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Monday, May 13, 2013

A Look at the Saturday Evening Post, May 11, 1963

  As my wife and I continue to look for a new car, I find there are so many great models out there to choose from.  We're going to slip back a few years (50!) to a Mother's Day Edition of the Saturday Evening Post.  Here we'll be able to see what great products were available for all those mother's out there in 1963-land.
  Right off you can see that the sharp dressed shopper will want this sweet little Corvair Monza.  And the lady of the house will love it so much she'll park out on the empty edge of the parking lot so as not to allow a scratch to mar that brilliant pearl-white finish.
  But wait!  Let's look at the fine print, to see how this car was marketed to women.  
  "While the '63 Corvair appeals greatly to men, it gets along famously with the ladies, too.  They can whisk it into tight parking spots with nary a blush, frisk it through the bustling traffic with the best of them...styled Body by Fisher is in a class by itself, too, certain to turn heads wherever you go.  (And what girl, or man for that matter, won't thoroughly enjoy that!)"
  Not to be outdone, Dodge gets in on the action aiming to draw the eye of the budget conscious ladies who have their hands firmly on the family purse strings.
  Of course, you got to love the angle here:
Public Envy...Number One
  Now, now.  Let's not label that as sexist.  We know darned well that men want cars that make their friends envious as well.  
  And honestly, this is a fine looking car.  Sensible, no excessive styling.  A solid, tight design that I think still looks good today.
  Incredibly, there were 24--that's right, 24--low priced models to choose from Dodge in 1963.  With all those choices, how did they ever choose?  I would think it would not be out of the question to bring your neighbors along and get their opinion on which model they would be most envious of.  This would maximize the envy you generated as you pulled your Dodge out of your narrow, 1960's garage.

  But let's pull that Dodge (or maybe the Corvair, I'm not still not sure which is the best car for my darling wife) back into the garage and step inside our lovely 1963 home.  It is May, and down here in Louisiana, May can be hotter than a Yankee summer.  Sadly, most homes at this time don't have central air.  So is it hot inside?  I mean, if you wanted a cool house, you'd have to have one of those ugly window air conditioners.  And after all the trouble you went to appear stylish in your new car, it wouldn't do to allow the neighbors into your living room if it had a large, square, metal a/c unit hanging in the window.
  But hold on a minute, buddy.  What's that in the window?  A fancy cabinet?  Maybe an enclosed bookcase?  Not a chance!  Have you ever heard of a French Provincial air conditioner?  No, I'm not kidding Gladys!  Behind that fine looking wood-grained set of doors is the most efficient cooling instrument Westinghouse has ever engineered.  From 10 feet...20 feet...even 30 feet away you feel its cooling comfort.  It gently spreads cooled, dried, filtered air to the farthest corner of the largest room.  Yet this powerful instrument is as quiet as a purring kitten.  And it's available in Early American, Contemporary, Traditional, and of course Provincial.  Ain't that swell?
  Now let's see what sort of new-fangled gizmo would excite our air-cooled 1963 mother.  And wouldn't you know it?  General Telephone & Electronics has just the thing: the GT&E "Speakerphone"!  That's right, if you happen to be one of the most beautiful women in all of the ancient world, and your arms have been lost to history, you would still have a chance to jabber away all day long on the telephone with "this marvel of transistor circuitry...powered directly from the telephone line and amplifies your voice as well as that of the caller.  In fact, a number of people can join in.  The "Speakerphone" is another example of how GT&E works to improve communications in all phases of national life."
  Wow.  I can't wait.  I bet soon we'll be able to have the entire family in one room, talking to another entire family in their house miles away, all of us talking at once.  Just think of the party atmosphere your next phone call could have.  The mind boggles...

   This one is for my mother, who was a dedicated Avon saleslady when I was a little tyke.  I can still see that blue-green tapestry bag, with its blue vinyl handle and zippered compartments.  I made many a sales call with my mother in the little town of Herscher, Ill.  I'll bet I knew more about beauty products than most four-year-olds.
  In our Mother's Day magazine, we can see that the advertisers were still thinking of mom.  Obviously, mom wants dad to smell good.  It's to her advantage.  And if you don't think I'm right, consider this.  Avon products weren't sold in stores.  So this is definitely aimed at the women who will be there to open the door when they hear "Avon calling" after the doorbell chimes.
  Here we learn that "Avon Spray for Men makes you feel well-groomed, refreshed all day.  All part of Avon's complete line of good-grooming products for men who are discovering what women (and their four-year-olds!) have known for years:  Avon is quality."
  And just in case someone other than a mother reads this ad--someone of the opposite sex--Avon adds this little encouragement:
Avon for Men is so easy to get!  Just tell your
wife to order one of these Sprays next time
 her Avon Representative calls.
  Hey, that's my mom they're talking about!
Today's bonus ad is this wonderful opportunity for boys who want to pick up some well-earned cash and...prizes!
  In fact, if you join the thousands of boys who have taken this opportunity to earn their own spending money, you can eventually earn any of these prizes, which are "but a few of hundreds of useful and valuable prizes that can be yours selling THE SATURDAY EVENING POST right in your own neighborhood."
  That's right, fellas.  Just fill out the coupon: name, address, and age.  And soon, you could be earning your transistor radio, or a camera--comes with its own bulbs, batteries, and a roll of film, or a stretchy Muscle Builder.  And don't forget the official Table Tennis Set.
  Personally, I'd take the football helmet, which comes in plain white.  This awesome apparatus can be used for any number of wonderful play-time activities that have nothing to do with football.  Your imagination is the only limit to all of the amazing things this helmet can be.

1 comment:

  1. Of course if Ralph Nader was to be believed, the Corvair might well have killed her. The Dodge, on the other hand, probably had a push-button transmission, the buttons of which tended to fall out into your lap at critical moments. Tough choice, to be sure.