University of Tulsa 1960
First it was tiny houses. Now it’s tiny cars. And I mean TINY.
This 1955 Eshelman may not seem like the perfect gift. Sure, it only has one cylinder and a horsepower of 3. Top speed is 25 mph. Brakes are a 2 wheel paddle. I don’t even know what that is.
But I know I don’t have to call shotgun. I don’t have to cart some scrub around because this ride only seats one. I don’t have to worry about driving too fast in the suburbs because I can’t gun it past the limit. No speeding tickets for me. And the color, why, it’s inspiring!
These fresh-faced ladies of the 1920s modeled the current swimsuit garb of “modish jersey tank suits, curl-revealing caps and high two-tone shoes.” One can hardly imagine lacing up shoes for the beach or how much sand would enter them.
In contrast, the 2/7/55 LIFE compares the bleak, black tank/shorts of the past to the fashionable “sweater-girl bathing suits” of the present, with clinging knit, loud stripes, broad straps, skirts, and sleeves. Plus, they had the luxury of going barefoot.
Either way, the lesson here is to always have a cigarette handy, especially at the beach.
The reputation of Pabst Blue Ribbon in 2022 is more for nostalgia’s sake than for any prestige that it might hold in a world of craft IPAs, ciders, stouts, and porters. Around here, they price It low for hipsters to drink it ironically. But the Tibbetts seem to be enjoying it. And who were they? Well, Lawrence was an opera singer, actor, and radio host. His mustache never suited him, and he evidently drank heavily for years. In fact, he fell in his apartment and hit his head on a table, which proved fatal. I doubt anyone here has ever heard of him. But Laurel and Hardy did.
When better automobiles are built, Buick will build them.
But until then, drive mediocre automobiles. What? I don’t get it. Buick WILL build them? As in the future? So what are you doing now?
… just like Bogie and Bacall. ♪♫♫ While sparking up may have been a turn on for his much younger 4th wife, Bogey’s health would head south soon after this ad. Turns out smoking’s not good for your lungs. But they sure looked cool at the time.
Esophageal cancer was his diagnosis, which led to surgery, and included removal of his esophagus, two lymph nodes, and a rib. Ouch! Bogie wasted down down to 80 lbs and passed away in early ’57. Lauren Bacall smoked for decades and died just shy of 90. Life’s funny that way.
While I have partaken of Dad’s root beer (“tastes like root beer should”), I confess I’ve never heard of any of the top recording stars listed above. A quick YouTube search didn’t ring any bells, but one piece of footage did prove amusing. Several months after this ad was printed in the summer of 1958, the Diamonds visited Dick Clark on the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show to perform “Little Darlin’.” Evidently, they were kind of a big deal, as the clip has been viewed over nine million times. I think you will agree that they were quite the cut-ups.
The video that immediately follows shows them singing a more recent version of the song, proving that they only improved with age. What a fun find!
In 16 seconds, a trotter can travel one furlong. That’s a sentence I bet you’ve never said. We can deduce that the one trotting, the horse, is the trotter. Back in 1949, when this ad debuted, most folks knew what a furlong was: 1/8 of a mile or 660 feet. That’s further than I have to walk to go to my neighborhood mailbox. The Kohl’s is a half a mile away, so it’s half of half of that. Now I can picture it. I bet I could trot it in a flat minute, but surely not 16 seconds. And that’s the value of language in advertising; making sure your readers are on board. Today, the only furlong referenced is Edward, the hot mess of an actor, bless his heart.
Bayer came out in the century before the one we were all born in, unless you’re wee and Generation Z. And it’s the gold standard for folks with any heart issues to take each morning; I myself took a yummy chewable low-dose one for two years before I could discontinue it. It’s time-tested and cardiologist-approved. If you don’t take it, you’ve got friends or family who do. And if by chance, they want to sprint a furlong, they won’t drop dead of cardiac arrest while doing it.
If you’re the kind of person who wants extra credit and likes to learn old measurements, I’ll toss this bonus pic in for you.
Feel free to incorporate it into this weekend’s conversation, perhaps talking about how one day you’d like to retire and live on an oxgang. Wouldn’t we all?