Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thrifty Acres - Safety Or Else, 1957-Style

Hello! Some time ago I bought a 1957 Official Safety Manual, produced by Police Safety Service, IncI paid a quarter for it at a thrift store, but it's currently listed at $8.95 on eBay. 

On the first page, the Police Safety Service is described as "A Non-Profit Organization Dedicated To The Safety Of Children". Well, of course, we all want our kids to be safe, don't we? Therefore, the Official Safety Manual should be worthy of sharing in this post.

That is, if you prefer to receive pertinent safety tips in an over-the-top manner that borders on the macabre! The first page sets the tone for this manual, in the form of a question and answer:

Even though just a portion of the answer is shown, a grim mood is present. Many depictions of calamities follow!

Never swim alone:

Poor Dick decides to swim alone and pays the ultimate price.

Next up, Never ride after dark without proper lights:

Oh, no, kid on bike, you're making a HUGE mistake!

Gotta show you the next warning:

That didn't frighten you enough, kiddies? Okay, then, we'll show you some drawings of what happens when you dare to ride double!


Another strongly-worded warning:

Which refers to:

While playing hide-and-seek, Little Timmy foolishly climbs into
an abandoned refrigerator, which unfortunately hides him all too well. "FOUND TOO LATE"!

Another deadly outdoor playtime activity:

A boy has been electrocuted by flying his kite too close to the power lines. The respirator equipment (or whatever that is) looks about as creepy as the dead boy lying there! But just in case you thought he hadn't died, a small tombstone appears after the words "the end". 

I will show one last warning:

 And, pray tell, what will happen to a kid who dares to partake in such risky behavior? Will he break a leg? Will she run into a streetlight and smash her face? Heavens, no, something even worse will happen:


I've shown just a few perilous situations in the manual; several more tragedies are depicted. And all because of the enemy called CARELESSNESS. 

As a bit of a test, perhaps, toward the very end of the manual there is one page full of multiple disasters - well, to be specific, 14 of them:

The calamities range from the girl in the foreground who's playing nurse with bottles labeled "Clorox" and "lye" at her disposal, to the dad coming home from work who's tripped up by some rollerskates that had been left lying around on the sidewalk. Hopefully he fares better than the girl behind him in the street, who's getting hit by a car. 

Now, I know that all the safety tips I've highlighted still hold true today, though thankfully at least some dangers have been lessened by modern safety features. For instance, strollers now come with restraint systems to keep babies safely strapped in. You buckle your baby in and let's see that kid on skates just try to knock Baby out of the stroller! 

But wasn't this manual just a little over the top? Ya think? I think if I'd seen this as a kid I would have gotten nightmares after reading it! But thankfully I never read it. And I managed to make it through childhood somehow anyway. Whew!


  1. I can't believe they made children read that!

  2. It was a different world back then, I guess. Kids had more personal freedom then, but ironically there were less safety features that would have prevented some of the tragedies depicted in the manual!

  3. Oh, my! I NEVER would have slept had I read that book as a child.
    It is amazing to me that ANY of us survive.

  4. Yes, when I think of all the car rides I took without seat belts, and riding bikes without a bike helmet! How did we survive indeed!