1961 Magazine Adverts

I love getting my hands on old things. Vintage vinyl and magazines are such wonderful sources for a glimpse into life in the past. Forget stuffy analysis from experts or people’s unreliable memories; if you want to know how things really were just stick on an old LP and flip over a publication from before you were born. Time machine time!

Things I’ve been able to discern from reading a 1961-published, American magazine aimed at adult men (yeah, you know the sort) is that:

  • jokes back then were just dreadful,
  • stories back then were mind-numbingly dull, but
  • women had curves in all the right places (yay!), and
  • magazine adverts were simply wonderful.


A vacuum pump to remove blackheads! It’s a bloody vacuum pump to remove blackheads! And you wonder why Americans are all so beautiful now? It’s because they had vacuum pumps to remove blackheads people!


The Korean war was particularly harsh on the number of blacksmiths in America and this advert was just one prong of the fork that aimed to poke the art of blacksmithery back into the nation’s forefront. Does that sentence even make any sense? Thoughts of blacksmithing are confusing my brain!


A rare example of a rival to Disney trying to get its foot in the door but here we can clearly see a fatal mistake in the advertising process: don’t give away your best example of cartoonery for everyone to see! Old Walt didn’t like what he saw and the originator of this ad was never heard from again.


Without this advert we would have no Columbo. That’s right.


Relieves drunkenness in five days? How drunk would you have to have been? I mean, it takes me a little longer than it used to but I’m still pretty much back to normal in under 18 hours. Either there was a lot of alcohol consumption back then or Americans were quite wimpy when it came to drinking. I’ve been to America and drunk their beers. I think it’s the latter one.


The first rule in deciding whether to response to an advert claiming to improve your English is checking to see whether it conforms to good English. I found this ad to be very, ahem, entertaing. Do you see what I did there? Well, you probably need to have pretty decent English to spot it in the first place to be honest.


A new way of prayer! This way of prayer proved to be far more effective than the other way of prayer which – as you may remember from school history lessons – didn’t help anybody ever and so was introduced into churches and schools and public buildings (to hell with that pesky Constitution!) and has made America the healthy, affluent, jobs-for-everyone paradise it is today.


Most of these lessons revolve around trying to pronounce Eugene Feuchtinger.


If you’re wondering just when it was that the grapho analysis really took off then wonder no more! It was 1961! Sadly, the science of analysing handwriting to detect when people had impure thoughts about hernias was hit hard by the advent of computing and nowadays the only analysis any of the remaining nine grapho analysts can give is that nobody knows how to write very well any longer.


Most of that gamut of subjects covered by this ad for happiness in marriage I think we can all guess already as they’re all firmly established as norms of American culture now: birth comes from having sex during marriage; nobody has sex with adolescents anymore because they’re just not that good at it; marriage is that thing you do before you have sex; sexual aberration and disease is a polite way of saying that fingering a penguin can lead to scabies. But rejuvenation is a bit of a puzzle, though. Of all the things to lose, why did it have to be that? The penguin one would have been a much better one to forget.

Author: Mark

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