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  A N N O T A T I O N S
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PASTELOGRAM is named in honor of the poet Marianne Moore, who was commission- ed by Ford Motor Co. in the 1950s to come up with names for its new mid-priced car. Among her suggestions: “Pastelogram,” “Turco- tinga,” “Silver Sword,” “Resilient Bullet,” “Utopian Turtletop” and the especially cryptic “Mongoose Civique.” Ford declined to use any of these and instead went with “Edsel.” The rest is history.

WE’VE HAD LOTS
of requests asking the Curator: “You’re so darn modest, we don’t know much about you. How about posting a picture or some biographical info? And have I told you about the time I was abducted by aliens?” Well, you get the idea. So here’s a little about our history.

FUN A LA MODE
The old Patent Office applications in the PatentRoom are a soft- serve lesson in history. New on the menu: Tees.


 

COME FLY WITH ME
The early aircraft designs on view at AdventureLounge will take you back, though maybe not all in one piece.



THE ART of Josh Agle. Martinis, girls, guns. Think James Bond meets Jetsons at a tiki bar in Palm Springs.



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   L I N K A T O R I U M
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PRELINGER ARCHIVE
CAR MANUAL PROJECT
AVOCADO MEMORIES
TV LAMPS
KITTY GIRL VINTAGE
IMPERIAL CLUB
1950s CARS IN NORWAY
WALTER MILLER
McLELLAN’S
IMAGINARY WORLD
RAY PATIN STUDIOS
LILEKS I.O.O.C.
SHAG ART
BUICKS.NET
PALACE OF CULTURE
KING OF THE ROAD
BROCHURES ON EBAY
STARBURST
FRANCISCAN OASIS
FRANCISCAN TRIO
SILVER PINE
SOCIETY of
   ILLUSTRATORS

ADVENTURELOUNGE
HOOKED ON JUICE
PATENTROOM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2009

Fritos Outdoor Cooking Ideas: 1957

Most everything tastes better outdoors -- where the men are cooks (and the women are glad of it). Take a lazy summer evening, bring out your portable grill, or ready your outdoor fireplace. Soon you'll sniff the smoky aroma of food sizzling over charcoal as it cooks to perfection. Most enjoyable of all is the wonderful flavor that comes only from food cooked over an open fire.  . . .  It is wise to keep your outdoor menus simple -- meat or fish, a hot casserole or vegetable, a salad and bread, then dessert and coffee. Of course, no cookout is complete without Fritos. King-Size Fritos, the extra-large ones, served with your favorite dip, make tasty waiting-for-the-coals appetizers. Serve 'em right along with the meal, too. The bright, fresh flavor of crisp, crunchy Fritos is especially flattering to foods cooked outdoors  . . .

From 1957 we have this little 16-page pamphlet that came clipped to your package of Fritos. The front and back covers are reproduced below; click to enlarge. And bon appetit!

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2009

36 Features Most Women Want: 1960

Regardless of the price homes you build, you can include the sales power of Suburban and offer prospects all 36 of the features most women want in a built-in range. On display at your favorite kitchyen cabinet agency  . . .

Illustration from a colorful 1960 advertisement "to the trade." Which, alas, fails to enumerate any of the 36 Features.

 

SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2009

Henry End selects Mutschler Series 700

Series 700, the contemporary hardwood storage components designed by Paul McCobb, is a frequent choice of interior designers for their own homes, too. For example, this kitchen in the home of Henry End, A.I.D., I.D.I. Mr. End, head of Henry End Associates in Miami, is the recipient of seven design awards from Institutions Magazine and a special citation by the American Institute of Architects. The quiet elegance of Series 700 and the traditional Mutschler craftsmanship and professional planning service combine to create a kitchen of beauty and utility. Mutschler Kitchens of Florida, Inc., 2959 N.E. 12th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale. Main Plant: Nappanee, Indiana. Showrooms in major cities.

From 1961 comes the “dream kitchen”  of interior designer Henry End’s Miami residence. Today’s kitcherati would probably regard the desk-stove and laminate surfaces as quaint relics.

 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2009

Make a Date: 1950

Below, an ad for the 1950 Oldsmobile pretty much in its entirety. And yes, I realize it’s been ages since we posted new content. We’re still working on an overhaul of the site where users can register and post comments, but it’s slow going to come up with a template that lets us preserve the look and feel (creamy, full-bodied, delicious three ways) of the current design.

 

At More and More of the Smartest Places

Have you discovered what’s happening lately at smartest places everywhere? We’re talking, of course, about the fact that wherever discerning people meet  . . .  at Manhattan’s fashionable Carlyle Hotel, for example, or Hollywood’s glamorous Ciro’s “on-the-strip”  . . .  more and more of them are arriving in Lincolns. As to why, you’ll know one of the beautiful reasons when you take a close-up look at this Lincoln. Because from Quadra-Lite Grille to canted rear blades, here is a fresh, clean-lined beauty that will shape the course of fine car design for many years to come  . . .

Below, the 1957 Lincoln Premiere in Starmist White over Flamingo. From a mailer (brochure mailed to sales prospects) that I'd never seen before until I came across it on eBay.

 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2008

You Can Light Either End!

See how Pall Mall’s famous length of fine tobacco travels and gentles the smoke — makes it mild — but does not filter out that satisfying flavor! No dry “smoked out” taste! No flat “filtered-out” flavor! Outstanding  . . .  and they are Mild! Product of the American Tobacco Company — Tobacco is our middle name.

From 1959 and American Tobacco comes this colorful salvo against filter-tip cigarettes, unsubtle in both its palette and its message — “You can light either end!”

 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2008

The 100 Million Dollar Look!

New glamor  . . .  new zest  . . .  in America’s newest body-style favorite. Streamlined smartness throughout characterizes Chrysler’s new 100 Million Dollar Look! Totally new in design, dramatically different in outward line and inner luxury, the stunning Chrysler Windsor Deluxe for 1955 opens an exciting new chapter in the history of automotive styling. It is like no other Chrysler you have ever seen  . . .  indeed, like no other car. Longer, lower, sleeker in its new sweeping silhouette, the 1955 Windsor Deluxe has the look of pure motion, even when at rest. It’s the look of cleanly tailored steel  . . .  Chrysler’s beautiful new 100 Million Dollar Look! Everything about this car is new  . . .  and so basically new that we feel justified in saying that here, in all truth, is the first in the next generation of motorcars  . . .

The jumbo-size versions of Chrysler’s mid-1950s sales brochures, with noirish renderings by Larry Baranovic, were a high-water mark in the art of automotive illustration. The 1955 catalog showed stylist Virgil Exner’s first all-new designs for the company, with longer, lower forms that were a dramatic break from the tall, boxy cars that had been Chrysler’s stock-in-trade.

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2008

America’s Most Powerful Portable Hi-Fi!

As much a part of school as ivy on the wall, this portable majors in performance. Its 8-watt amplifier outpowers many hi-fi consoles. And to this great amplifier, Admiral has matched an 8-inch woofer and 3½-inch tweeter speaker system  . . .  separate bass, treble and loudness controls  . . .  4-speed Admiral built-in record changer  . . .  all-wood, acoustically correct cabinet, handsomely covered in durable Texol. $119.95.

As soon as they come out with a wood iPod covered in durable Texol, I’ll be the first in line camped outside the Apple Store. This illustration by an anonymous artist hails from 1957.

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16, 2008

The Smart Head Wears a Mallory

The Plaza, left, with the exclusive handcrafted Duplex edge, which adds the extra touch, is this season’s fashion leader. You’ll like its debonair appearance! Or maybe you’d prefer the Dover, right, with the exclusive shower-resistant Durafelt that feels silkier, shapes better because it’s firmer, and lasts longer because it’s Cravenetted, with the plus advantage of the Duracraft edge. Try on both! Mallory Plaza in Armorial Gray, $15. Mallory Dover in Brandy, $12.95.

In an age when most men venture out unhatted, not to mention un-Cravenetted, un-Duplexed and un-Durafelted, it’s instructive to look back on  a 1950s archetype, the fedora-topped business- man, and ponder what’s been lost. A certain je ne sais Kopf.

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 3, 2008

88 Holiday Coupé

A glamorous Holiday joins the surprisingly low-priced “88” line for 1954! Together with the spacious 4-Door Sedan and popular 2-Door Sedan, this sparkling “88” addition offers important new 1954 Oldsmobile advancements — long, low-level Dream Styling  . . .  new, more powerful 170-horsepower “Rocket” Engine  . . .  panoramic windshield  . . .  and a galaxy of other new “Rocket” features for unsurpassed value  . . .

A selection from the 1954 Oldsmobile deluxe sales brochure, an especially well-done catalog printed on stiff card stock with artwork and design that are superior examples of mid-1950s graphics. Original examples can be had on eBay for around $30.

 

Super 88 Convertible

Finely tailored, deep-buffed genuine leather upholstery — in harmonizing two-tone and solid colors — lends an atmosphere of luxurious informality to the interior of Oldsmobile’s 1954 Super “88” Convertible.

The 88 convertible was just the thing for jaunts to your butterfly-roof vacation place in the mountains.

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2008

The Beautiful Buy

There is engineered into the Buick ROADMASTER for 1954 more power, more comfort, more room, more luxurious handling, more visibility and more sweeping style advances than ever before in the history of this distinguished motorcar. The silken might of its Fireball V8 has been increased to 200 horsepower, with stepped-up fuel economy. Interiors are richer, more spacious, easier to enter and leave. The magnificent ride is more buoyant, more serene. But the most striking feature of this brilliantly performing ROADMASTER is its longer, lower look — the new-day styling front to rear, capped by the high-visibility fashioning of the panoramic windshield  . . .

The redesigned Buick for 1954 introduced a body that would, in 1955, see the brand rise to No. 3 in sales after Chevrolet and Ford. Never again would Buick attain the popularity it experienced in the halcyon years of 1954, 55 and 56. Our illustration is the cover art for the 1954 sales catalog.

 

THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2008

1960 Dodge Polara

Inside and out, the Dodge Polara is the newest, most exciting, most rewarding car in the medium-price field. New Unibody construction provides more headroom, more legroom, more comfort than any car near its price. No car built the old-fashioned way, with body perched on top of the frame, can match the roominess of your ’60 Dodge. Style highlights of the 1960 Dodge Polara hardtop are sculptured fins, high-sweeping rear window and clean roof line that “flows” into the rear deck. It is the smartest hardtop your money can buy.

In the late 1950s, with the admission of Alaska to the Union and the passage of the the nuclear submarine Nautilus over the North Pole, America was gripped by a fad for all things Arctic, hence the name Polara. The car, along with the less expensive Matador, debuted in late 1959 as the senior Dodges atop a lineup dominated by the slightly smaller and considerably less flashy Dart, which was surprise success for the Chrysler Corporation in 1960, outselling even Plymouth.  At the end of the 1961 model run the Polara was retired; Matador lasted only for 1960.

 

Big, Solid, Built to Command

It starts with a proud sweep of line and contour that mark this new ’60 Dodge the style leader of the year. Beneath this beauty are the greatest engineering advances you have ever experienced. New Unibody construction combines body and frame in a one-piece “fortress of steel” — more spacious, more solid, more silent. New Free-Flight Power suspends the engine in space to isolate vibration. Torsion-Aire Ride levels the road like no other suspension — ends dip and sway. Push-Button TorqueFlite offers the smoothest, easiest automatic ever. It's all new, all great, all Dodge  . . .  the finest car Dodge has ever built.

The cover of the sales brochure for the 1960 Dodge Polara and Matador. The senior cars accounted for just 12 percent of Dodge production, outsold by the Dart Seneca, Pioneer and Phoenix.

 

1960 Dodge Matador

For just a few dollars more than the “low-price field,” you can own a Dodge Matador and step up to a totally new experience in driving pleasure. See what you get. Styling, length and luxury that rival the most costly cars. The solid, substantial quality of new Unibody construction. The smooth, level ride of Torsion-Aire, finest suspension on the road. Surer stopping with big, positive-acting Total-Contact Brakes. Larger glass area. More trunk space.  . . .

Despite outselling the more expensive Polara, the Matador was dropped at the end of the 1960 model run. The name would next be seen on an American Motors car.

 

Optional at Extra Cost

You can have your 1960 Dodge “tailored to your taste” with these optional features: Push-Button TorqueFlite: Smoothest, liveliest, easiest automatic transmission in the field. Vacuum Door Locks: Let you lock all doors with a flick of the switch under the instrument panel. Even with a carful of young ones, you have no concern (4-door models only). Finger-Tip Weather Control: Push-button control of ventilation, heating and defrosting. And for those who want complete mastery of climate, Cartemp air conditioning gives finger-tip command of cool, clean, dehumidified air on the hottest summer day.

Below, a quintessentially early Sixties rendering of optional extras from the 1960 Dodge Polara and Matador sales catalog.

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2008

Holiday DeLuxe: 1955

Here now  . . .  with flying colors  . . .  Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight for 1955. See it — and Oldsmobile’s new Super “88” and “88,” too — on gala display at your dealer’s. Pictured: The 1955 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight DeLuxe Holiday Coupé  . . .  new, all-around new with new “Go-Ahead” look and “Rocket” 202 Engine. A General Motors Value.

Any 12-year-old in 1955 could have told you the difference between the Olds 98, Super 88 and plain old 88, but nowadays it would probably take a tape measure and a few trips to Wikipedia.

 

Red Means Go

Click the photo below for the entire text of this ad for the 1954 Mercury, a much diminished brand that seems destined to go the way of the DeSoto.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2008

Hosts of the Highway

Twenty years ago a surprised and pleased motorist climbed back into his automobile holding a road-map. It had been given to him by a Gulf filling station man. It was the first time any such aid had been offered a traveler. It was the first evidence of an interest in the motorist that was to change filling stations to service stations. Pioneers of service in the truest sense, the Gulf Refining Company was among the first to realize that it was possible to build up a friendly, personal relationship with the motorist  . . .  based on consideration for his welfare. That spirit has persisted and developed with the years. Today, in 1934, it inspires the entire Gulf organization through all its dealings with the public. There are now more than forty thousand Gulf service stations from Maine to Texas. And the owners and operators are not merely salesmen. They are hosts of the highway, courteous and competent  . . .

This illustration (titled “Look! They gave me a map!”) embodies a double dose of nostalgia: The filling station of 1914 as remembered in 1934. The artist is unknown.

 

Red Means Go

Click the photo below for the entire text of this ad for the 1954 Mercury, a much diminished brand that seems destined to go the way of the DeSoto.

 

Doing Things in Steel: 1934

When Republic introduced Enduro, the perfected stainless steel, hundreds of new products appeared  . . .  and sold. Hundreds of old products, redesigned to make use of this marvelous metal, took a new lease on life  . . .

Caption for this evocative illustration by Paul Gerding: “In its plant at Canton, Ohio, with its modern electric furnaces, Republic has centered a part of the tremendous facilities that make the company the world’s largest producer of alloy steels.”

 

SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2008

Chevrolet Trucks for 1949

Outstanding popularity right across the Dominion has made the CHEVROLET 1½-Ton unit Canada’s standard truck. Special care has been taken to make them even more worthy as first choice of keen commercial truck buyers  . . .

The late 1940s were something of a golden age for the illustration of car and truck sales literature, with storybook-flavored artwork that might appeal to boys from 50 to 5.

 

Looking Fine for Forty-Nine

A glance at these great three-man cabs will convince you that CHEVROLET has solved the problem of providing real roominess, in both Advance-Design and Cab-Over models. Rear-corner “Nu-Vue” windows on the Deluxe Cab eliminate blind spots, increase visibility in turning and backing  . . .

Another Chevy truck brochure from 1949, both lithographed by General Motors of Canada.  Either one  would make a super print.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008

Bathroom Efficiency  . . .  In a Lively Setting

If your bathroom is equipped with Kohler fixtures and fittings, your reward is a smooth-working, matched set of which you can feel proud. In the bathroom shown, the 5'-6" Cosmopolitan Bench Bath, K-526-CF, with seat at front, has a popular feature in the Triton shower and bath fitting. The Kohler-Niedecken dial mixer tempers the water for either the shower or the tub  . . .

From 1947 comes this bit of domestic whimsy from the Kohler Company of Kohler, Wisconsin. Billy and Bowser were very close.

 

White Fixtures  . . .  Give Striking Contrast

This appealing bathroom shows the colorful and interesting results that can be attained with white fixtures. The white of Kohler fixtures is pure, immaculate. The architect skillfully used rose and powder blue for the plastered walls, buff and black for the linoleum floor. Towels and rug add spots of color. Fixtures are the 5-foot Cosmopolitan Bench Bath, K-526-CF, the 24-inch vitreous china Gramercy lavatory, K-1860-BA, and the Wellworth closet, K-3705-PB.

The year: 1947. The house: On Jaybird Street in Sunnyhills; the girl: somewhere in Uncanny Valley. Illustrator’s name: Naylor.

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2008

Plymouth for 1953

Fresh new beauty  . . .  brilliant new styling  . . .  an unbelievably smooth ride  . . .  all wrapped up in the biggest package of value you ever saw, the truly balanced 1953 Plymouth! Truly balanced design controls the riding motions of an automobile to a degree previously though impossible, to give you the softest, smoothest ride you’ve ever known, with phenomenal ease of handling!

The cover of the 1953 Plymouth sales folder: Cranberry red Cranbrook sedan with various trim bits floating above and below.

 

The Mighty Minivan: 1958

Here's the mighty Minivan — just 169 inches long and made to order for your shorter routes! Small on the outside, yet this new Dodge special-equipment model offers you a big 164 cubic feet of load space. Stand-drive controls let you stay on your feet between short stops. And exclusive pushbutton LoadFlite is yours at no extra cost on the Minivan, for greatest driving ease!  . . .

The earliest use of the word “minivan” we’ve come across is in the sales brochure for this 1958 Dodge delivery van, describing a short-wheelbase version of the model shown on the cover.

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2008

Arrow “Linesman”: 1949

In any outdoor (or indoor) group of well-dressed men this Fall, you’ll see one or more of the shirts illustrated in this new Arrow, “The Linesman”! They’re Candy Stripes in eleven different color combinations — all extra-good-looking — on a quality corded broadcloth. $3.65. Shirts, ties and handkerchiefs are designed as a single team. Each shirt has the famous Arrow Collar, each is tailored to your torso (MITOGA trade-mark), each is labeled Sanforized  . . .

The day of the Arrow Candy-Stripe Sanforized Mitoga Linesman for $3.65 may be long gone (along with fedoras at football games), but we can still appreciate this 1949 illustration by John Falter.

 

To Help You With Your Home Work

You’ll appreciate the smart good looks of a kitchen sink by American-Standard. But you’ll appreciate its convenience even more. These sinks have extra cleanliness, because compartment and drainboards are made all in one piece. And extra sturdiness, too, because there’s a base of rigid cast iron beneath the heavy coating of acid-resisting enamel. Time payments for remodeling  . . .

A 1949 illustration for American-Standard, when porcelain, formica and linoleum were the latest thing in the kitchen. Nowadays with stainless sinks, granite counters and wood floors, we’ve succumbed to the Tyranny of the Perfect Surface.

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2008

New Textron Magic — Glo-Gabardine

More Textron sleight-of-hand: A smooth sports shirt in fine washable rayon gabardine. Tailored to allow plenty of room for action. Big, roomy pockets for cigarettes, sunglasses. Slick convertible collar you can wear with a tie. Choice of ten handsome colors: Bamboo, Cedar Tan, Lake Blue, Lettuce Green, Ore Gray, Sun Gold, Loam Brown, Garnet Red, Navy, Tamarack Green. At leading stores. Textron Inc., Textron Building, 401 Fifth Avenue, New York.

Starting out in 1923 as Special Yarns, with a 1940s incarnation as Atlantic Parachute, Royal Little’s company took the techy-sounding moniker Textron after World War 2, and evolved into the diversified conglomerate we know today: manufacturer of Cessna airplanes, Bell helicopters — and underpants. This 1949 illustration is by Textron house artist Frederick Siebel.

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2008

Custom Comfort — That’s the Lincoln Idea

Naturally, you expect to enjoy comfort and luxury in a fine automobile. But the special luxurious comfort of the 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan will exceed your expectations! No other fine car offers you a wider “custom” choice of rich upholstery and trim, or such elegant interior refinements. (Even electrically operated windows are “standard” on this car!) And the interior is more spacious than ever, with broad seats, foam-rubber cushions and ample leg room for truly restful motoring. Nothing — simply nothing — has been spared to make this Lincoln Cosmopolitan the most luxuriously comfortable car of all. Ask your dealer for a demonstration ride tomorrow — and discover this yourself!

Its bathtub styling shared by Packard and Nash, the 1949 Lincoln was a frumpy dinghy in comparison to Cadillac’s flashy tailfinned dreamboats, which were clobbering it in sales. Lincoln’s “comfort” sales pitch turned out to be not much help.

 

MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2008

Hottest Number on the Highway!

Cruising around a curve! Sweeping over a hill! Winging along a straightaway! You take them all in the same easy stride with “Rocket” Engine power. Every time your foot taps the gas pedal, you thrill to the incredible response of this “Rocket” Engine car. You’re discovering the “88” — Oldsmobile's brilliant new Futuramic! You’re finding out why this lowest-price “Rocket” Engine car is called “the hottest number on the highway"! Smoothly — surely — nimbly, you move across the land — over the back-roads — along the boulevards — anywhere a car can go. This is driving at its very best! No gears to shift — no clutch to push as smooth, automatic Hydra-Matic Drive teams up with the thrilling power of the “Rocket.” So make a date with the “88” at your Oldsmobile Dealer’s and see how wonderful driving can be!

The Olds 88 made its debut for the 1949 model year, mating General Motors’ new high-compression engine to the Model 76 platform, resulting in a car that flew equally well down the highway and out of the showroom. One of GM’s better styling efforts, it relied on a combination of pleasing forms rather than the garish applications of chrome and wraparound glass that came to afflict the company’s 1950s designs.

 

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