Short on cash this year, but still want to give a gift that will be memorable? Your family member will be able to express themselves...WITHOUT PAIN! 50 cents! Only 50 CENTS! They'll talk about your (cheap) gift for months to come, especially if you misspell their name.

(SOURCE: TEEN, May, 1966)

And now you're asking yourself, "Why didn't I think of this? I'd be rolling in cash!"



This Christmas make sure you buy your loved ones something to wear made from Dacron. Why? Because…
Dacron (dāˈkrŏn, dăkˈrŏn) [key], trademark for a polyester fiber. Dacron is a condensation polymer obtained from ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Its properties include high tensile strength, high resistance to stretching, both wet and dry, and good resistance to degradation by chemical bleaches and to abrasion. The continuous filament yarn is used in curtains, dress fabrics, high-pressure fire hoses, men's shirts, and thread. The staple fiber is ideal for mixing with wool in men's and women's suits, as well as in dress fabrics, knitted wear, and washable woven sportswear. (SOURCE: Infoplease)
It doesn’t wrinkle when it’s shipped from China. It resists stains so you need not worry about the wine you spill on your crazy relatives at the holiday dinner. It doesn’t breath because it was never alive. But ummmm…it’s interesting to see American Airlines used in an ad for Dacron. If you don’t know it by now, don’t wear polyester blends when flying. Wear natural fibers. Why? If that sucker goes down natural fibers will not melt onto your skin.

(SOURCE: Teen, May, 1966)

But hey, if you feel like a princess in orange or sun gold polyester for only 12 bucks...go for it!



 If you talk down to your target audience, inferring they're stupid, does your audience get it?

This comic is from an old Teen from the mid-1960s. In order for there to be humor a teenage girl would have had to recognize that someone is stupid. I'm guessing it was hoped that the reader would not identify themselves as the target, but would instead think, "Oh yeah, Margie is just like that!"

So why would editorial think this was funny? Am I reading too much into this? Hey, it's late and my net access has been out all day.



During the coming month I'll be offering creative gift ideas. They come with a warning: If you know anybody who would want any of these items...for cryin' out loud get them off your gift list! However, there is one caveat...these items are perfect secret Santa gifts, but try not to laugh too hard when they open it or the jig is up.

(SOURCE: Oh heck I don't remember. Some stupid Teen magazine from the '60s, as if that weren't obvious.)

WARNING: This blog is not responsible for any undo retching caused by the idea of going to Fruggyville. Dig it? I know you do.



In February 1967 airline hostess Judy Neumann received the honor of being called a Breck Girl. Very pretty lady, but again all of the Breck girls start to look alike. Luckily for Judy, there doesn't doesn't seem to be any information about her online. If they ran ads like this today she'd have her own FB page and be marketing herself all over the place.

(SOURCE: Teen, February 1967)

I long for the days when people didn't become famous just for having a huge ego. Judy Neumann had just the right about of fame, a lovely portrait, which I hope the Breck company gave her.


GENTLY GUIDING a woman to a career

I know younger women don't fully grasp the way it used to be, that their options were limited, but when you came of age the number one career choice was always supposed to be wife and mother. If you didn't want to quickly go down that path you had a few other options: secretary, nurse, stewardess, teacher, fashion. Those were the career paths you were to choose from. You'd then neatly fit in the box that society had created for you. For those of us who did not follow those suggestions we faced a lot of head shaking and at times ignorant pity. You had to learn to shrug it off and follow the path you wanted. These days there are virtually no paths blocked for women. If you're passionate about it, go for it.

Now, I don't look at women's magazines, or specifically magazines for teens, anymore so I don't know what is advertised in the back pages where the ads are cheapest.

In the November 1970 Mademoiselle they were still pushing you towards the big 6 (marriage, secretary, nurse, stewardess, teacher, fashion) even though the world was rapidly changing for women.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with any of these career choices. What was wrong was believing that these were the only choices. I saw it happen to a friend who longed to go to college, but was informed by her father that only sons went to college. Her dreams were stifled before she had a chance to make choices. She became a secretary. Another wanted to be a doctor but was told by her father that girls weren't doctors. She became a nurse. One was happy with her choice, the other wasn't.

This isn't to say that young men weren't also corraled into jobs for a variety of reasons; it's just that the doors weren't shut before they even stood in front of them.



I have to warn you that I'm having to control myself with this post because it could be so snarkalicious. There's something about self-promoters who are, well...just promoting themselves. I don't have a problem with someone promoting themselves if they provide a needed service to humanity, even something as seemingly empty as being a rock star. That said, I have always had a problem with disc jockeys thinking they are more than they are. Sort of like news anchors who actually somehow believe they are part of the news and not just paid to sit and read it.

So, restraining myself, I present to you Lord Tim, English Disc Jockey.

This vintage magazine ad is from the February 1967 Teen.

Click on image to see it larger.

Now I do remember Lord Tim, but not for any particular reason other than he was just another name bandied about in the '60s because he was British and lived in L. A. He's not a Lord in any manner, shape, or form as far as I can tell. This is just another one of those annoying titles people stick on the front of their name without ever actually achieving the basic standards to carry the title. For Lord Tim it was and is a marketing device. Then again, perhaps the Queen gave him the title for...ummmm...some reason. I don't know.

If you want to read about Tim Hudson, born in Prestbury, Cheshire, England in 1941 view the Wikipedia page. And if you need more information about Lord Tim and his current life visit his website. Yes, he has a website where he shares glowing words about himself and his art.

My question is did anyone actually win the promised trip promoted in this ad? And what became of this company, Hollywood Happenings? How many kids sent in their money hoping to get free records and photos and then found it was a fly by night outfit? Or was it a company that provided ongoing service for years to come?

So if someone out there in the world has fond memories of tooling around London or Hollywood with a friend and Lord Tim as a result of this contest I'd love to know about it. I need to dig out some more old Teen magazines to see how often Hollywood Happenings ran this or any ad. So far I haven't found anything online that provides information about the company.

It's all just so groovy, luv.

Actually I think there's an opportunity for a very funny movie about this. It's rife with possibilities!



"The Insincere Need Not Apply"

Hmmmmmm...do you think that includes the snarky too?

And what a roster of club members!!! Surfers and church groups. Yeah, that must have made for interesting charm meetings. Sports. What does she mean by "sports?" Certainly it couldn't have been those girls I heard about in school who were "such good sports." And nothing better than folk singers and skin divers exchanging charms.

(SOURCE: Teen, February 1967)

That's okay. I don't want to join your stinkin' club Miss Bobbi Bo, Miss Charm of '65-66.

And where is Miss Bobbi Bo today? Agent for Honey Bo Bo, the kid who couldn't get a reality show?


Paint by numbers SWINGIN' TEENS

How groovy is this? Paint by numbers hip swingin' 60s teens? And look at the price! $1.70 a set! Real oil paintings hanging on your wall for a buck seventy. So who was the original artist that created these and broke them down into the number system?

Click on image to see it larger. (SOURCE: Teen, February 1967)

Created by The Art Award Company of North Bergen, New Jersey. Take a look here to see some of their other products. Don't be frightened when you are faced with a bunch of Keane knockoffs. Keane paintings were probably some of the worst popular art to come along in the early 60s. Now, I know there are people who love them, but...well I won't say anything else because then I might say something about Kincade and...then I start thinking about velvet Elvis.



Imagine the poor admen back in the 60s trying desperately to take old brands and make them young and hip for the youth market. Was there a focus group that said, "I really hate boring ballpoint pens that look like the one my grandfather uses. It's a bummer."

So they gave us Ops'n Pops. Huh? What the...? I like the pens. I even like the add with the pshychedelic type reminiscent of Bill Graham Fillmore concert posters. But "Ops'n Pops"? Really. How long did it take them to come up with that name? And why? And what was it like to hear the copywriter say "groovy" for the first time in a meeting with the client?

Click on image to see it larger. (SOURCE: Teen, June 1968)

The 60s were an odd time. Rather schizoid. On one hand you had the girls in the Breck ads looking like traditional nice girls. And then you had PaperMate trying to win over girls who might be using Breck, but were secretly wishing they were hanging out on the Strip with Buffalo Springfield. An advertising high wire for sure.

Poor admen. Poor poor admen. Life used to be so easy.



Okay, now that I'm looking at more of these they are sort of odd. They all start to look like performers on the Lawrence Welk Show. I'm imagining them in chiffon dresses, standing in a line, singing Proud Mary. Just not workin' for me.

Lovely drawings, but something a little off.

(SOURCE: TEEN, March 1965) Click on image to see it larger.

(SOURCE: TEEN, September 1967) Click on image to see it larger.


BRECK GIRL, September 1964

If you're of a certain age (old) you'll remember the Breck Girl. Women's magazines, teen girl magazines, ran full page ads showing a lovely girl with beautiful hair. The images were constantly changing. Blonds, brunettes, redheads...they ran the gamut. By the time I became aware of the ads the illustrator was Ralph William Williams. The illustration below was done by him.

(SOURCE: TEEN, September 1964) Click on image to see it larger.

I have not found any biographical information about the artist other than what is in this Wikipedia post about Breck Girls.
Breck Shampoo is an American brand of shampoo that is also known for its Breck Girls advertising campaign.
In 1930 Dr. John H. Breck, Sr. (June 5, 1877 – February 1965) of Springfield, Massachusetts, founded Breck Shampoo. In 1936, son Edward J. Breck (1907 - 1993) assumed management of Breck Shampoo and hired commercial artist Charles Gates Sheldon (1889 – 1961) to draw women for their advertisements. Sheldon's early portraits for Breck were done in pastels, with a soft focus and halos of light and color surrounding them. He created romantic images of feminine beauty and purity. He preferred to draw "real women" as opposed to professional models.
In 1957 Ralph William Williams succeeded Sheldon as the Breck artist. Unlike Sheldon, he often used professional women. Breck advertisements ran regularly in magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Woman's Home Companion, Seventeen, Vogue, Glamour, and Harper's Bazaar. They were most often on the back cover of the magazine. During these years, Breck Girls were identified through the company's sponsorship of America's Junior Miss contests. After Williams' death in 1976, the advertising tradition stopped.
In 1963, Breck was sold to Shulton Division of American Cyanamid, a chemical company based in New Jersey.
In 1990, Breck was sold to the Dial Corporation.
In 2006, Breck was acquired by Dollar Tree of Chesapeake, Virginia. It continues to sell the variety of shampoos, plus moisturizing body washes and bubble baths in a variety of fragrances, such as "Lavender Lily" (2006) and "Vanilla Melon" (2007).
The Breck Girls ads are now in the advertising history records in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
I didn't even know Breck was still being made. I remember using it as a teenager in hopes I'd look like one of the beautiful Breck Girls. I didn't.

I must say that this one looks a bit like Betty Crocker...another impossible standard to live up to.

I'll have to dig through my other magazines in hope of finding more.


"Skippack School" by MARGUERITE de ANGELI

Years ago my mother purchased this book at the Green Dragon Market in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Our family history goes back several hundred years in Pennsylvania so she thought this would be a book I’d enjoy. She paid 50 cents for it.

Skippack School was published in 1939 by Random House. Written and illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli, she’s all but forgotten now. Hopefully this post will introduce her to those not familiar with her work. The book has many more illustrations than the few shown here.

The following is from Wikipedia, where you can find a list of her other work.
Marguerite de Angeli (March 14, 1889 – June 16, 1987) was a bestselling author and illustrator of children's books including the 1950 Newbery Award winning book The Door in the Wall. She wrote and illustrated twenty-eight of her own books, and illustrated more than three dozen books and numerous magazine stories and articles for other authors.
Themes   Her work explored and depicted the traditions and rich cultural diversity of common people more frequently overlooked – a semi-autobiographical Great Depression family, African American children experiencing the sting of racial prejudice, Polish mine workers aspiring to life beyond the Pennsylvania coal mines, the physically handicapped, colonial Mennonites, the Amish, nineteenth-century Quakers supporting the underground railroad, immigrants, and other traditional or ethnic peoples. De Angeli's books carry an underlying message that we are really all the same, and that all of us deserve tolerance, care, consideration, and respect.
Awards   Her 1946 story Bright April was the first children’s book to address the divisive issue of racial prejudice. She was twice named a Caldecott Honor Book illustrator, first in 1945 for Yonie Wondernose and again in 1955 for Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes. She received a 1950 Newbery Medal, for The Door in the Wall, which also won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1961, a 1957 Newbery Honor mention for Black Fox of Lorne, a 1961 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and the 1968 Regina Medal.
Life   She was born Marguerite Lofft in Lapeer, Michigan, one of six children. Her father, George Shadrach Lofft, was a photographer and illustrator; her mother was Ruby Adele Tuttle Lofft. In 1902 her family moved to West Philadelphia, where she spent her most formative years. Marguerite entered high school in 1904, but a year later at age fifteen began to sing professionally as contralto in a Presbyterian choir for $1 a week. She soon withdrew from high school for more musical training.
In 1908 she met John Dailey de Angeli, a violinist, known as Dai. They were married in Toronto on 1910 April 12. The first of their six children, John Shadrach de Angeli, was born one year later. After living in many locations in the American and Canadian West, they settled in the Philadelphia suburb of Collingswood, New Jersey.
There in 1921 Marguerite started to study drawing under her mentor Maurice Bower. In 1922 Marguerite began illustrating a Sunday School paper and was soon doing illustrations for magazines such as The Country Gentleman, Ladies' Home Journal, and The American Girl, besides illustrating books for authors including Helen Ferris, Elsie Singmaster, Cornelia Meigs, and Dorothy Canfield Fisher.
Her last child, Maurice Bower de Angeli, was born in 1928, seven years before the 1935 publication of her first book, Ted and Nina Go to the Grocery Store. The de Angeli family moved frequently, returning to Pennsylvania and living north of Philadelphia in Jenkintown, west of Philadelphia in the Manoa neighborhood of Havertown, on Carpenter Lane in Germantown, Philadelphia, on Panama Street in Center City, Philadelphia, in an apartment near the Philadelphia Art Museum, and in a cottage in Red Hill, Pennsylvania. They also maintained a summer cabin in Tom's River, New Jersey. Marguerite's husband died in 1969 only eight months before their 60th wedding anniversary. In 1971, two years after her husband died, she published her autobiography, Butter at the Old Price. Her last work, Friendship and Other Poems, was published in 1981 when she was 92 years old. She died at the age of 98 on June 16, 1987 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Works   In her illustrations Marguerite de Angeli employed a number of different media, including charcoal, pen and ink, lithograph (only in earliest work), oils, and watercolors. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the regional setting of many, but not all, of her books. (SOURCE: Wikipedia; Photo from Ann Arbor District Library)
Click on any image to see it larger.


"A Walk in the City" by ROSEMARY and RICHARD DAWSON

I purchased this old worn out children's book a couple of decades ago at a thrift store in Bandon, Oregon. For those familiar with Bandon, the store was just down the street from the cheese factory. The cheese factory is gone thanks to the people at Tillamook Cheese. I like Tillamook cheese, but I don't like what they did to Bandon.

This book was once part of the library at the local school. I like these old school copies because I think about all the little hands it passed through before being tossed aside.

It's a sweet book with lovely illustrations by Rosemary and Richard Dawson. No, not the Hogan's Hero's Dawson, Family Feud Dawson. Sadly, I can't find anything about this wife and husband team? Or were they sister and brother? Cousins? Who knows?

Click on any image to see it larger.

Published in 1950, I find the review from Kirkus Reviews a bit on the simple minded side:
A group of sprightly verses about the sights and sounds of the city seen through a child's eyes on a day's outing with his mother. Dogs, coal chutes, playgrounds, fruit stores, houses and icemen are visualized in breezy four color illustrations by the authors; heavily accented chatter of the verse acts as a bouncing accompaniment. Bound in strong board with a full page illustration for each verse. Unfortunately limited in appeal to city youngsters, since the verse merely draws attention to experiences already familiar. (Kirkus Reviews)
I know as a child I would have been fascinated by city or country kids. I didn't need to have already experienced something in order to be interested by it. Let's hope reviewers give kids a bit more credit these days.


Manners and claytoonist LOWELL GRANT

This is an odd and interesting little children’s book I bought decades ago at Castle Books on the old Burbank mall. It was a great store and, as you can see by the label on the cover (50 cents), they had good prices. I have no idea if the store exists anymore.

Cover, front and back. Click on image to see it larger.

There’s a lot of information on the title page, but not much online. I cannot find anything about the Sass-Dorne Studio or illustrator Isabel Phillips. I did find out a bit about "claytoonist" Lowell Grant. I can also tell you there were five other books in this series besides Manners (published in 1943): Safety; Cleanliness; Kindness to Pets; Obedience; Going to Bed (and here).

The book, written in rhyme, teaches children proper manners. I do not remember these little characters, Mr. Do & Don’t, from my childhood. I recall the Goops being the ones who tried to teach me manners. To this day if I put my elbows on the table I’m convinced everyone is staring and thinking, “What a goop!”

Illustration by Isabel Phillips. Click on image to see it larger.

Leave it to the net to provided me with just enough information to make me look at this book from a different perspective, all due to the man who created the little characters of Mr. Do and Don’t. The sculptor was Lowell Grant.

Click on any image to see it larger.

I have not found anything definitive about “claytoonist Lowell Grant,” but I have found information about a Los Angeles based sculptor named Lowell Grant, and it’s very sad. According to the site filmforno.com (here and here) , Lowell Grant lived in Echo Park. He did sculptures for the Vincent Price movie Diary of a Madman. He also did work that was in collections all over the country such as churches, libraries, banks, and public buildings. Alas, Lowell Grant died in the 1970s when the kiln in his home blew up killing him and burning down the house. Apparently all that is left is the foundation which can be seen here. The site was used in a movie called Mi Vida Loca.

This book has been on my shelf for decades and I never took the time to do any research. Now when I do I look for information it ends with a sad story. I can’t be positive that the man who did these book illustrations is the same man who died in the explosion and fire, but I think it’s plausible.