Sunday, February 28, 2010

vintage rolling stone ad of the day

Vintage Ad #1,060: Music me all over

Never underestimate the power of an audio cassette to bathe you in sound, deep emotions, a radiant glow and mystery mist.

Especially when in swimwear.

Source: Rolling Stone, April 16, 1981 - JB

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

vintage mccall's ad of the day

Vintage Ad #996: Special Tuna Dishes with Mayo

Two out of the three recipes from the Hellmann's test kitchen look reasonably appetizing. Tuna burgers? Sure, though I'd serve these ones as tuna cakes (Zatarain's makes a decent mix that produces cakes similar to this, down to the mayo). Baked tuna and noodles? Replace the mayo with creamy soup and I'll happy down it.

Tuna pizza? Perhaps using the right ingredients (normal pizza dough instead of the Pillsbury Doughboy's finest, Italian cheese, chunk tuna instead of flaked), but not this concoction. If Hellmann's produced a twenty-first century version of this ad, the tuna pizza would be of the sushi bar variety, with a bed of rice topped with a dollop of mayo and the raw fish/processed mock crab of your choice.

Source: McCall's, May 1975

vintage woman's day ad of the day

Vintage Ad #977: What a bonnie kitchen clock!
Source: Woman's Day, February 1952.

Ach, lassie!

After a night of tossing back one scotch after another, the GE Clansman will ensure that its loud plaid colour scheme will shock you out of any hangover.

vintage maclean's ad of the day

Vintage Ad #1,034: All Doc's Patients had one thing in common

It took many years for Doc's patients to clue in that he used sub-par furniture. This did not upset the wily medical practitioner, as he raked in the dough from treating minor back ailments.

Source: Maclean's, September 14, 1957

PS: As mentioned several times in the past, to make the post numbering system reflect reality, I am filling in spaces occupied by deleted posts or creating entries to bridge the numbering gaps. Here are two for your reading pleasure:

* From 1952, General Electric invents the plaid alarm clock
* From 1975, Hellmann's test kitchen provides a mix of tuna-rific meals that range from tempting to terrifying - JB

Thursday, February 18, 2010

vintage toronto world ad of the day

Vintage  Ad #1,050: Six Torontonians Can't Be Wrong About Dr. Chase's Nerve Food

(full size version)

Six respectable-looking Edwardian Torontonians can't be wrong, can they? Even if this miracle revitalizer contains ingredients like arsenic and strychnine?

Alvin Wood Chase (1817-1885) was an Ann Arbor-based patent medicine salesman who received his medical training in fits and spurts while supplying local doctors and drug dispensers. He wrote a series of home remedy handbooks that recommended treatments like using water that toads were boiled in to heal sprains and a variety of poultices to battle cancer.

By the late 1940s, Dr. Chase's miracle product was manufactured in Oakville (where the local historical society has posted a 1949 A.W. Chase almanac). Ads continued to be produced, such as one posted on Kitchen Retro targeting 1950s housewives. Further websurfing indicates that you can still rely on the good doctor to lift brain fog and prevent loss of flesh.

Source: The Toronto World, May 13, 1904 - JB

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

past headlines—a midnight melee

news 04-05-13 midnight melee

I discovered this account of a late night brouhaha while flipping through the May 13, 1904 edition of the (Toronto) News. Not answered: what exactly set the combatants off and why was Deborah's nature defined as "vigorous"? - JB

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

belated valentines

(because I left my camera in the car as it spent the second half of the long weekend in the shop...)

Have You Ever Been In Love?

Sarah with Rose (2)

Top picture taken in Guelph, February 6, 2010, bottom picture taken in Williamsville, NY, February 13, 2010 - JB

vintage rolling stone ads of the day

Attention Warehouse shoppers: we have a two-for-one deal today in the shirt department...all styles courtesy of the classified pages of Rolling Stone magazine...

Vintage Ad #1,043: The Me-T

If the 1970s were the "me decade" then this shirt was right for its time—and it's 100% polyester to boot! The perfect gift for anyone whose philosophy was "it's all about me."

Vintage Ad #1,044: Croc O' Shirt

Tired of preppies and their crocodile shirts? Not content to wear a knockoff like Fox or the Sears dragon (like I did in elementary school)? Show your scorn for preppie scum by wearing a dead croc! Your impatience will be rewarded...

In a shocking development, shirt producer Mad Dog Productions was sued by Izod Lacoste over copyright infringement. According to Wikipedia, the matter was settled out of court and Mad Dog was allowed to sell the shirts for an additional year.

Sources: Rolling Stone, May 20, 1976 (Me-T), April 16, 1981 (Croc O'Shirt) - JB

Thursday, February 11, 2010

vintage our army at war ad of the day (or what's your b.q.?)

Vintage Ad #1,040: What's Your B.Q.?

Are you ready to compare your degrees of tolerance towards cabbages, foreigners and pulp fiction?

Given when this would have been published (December 1965 or January 1966), I'd be curious to see how the like/dislike portion would have been filled in areas at the heart of the civil rights movement—what would a kid in New York City's response have been like compared to one from Alabama?

This quiz to test your levels of prejudice was one of a long-running series of public service announcements from the National Social Welfare Assembly that were published in various DC comics between 1949 and 1967. A scan of the Grand Comics Database shows a similarly-named PSA was first published in early 1959—given how dated the art looked on similar PSAs that ran during the mid-1960s, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the same ad with an updated like/dislike list. If that's the case, this quiz was brought to you by editor Jack Schiff (who championed fillers like this to prove comics could be a constructive influence on 1950s youth) and artist Bernard Baily (the first artist/possible co-creator of the Spectre, a hero not known for showing the utmost respect towards those he enacted vengeance on). During this PSA series' early years, it could be argued (as Bradford Wright suggests in his book Comic Book Nation) that Schiff took a risk during the height of the McCarthy era in extolling liberal values of brotherhood and tolerance to developing minds in an age when being even slightly left of centre led to catcalls or worse.

Polite Dissent has a healthy selection of these ads in its PSA section, which include a mix of timeless lessons, smug superheroes and hopelessly outdated content.

Source: Our Army at War #166, April 1966 - JB

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

valentine's day '60: bonus features

Before reading this entry, check out the related post on Torontoist.

Vintage Ad #1,033: We'll help you woo your Valentine at Yonge-Bloor-Bay

This is the full-size version of the ad for Yorkville merchants that was featured in the article—I figured that chopping out the list of businesses would provide less eyestrain, as well as save on endless scrolling if it was blown up to fit standard TOist image dimensions (which will be a risk for the ad I have planned for next week, but I think readers will be rewarded for the extra hand strain...or at least amused).


Besides offering a suitable menu for two lovebirds, Toronto Star food writer Margaret Carr also provided tips on what to serve when inviting young adults over for a Valentine party. After all, as Carr points out, with Valentine's Day and Sadie Hawkins Day falling in February, isn't it a great month for the young?

Naturally, the food will hold first place of interest at the table, no matter how fancy the centrepiece. Give franks a party dress by serving them in a tantalizing barbecue sauce bubbling in a chafing dish. With them serve warm buns so guests can build their own Frank Heart Warmers. Allow several franks for each guest, for they are all-time favourites of the teenage set. just as they are with little brother and sister. Baked beans, potato chips and relishes round out a menu to provide plenty of energy for party games.
If this description has tempted you to make some heart-warming tube steaks, here is the recipe as originally presented in the February 8, 1960 edition of the Star:

2 pounds franks
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chilli powder
¾ cup water
¾ cup catsup
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients, except franks, in a chafing dish. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add franks. Heat five to eight minutes. Serve in buns. Yields 8 to 10 servings.
No picture accompanied this dish, so you'll have to use your imagination as to what the ideal placement of the chafing dish and buns would have been in 1960. - JB

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

vintage toronto sun ad of the day

Vintage Ad #1,013: Ontario's roads are going metric

Not much to add about this ad, other than pondering where the Niagara/Windsor distance sign would have been stuck in the ground. If such a creature existed, it might have been somewhere near the border of Oakville and Mississauga, either on Highway 2 (from which one would have taken Highway 8 or QEW from Hamilton to Niagara) or on the QEW (with either the Hamilton stump of Highway 403 that then existed back in '77 or Highway 2 as the way to Windsor).

Road measurements are one of the few elements of the metric system that sank into my psyche. Blame overexposure to Detroit television during childhood as to why temperatures in Fahrenheit makes as much sense to me as Celsius.

Source: The Toronto Sun, September 4, 1977 - JB

Saturday, February 06, 2010

vintage christian life ad of the day

Vintage Ad #966: Trippy Reality versus True Reality

Except that the graphic, under the right conditions, might cause a trippy reaction...

Source: Christian Life, May 1968 - JB

Friday, February 05, 2010

vintage new yorker ad of the day

Vintage Ad #921: A well seasoned traveler's guide to Tabasco

Before making too much fun of today's ad, keep in mind that this style of Eastern cuisine was in vogue in the 1950s and that the wide variety of Asian chili sauces you can snap up at many supermarkets and specialty stores today weren't available. Tabasco would have been a respectable substitute for fiery chilies and a big bottle of sriracha sauce.

One shuddery aspect: it's hard not to imagine the chef speaking or gesturing in a stereotypical manner ("Gracious sir" is the tip-off), unless tourists were treated this way in Hong Kong.

The only vaguely eastern hint in the Foo Yoong Shea Daahn is the curry powder—otherwise I suspect you could go into any American diner, ask for the house/farmers/special omelette, ask the tough-yet-tender-hearted chef if they have any shrimp in the freezer, and add a dash of Tabasco from the bottle on the table. Hearty and tasty as such an omelette would be, it's not a dish that conjures up the wonders of China.

Source: The New Yorker, June 14, 1958 - JB

Thursday, February 04, 2010

vintage esquire ad of the day

Vintage Ad #1,031: If There's a Maxell Cassette In This Car...

Hmm, haven't checked the condition of my old mix tapes for awhile. Is this offer still valid?

A quick surf of Maxell's Canadian site shows that the only type of audio cassette the company currently offers is the general quality variety that Dad bought mass quantities of to record his favourite CBC Stereo/CBC Radio 2/NPR programs. Unless an old photo is being used on the website, the packaging is similar to that used during the 1990s—a red wrapper featuring Maxell's iconic man-in-a-chair facing a torrent of soundwaves.

As for the car, replacing a cassette abandoned in the tape deck would be the least of my worries...though the image would make for an atmospheric album cover.

PS: Over on Torontoist, this week's Vintage Toronto Ads column spotlights the pre-CBC career of retiring Metro Morning host Andy Barrie.

Source: Esquire, October 1981 - JB

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

vintage crawdaddy ad of the day

Vintage Ad #982: I Want To Be Anarchy

The Warehouse is currently conducting reader colour tolerance tests. We apologize for any headaches or the sudden urge to sing "Anarchy in the UK" or "God Save the Queen."


Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols was among the stacks of vinyl I purchased for next-to-nothing at Sam's Jams in Ferndale, Michigan during my teens. Not much more I can say about the album—it wasn't a life-changing work that left a discernable influence on my musical tastes or clothing choices, but it fills an occasional need to throw loud, snotty music on my turntable and crank the volume up to 11...

...OK, I'm more respectful to my neighbours than that, though the temptation to see if I can blow out the speakers lurks in the back of my mind (so much for anarchy). A disc of MP3s cranked up to 11 in the car is closer to reality.


Since the first three posts of this month have been ad-centric, it makes sense to turn February 2010 into one of those months where I clear out the towering pile of scanned ads and post one daily.

Source: Crawdaddy, January 1978 - JB

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

vintage homemakers ad of the day (or when a cheap lunch might be too cheap)

Vintage Ad #1,020: The 42 Cent Lunch

Comments left so far on Flickr regarding this economical lunch:

"If I'm going to eat that, I'd like to pay less, please."

"Do you think if we shell out a few more cents they'll actually COOK the egg?!"

"All that prep time AND 15 minutes to cook? How long a lunch break do Canadians get?"

"Salmonella On Toast."

We're happy to hear your comments or accept photos of any attempts to duplicate this cheap lunch.

Source: Homemakers, March 1977 - JB

Monday, February 01, 2010

vintage homemakers ad of the day (or goodbye ruby chicken)

Vintage Ad #1,019: Goodbye Ruby Chicken...

We may have a new winner in the “most disgusting looking dish ever developed by a corporate test kitchen” department. Ms. Ruby Chicken might have had good intentions, but frankly her dish is a comedy of errors. From the rosy-cheeked, oh-so-70s cartoon of Ms. Chicken in squaw garb to the mothballs floating in the nutrient bath that passes for sauce, one may pause to consider if extended exposure to cranberries has a detrimental effect on the brain.

On the plus side, this meal is an excellent way to fight a sudden attack of scurvy.

Source: Homemakers, March 1977 - JB