More TINY ADS from 'TEEN

I always feel that visiting the tiny ads in the back of old magazines is akin to a circus sideshow. There's just often something a little perverse going on. The companies have a tiny space in which to grab your attention. Think of all those photo reprint companies I featured. How were they to scream out their message of "Look! Look here! Our prices are cheaper! We have a better looking photo in our ad! You get 5 more prints from us than the other guys!" It's almost like a silent scream and they just hope you "hear" it.

I'm guessing you should probably buy this "Good Luck Ring" (though I almost expect them to say "Good Luck Ling" considering the typeface they used) before you go knocking on the doors to sell Christmas cards. You might have 20 friends now, but after your hard sell with hopes of lining your pockets on your friends and relatives paychecks...good luck with that.

And if you felt socially inept before because of pimples or bad nails...just hand out insulting cards! Oh wait, then you won't have the 20 people to sell the Christmas cards to. Yeah, I think you need to get organized first, get a plan.

So let's get started by first buying some Briefolios! Okay, I'll admit that when I read their copy I almost long for the first week of a new school year.

"Use a different one for each course"

I did so like my new binder with tabbed dividers each year and Pee Chee folders. There was something nice about everything being new. Oh, and you got to wear your new clothes that had been hanging in your closet for at least a month. First day of school for girls was a fashion show. I don't know what the boys were doing because they came back from the previous year looking just about the same, though cleaner. They wore striped t-shirts, jeans, and hightop Converse black tennis shoes. It was a pretty big deal when they upgraded to chinos and Clark boots.

(SOURCE: 'TEEN, 1963 & 1964)

So, I think we can safely say, from these ads, we’ve learned:
  1. Get rid of your zits! or at least hide them.
  2. Paint on long nails. Through the use of good lighting your fingers will go from Frankenstein to Helena Rubenstein.
  3. Once you’ve got those nice hands slap on an authentic Chinese good luck ring.
  4. Now, with some Briefolios under your arm you can set out to annoy friends and relatives with cheap greeting cards.
  5. And if all of that fails…send out gag and insulting cards from Idiot Supply.
What could possibly go wrong?


  1. What a fascinating set of handy hints for all! LOL Thanks for the fun post.:)

    BUT NOT for the dratted word verification you still have in place? Come on, isn't it time you sent it packing, and saved the sanity of people who try to leave you a comment? :)

  2. Anonymous6/21/2012

    Here's an extra ad that was extremely popular back then -- the 'Miracle X-ray' glasses that you could wear to see right through everyone's clothes! Even at the naive age of ten, I didn't "buy" into THAT one. I'd have sooner ordered from the other popular ad usually found on the same advertisements page -- the swimming 'sea-monkeys'! For me ... watching tiny so-called 'sea-monkeys' swimming around in a bowl of water would have been MUCH more entertaining than wearing a pair of cheap glasses that, as I understand, only gave the effect of making everything appear blurry. Nothing "see-thru" about THAT!

    1. Ah yes, those magical Sea Monkeys in the back of comic books. I've read they were just some sort of brine shrimp. Nothing like confusing monkeys with shrimp. Advertisers will do anything.