A N N O T A T I O N S
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.
FUN A LA MODE
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
The old Patent Office applications in the PatentRoom
are a soft- serve lesson in history. New on the menu:
The early aircraft designs on view at AdventureLounge
will take you back, though maybe not all in one piece.
of Josh Agle.
Martinis, girls, guns. Think James Bond meets Jetsons at a
tiki bar in Palm Springs.
L I N K A T O R I U M
CAR MANUAL PROJECT
KITTY GIRL VINTAGE
1950s CARS IN NORWAY
RAY PATIN STUDIOS
PALACE OF CULTURE
KING OF THE ROAD
BROCHURES ON EBAY
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2006
Pick of the Pick-Ups
Meet the truck that hefts any
load — be it bricks or broccoli — with a new kind of economy
you’ll appreciate a dozen times a day. This is the 1960 Dodge
Sweptline. Go 0n — pilot it down a busy market alley and see how it
scampers through traffic . . .
Here we see a good example of the “new illustration”
that was beginning to take hold at the start of the 1960s before it was
stomped out for good by color photography a few years later. This one is
unsigned but bears a similarity to the work of Bob Peak as well as the secondary art in the 1959
Edsel brochure, which is on our to-do list.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2006
Dan Goodsell is away at the New York Comic-Con, we’re looking after
The little fellow doesn’t say much but is pretty
interesting once you get to know him. In case you haven’t met,
Mr. Toast is a very keen observer of life’s pageant, and possessed
of an almost Zen-like calm. Upon his eerily blank countenance, you
can project just about any emotion you want and have it returned
with the vacant gaze and affectless demeanor of a therapist who’s
heard it all. Plus, he’s edible.
It’s a Hiawatha Year!
The distinctive, glass-roofed
Skytop Lounge shown in the illustration is a new type of observation
room for trackside to mountaintop scenic views. Skytop Lounges are
carried on the Morning and Afternoon Twin Cities HIAWATHAS and will
soon appear on the Olympian HIAWATHA. These cars typify the advanced
styling of other Speedlined equipment in the Milwaukee Road’s great
car building program, to make your travel hours even more pleasant
on the “friendly Railroad of the friendly West.”
The Milwaukee Road ran from Chicago to Seattle, with spurs to Omaha, Sioux
Falls and Yellowstone National Park. From 1948, an
illustration of the
Hiawatha streamliner’s observation car.
Mr. & Mrs. Belvedere
His love of sports cars . .
. Her love of beauty and comfort . . . are
“married” in the years-ahead 1957 Plymouth — three full years ahead
of the “other two” with revolutionary new Torsion-Aire Ride .
. . terrific new FURY V-800 engine . . . new
sports car handling . . . Flight-Sweep Styling. See it
today at your Plymouth dealer’s!
The underline beneath the happy couple:
ENJOY GREAT TV ENTERTAINMENT FROM
PLYMOUTH! The laugh and love hit of the year, “DATE WITH THE ANGELS,” with
Betty White, and Lawrence Welk’s “TOP TUNES AND NEW TALENT.”
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2006
Any Way You Slice It
From 1947, another cheery
message from the American Meat Institute.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2006
Mr. Perkins isn’t only missing
his train. He’s missing the fun of driving with Ethyl .
Ready to Rumble
Rain storms will play tricks on
you. And so will an old motor — unless it has Ethyl. But stop beside
the pump that bears the Ethyl
emblem every time you need gas and then you know what
your car will do. It will run its best all the time! You
don’t always want top speed — or flashing pick-up — or the extra
power it takes to zoom over hills in high. But when you do, you
want ’em! Ethyl, now sold by oil companies at only 2 cents
per gallon over “regular,” brings back the fun you used to
get from your car . . .
Missing your train and having to ride home
in wet fur were just two entries in the long
catalogue of woes sure to befall motorists who failed to stop at the Ethyl
pump. From 1933, a pair of illustrations by Frederic Stanley for the Ethyl
Corporation, whose various advertising campaigns ran for decades and whose
tetraethyl lead additive put the lead in high-octane gasoline until the
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2006
A Boy and His Hoe
The trained, firm muscles that
obey the mind in swinging the hoe are dependent
on the food you eat.
Eat right to work right and live right.
We really couldn’t have put it better ourselves, although our hoe-swinging
days are long past. Illustration from
1944 by John Clymer.
Zero to Sixty in ’33
They didn’t pass you when your
car was bright and new — and you still don’t like to be left behind.
These days, when we have to do without so many things, we can at
least make the most of our cars. If you must make your old car do,
give it Ethyl and feel lost youth and power come back as harmful
knock and sluggishness disappear . . .
This 1933 Ethyl Corporation ad, not so subtly playing to the emotions of
anger, jealousy and humiliation, illustrates a lad,
his dad and a Depression-era case of road rage.
Ford Out-Values Them All!
The silent, solid comfort of the
’57 Ford starts with a brand-new, wide-base frame that lowers the
center of gravity. There’s new suspension front and rear. And new
Thunderbird V-8’s deliver the smoothest power you’ve ever bossed
. . .
This Ford ad from 1957 has a two-tone Fairlane
500 Town Victoria and a geography puzzle. The clues: A highway sign
with an M over the number 17 (mile marker? route?) and another one
pointing the way to Silver City and O’Fallon. UPDATE: The sign is a Michigan
route marker; there’s also a Silver City in Michigan. The hills in the
distance would be the Porcupine Mountains. O’Fallon might be just a dot on
the map, or even the name of the artist.
FEBRUARY 16, 2006
The Road to Nowhere
Here we have the Family From
Hell. They’re headed back home. They’re hungry, too. Hungry as
you-know-what. But wait, is that a hitchhiker up ahead? Yes!
Let’s stop and pick him up. Because he looks delicious. Did anyone
bring the ketchup?
All right, so this ad, from 1954, doesn’t really say that.
It says blah blah blah “high-octane gasoline.” Which is an anagram of “He
egg, oh Satan Oil Inc.” Coincidence? We think not.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2006
New Meat Development for American
Fighters — Grilled Hamburgers in a Can — Cooked, browned, then
sealed in vacuum to hold that right-out-of-the-skillet taste.
waning days of World War II, we present what might be the least appealing
food ad ever published. The American Meat Institute, which seems to have
darnedest to come up with one ghastly visual after another,
is responsible for this 1945 illustration of . . . two cinders and a
smokestack? But rub your eyes, narrow your gaze and what you’re actually
witnessing is the deployment of the canned hamburger,
an innovation that was superseded a few months later by the atomic bomb.
FEBRUARY 14, 2006
I’m With Cupid
They wouldn’t think of going
anywhere without me! I’m up in the milky mist of morning and off to
cool, clear fishing streams. I roam through forests alive with green
— and streak over the highways to busy cities and the budding
countryside. I am a playmate — business partner — and household
servant. I am the 1941 Lincoln-Zephyr (and you ought to read my fan
mail!). Take a ride in this fascinating new car and you’ll
understand why folks love it . . . why it has captured
the imagination of the entire country! Letters from every state in
the Union describe the thrill of driving this fleet, low-slung
beauty, triple-cushioned in rubber, smooth as a glider’s flight
. . .
from 1941, by way of 2006. And a big heart-shaped box of chocolates. The
dark kind that’s supposed to be good for you.
Chicago or Bust
This year you need a REAL
vacation. You need to breathe fresh air, see new places, and wash
away your worries with comfortable, refreshing travel. Even an old
car can give you that kind of vacation if you just do one thing:
give it Ethyl. Ethyl Gasoline banishes harmful knock, overheating
and sluggish performance. It puts new life into your car;
brings back the youthful power that makes it fun to drive!
Whether you’re making week-end trips or crossing the continent,
remember: the next best thing to a brand new car is your present
car with Ethyl. Going to the World’s Fair? Be sure to visit the
Ethyl Exhibit at the Century of Progress while in Chicago.
an illustration by Frederic Stanley of two nattily attired lads making their
way to the World’s Fair in Chicago. We long for the days when highway signs
were painted on boards nailed to a post.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12,
In 1952 Hunt Foods began a series
of trompe-l’oeil catsup ads that would be impossible with today’s
shrunken mags. You turned the page, and there was a life-size picture of a
Hunt’s bottle spilling its guts on a plate of food. Almost 50
years after this 1957 ad, it’s still a delicious idea. Mmm,
steak . . .
FEBRUARY 10, 2006
Gallery of Food & Drink
A buffet of our greatest hits, as
much as you can eat, open bar.
Can Men Be as Smart as Women?
This is a touchy subject, so
let’s confine it solely to clothes. For example, outdoors on warmish
days, or indoors in warmish rooms, most women dress lightly and
rightly, while many men wilt woefully in heavy-weight suits. But
thousands of men, now as smart as women, enjoy the comfort of new,
lighter, medium-weight suits . . . called Tempawate by
Hart Schaffner & Marx . . .
With the addition of this illustration by
Tom Hall from 1956, we hereby restore the word “Tempawate” to its rightful
place in human affairs and Western civilization, where until today it had
FEBRUARY 9, 2006
Look . . . Ride
. . . Decide
Yes, we suggest you let your
eyes — your driving and riding experience — and your
judgment of automotive values inspire you to make the happy decision
to choose this thrilling new Chevrolet for ’49. Its outstanding
Fisher body lines, its champion Valve in Head performance, will tell
you, unmistakably, here’s the most beautiful buy of all!
You’re Right in Liking It
Put it in the pan . . .
turn on the heat and sniff its steaming fragrance as it simmers,
bubbles and browns . . . smothered in its own gravy
. . .
have read about the $415 million medical study that just came out on low-fat
diets. The findings: They have zero effect on your
chances of getting heart disease. If only the researchers had
seen this first. From 1947, one in a
series of grisly (and gristly) messages from the American Meat Institute. And no, we
are not making these up.
It’s Blended . . . It’s
Whatever happened to
Pabst? Whatever happened to
bowling? What day is it?
Star Chief Custom Catalina
Every ride in this gleaming
masterpiece is a sparkling special occasion!
You’re surrounded by the soft glow of exclusive Catalina colors
translated in shimmering nylon, supple, hand-rubbed leather and rich
carpeting. You command America’s newest and most thrilling
performance team — the breath-taking power
of the mighty Strato-Streak V-8, the hair-trigger quick yet
creamy-smooth response of Strato-Flight Hydra-Matic. In the way it
looks and the way it goes, there’s
no match for this regal Catalina — at any price!
was Pontiac-speak for the pillarless body style;
this Star Chief for 1956 was the division’s
first four-door hardtop.
The Excelon Kitchen,
Should a kitchen be just a place
to cook? Here’s one that’s also the center of family life. It’s a
place where your toddlers can play and the other children can come
to tell you all about their adventures at school. Here you and Dad
can relax of an evening and discuss the ups and down of the day.
It’s a step-saving room, too — and, above all, it’s practical, with
its plastic floor of Armstrong Excelon Tile . . .
Armstrong Cork started a long-running series of ads notable for their use of
color photos rather than the painted illustrations common at the time. Each
was a tableau that, despite being devoid of people, told the story of a
family and its interests. Zoom in
and you’re in the kitchen of a household with small children, including a
baby who uses a high chair. Mother’s chatting on the phone and getting
dinner ready when she’s called away by a knock at the door, or maybe a
skinned knee in the carport. Are you coming back, Mama?
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2006
First impressions count at any
time of the year . . . never more so than in summer. Hot
weather may be an alibi, but no longer an excuse for sloppy
appearance. Now, smart grooming is easy, lasting and economical with
the right fabric in your summer suit. Through a most careful
blending, Pacific has developed Mohara, a new, pleasantly cool
tropical plus. Mohara combines all the natural advantages of mohair,
the most resilient and lustrous of all animal fibres . . .
In the days when relatively few offices had air conditioning, summertime and
business suits made for a hot if not hostile work environment. Mohara, a
lightweight wool made from goat hair, was one answer. This
double-breasted example from Pacific Mills
cost $32 in 1946. We see an office romance in the making. Possibly two.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4,
This Is for Keeps
You’ve dreamed . . .
forever . . . of this minute. You’ve lived . . .
forever . . . for this minute. You start forever with
this minute. This is for keeps! For keeps, too, you know beyond
all knowing, you want Community. You’ve dreamed of arranging your
table for two — his place, your place — with all the
Community you need. Dreamed of entertaining — proudly — knowing your
guests will whisper: “Isn’t she lucky — it's Community!” Community
is silverware that looks to the future . . .
From 1946, one of Jon Whitcomb’s many illustrations in a long-running series for Oneida’s “Community” line of silverplate.
FEBRUARY 3, 2006
Where’s the Fire?
Firemen know that you can get
where you’re going sooner and safer in a car that’s quick, agile,
easy-handling — and a tiger for acceleration. That’s the ’56
Chevrolet all over! When you put your foot down for passing, this
beauty means business! Horsepower that ranges up to 225 explodes
into action to zoom you out ahead with extra seconds for safety. Yet
this tigerish power is as tame to your touch as a purring kitten
(and almost as quiet, thanks to hydraulic-hushed valve lifters now
in all “Blue-Flame” and “Turbo-Fire” engines). It’s a honey to
handle in traffic . . .
A wonderful illustration of the 1956 Chevrolet, a car we always thought was nicer looking than the more popular ’57.
FEBRUARY 2, 2006
Too Much Fun
1950s advertising definitely did
not lack for smiling faces. In retrospect some of these people look
so blissed out, it’s downright unnerving, especially considering the
fact that they’re not doing much more than the dishes. Behold our
latest gallery. Whee!
1957 Meteor Rideau 500
Meteor presents 24 models in five
great series and priced as low as its silhouette. Meet the
newest of the new in the magnificent Meteor for 1957. It’s the
exciting Rideau 500. Here is bold evidence of daring design that
will keep you miles ahead. They’re longer, lower and wider. But not
just for appearance . . .
The late-1950s parallel universe of slightly de-contented Canadian
cars saw Pontiacs with Chevrolet underpinnings and Dodges with Plymouth rear
ends (the so-called “Plodge”). Ford’s equivalent of its namesake brand was
the Meteor, with the Rideau 500 standing in for
the Fairlane. A rung up in the
corporate hierarchy was the Monarch, close cousin to Mercury.
PREVIOUS POSTS (JANUARY 2006) • SITE © 1999-2019