The fragile pages give off the scent of dust and printing ink from January of 1959. Advertisements for floor cleaners, recipes for left-overs and fascinating articles revealing life of women fifty-six years ago. One piece promised to unveil the mysteries of “How to make Skirts the NEW Way!” The cut-out and assemble, Woman’s Day Calendar for the new year, was a bonus feature; each month included inspirational bible quotes. Religion was as much a part of the media then, as sex is today.
Wilson has cleaned out his mom’s house and saved this particular gem for me. It just happened that he stuck it in my mailbox the same day I also, spontaneously, received a free copy of People Magazine’s Fall Style Watch. I don’t do much watching of style here in New Hampshire. The general population shifts fairly seamlessly from t-shirts to plaid flannel and back again with the seasons.
Fifty-six years ago, this ad for “A New Idea In Smoking!” graced the back cover of the premier, female-oriented media. How did she get out on those rocks in the middle of a raging river in that dress?
It was a fascinating read. I pored over the skirt designs and sweaters I could knit for the whole family! A particularly engaging article schooled me in gestures that would make me look older.
I looked diligently for two ads to compare over the years of media evolution. These two fit the bill.
Was life that much simpler and better? Or were we on the cusp of changes and just as anxiety ridden by that subtle shift as the disconnect of today? Communication: by book, magazine, by telegraph, telex, fax, letter and text. Advertising influencing how we view our bodies and life choices. Are there lessons to be learned from the distances leapt? By advances in the ability to communicate with each?