Three-year-old Joyce Bjerk towers high above the ground below in her father Oscar’s barber shop in Karlstad, Minnesota. Pop’s sign above the swanky Maytag washing machine declares a haircut and a shave for a fair price of just two quarters. Joyce seems to be getting the standard kids’ cut of 1934. At least she knows it’s on the house.
My April 1947 Seventeen magazine includes some cute rhymes to help teens be better human beings. The threat of a $100.02 fine (or $1,212 today, adjusted for inflation) should prove effective. I’ve never paid a library fine, nor a Blockbuster fee, as I try to live my life by the rules. But I can’t imagine anyone accruing over a thousand dollars in library fees, no?
This next image warns against tardiness, a reprehensible character flaw.
I am reminded of the chorus to Genesis’ “Misunderstanding.”
There must be some misunderstanding
There must be some kind of mistake
I was waiting in the rain for hours
You were late
Lastly, we see a milkman at sunrise, stumbling upon a woman who has forgotten her key, but somehow managed to locate a fluffy pillow.
If this was geared toward 1940s teens, I’m not sure of the implications. Surely not the walk of shame. Couldn’t she simply have knocked on the door and had her parents open it? I don’t get it.
I don’t know anything about machines, so that looks like a cross between one of my mixing bowls (which reminds me, I need to make tuna salad tonight) and a hubcap, next to some cans of motor oil. It is, in fact, a solar-powered steam engine built by noted astrophysicist Dr. Charles G. Abbot. As any fool can see, the reflector focuses the sun’s rays on the boiler tube, which generates steam that drives the tiny engine. No duh.
But Abbot was smarter than the whole lot of us, retiring as both the director of the Smithsonian’s Astrophysical Observatory, as well as the first Smithsonian Secretary not to die in office. Furthermore, it appeared that he might never die out of office, as the bloke who was already 76 in the above image still yet had another quarter century to fiddle around with gadgets. He spent over 40 years developing and maintaining solar monitoring systems as his mission in life. Here you see him (in an almost Chester Conklin mustache) with his silver-disc pyrheliometer, which measured direct beam solar irradiance.
He invented the solar cooker, which was first built at Mount Wilson Observatory, the solar boiler, and held fifteen other patents related to solar energy. At 96, he was still going strong, holding what appears to be an extensive CVS receipt, but is actually a print-out of solar observations.
My observation: it’s hot.
Blah. Everything tastes like cardboard, which is to say, almost nothing. The unfortunate thing is that sometimes, you’ll get an inkling of salt or of sour, but without context of other flavors, it’s just a nasty taste on your tongue. So you look like mopey Barbara here, a four-year-old hybrid gibbon, back in September of 1948, when this National Geographic image came out.
You might hate on zoos, but Barbara’s mother decided she wasn’t too keen on her offspring and refused to feed her. So without the keeper to spoon feed her, she would have certainly perished. Like a human, she sucked her thumb and played with a rattle. And I imagine she took that bottle there as well.
Cheryl gets a back-to-school perm in the early 50s, looking positively mortified by the tentacles of the electric permanent wave machine, which brings to mind an early prototype of R2D2. Twin sister Carol had hers done as well, and the results speak for themselves.
It’s funny how ideology goes back and forth: margarine is better than butter, then butter is better than margarine. Egg yolks are good, then they’re bad. Beer is better in bottles, then cans, then back to bottles. But in June of 1938, the consensus was cans were cool. Cans, you see, did not expose beer to harmful light.