieners, or maybe redskins?
It's like the click-bait writing of today, but somehow not as stupid.
I didn't find anything for Myrna, although I found her father's obit in 1944. A pioneer of Highland Park. But Glenna McGinnis, oxtail dejointer - well, that's different.
Here's her picture from Radio Digest, Dec. 1927.
Why Radio Digest? It's a long story, and it can be found at . . . yes, of course, hillbilly-music.com.
It has clips from her later life, including a story in the Hartford Courant. I didn't want to steal them, so I found them myself on Newspapers.com. And I colorized them, just for fun.
The magazine writer and editor at her Gracious Home:
If I colorize this, she gets a horrid smear of lipstick.
The living room:
The color scheme could've been completely different. But you get the sense of the inert, incoherent, jumbled and busy world of the early 70s.
In case you needed reminding.
And now, a new feature whose appeal depends heavily on your ability to endure old TV ads. I love them. They're short and potent. These are from the Duke archives, and they're not YouTube embeds, so no ads before you watch the ads. Just pure old TV entertainment! Today we focus on . . .
Long-time Bleatniks know of my love of Elsie and Elmer. We used to discuss their marital contrusions and triumphs in the "Products" section on Tuesdays, something that eventually morphed into the History of Advertising below-the-fold feature. I've found a motherlode of old Borden TV ads, and they're charming in a low-fi way.
Elsie saves the day! We begin with Beulah, the perpetual teen, preparing to incite enthusiasm in a surreal arena of floating severed heads.
It’s always interesting how the new “stylized” form of “modern” animation was also much, much, cheaper.
At first I thought “why is she wearing #73? Perhaps that was the year the company was founded,” and then, well, duh.
It’s a bit disconcerting to see Beulah pull a Poochie at :22.
The voices are all wrong - but we'll get to that.
Beauregard has his own tree fort, which he uses to peep on . . . Mom
:14 “That package reminds me of the Queen of Tarts, which subsequently surfaces a recollection of the Knave of Tarts” is a thing kid-cows say unprompted
:28 Scoop up some chancre-balls, kids
:38 The patriarchy serves the elder males first, with the implicit threat of violence if their needs are not immediately met
:47 Wait a minute, so someone is narrating Elsie’s voice? It’s not her, it’s a man reading the story?
:54 We can’t animate Elsie, but we can give you Tom Terrific was a cowboy who introduces a Western theme at odds with the Alice-in-Wonderland narrative established over the course of the story.
In which we learn that Elmer is an idiot. I mean, that’s really not much of deduction, is it?
The ad contains something that’s passed from the common culture: HOOTS MON. This was something everyone knew Scottish people said. But what did it mean?
An exclamation used to express annoyance, disgust, incredulity or remonstrance or in dismissal of an opinion expressed by someone else, tut! fie!
Not sure it fits here, unless the narrator was secretly disgusted by this particular flavor, and wants to communicate his displeasure to Scottish natives.
And now the voices are explained. Read by Peter Donald, eh? That explains why the voice isn’t Elsie’s voice. It doesn’t explain why they had to do that instead of cast a handful of actors. I mean, I know they're going for the "storybook read to kids" idea, but it's Mom who's doing the buying.
Peter Donald was a British-born actor who had a stint on Fred Allen, and was probably known to audiences for other TV gigs.
The Space Age dreams extended even to the humblest dessert.
There were lots of these, which suggests they weren't too expensive. Borden was cranking out a new ice cream flavor every month, but you know they had them planned long in advance, so it wasn't as if the ad agency had two weeks to whip up a new ad.
Next Monday we'll explore a parallel and entirely different campaign, and its relationship to "Mission: Impossible." Tomorrow we'll start to examine the incredible world of Post Cereal ads, and the byone world they reveal.
Hah! And you thought I forgot!
That'll do. More tomorrow, and don't go trying to find it. All in good time!