Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thrifty Acres: A Blast From The Past!

Hello! A blast of cold air has settled into our region, but I have my own blast, as in from the past - the September 1975 issue of Woman's Day, that is! 

Although there's a number of interesting articles, like the one that addresses how to best educate children (an enduring topic to this day), it's more fun to focus on the ads and the shorter features. And with bitter cold, slippery roads and loads of holiday chores that still loom for probably most of us, fun is what's needed! So let's get started:

One of the more distinctive-looking cars of that time, the AMC Pacer. One of my high school friends drove one and loved it. 

Remember when anti-perspirants came in aerosol form? The solid stick form seemed odd when it first came out, but is so much easier to apply. 

A veritable sea of dark brown, courtesy of the Sears Colormates collection of towels, bath carpets, shower draperies and accessories. If you didn't care for dark brown, you could choose from 14 other colors. Imagine this look in purple, bubblegum pink or red, for instance - if you dare! 

Moving on:

Ah, yes, the good old days of phone service, with the timing of calls for when the rates were cheapest. I imagine this concept must seem pretty quaint to younger people today. 

Dark-hued solids must have been "in" that year, as these two colors were also among those featured in the Colormates line! Check out those wide-legged pants too - I remember the term "elephant bells" being used around this time. 

Loud plaid jackets were popular then, though upon looking at them now, it's hard to understand why. The man modeling the jacket was a school principal, but he looks more like a used car salesperson to me - as does his wife, who cut down the jacket to make it her own (she was actually a sewing expert and lecturer).

Bless her heart, the featured woman, Jo Ann York, fed her family on $16.00/week. (According to the US Inflation Calculator, that sum would be equivalent to around $69.50 in today's money). I recall inflation running rampant back then, so keeping the food budget so low must have taken some effort! She kept food costs down much the same way my folks did that year - simple meals and very little in the way of convenience foods. 

Since my folks avoided convenience foods, we didn't have these Hormel individual serving-size canned entrees. Judging from the selections, I figure it was just as well:

Sure, some of these may sound good, but I wondered how they tasted - Beef Goulash in a can? Shudder.

But here's a lunch item I recall:

Lunchboxes with matching thermoses! These are considered collectibles now. 

Cigarette ad. I was a high school freshman in 1975, and I remember that it was considered "cool" to smoke, even though the health hazards were well-known even then. I am glad I never even considered taking up this habit. 

I don't recall this pet food brand - it French's, a name I associate with mustard.  But I thought this was a cute concept - People-shaped crackers! I noted the occupations: mailmen, milkmen, policemen - and they probably figured dogcatchers were all men too. 

(Which reminds me of an older gent I used to know - when women began joining police and fire departments, he referred to them as "lady policemen" and "lady firemen". I don't recall if he ever switched to gender-neutral terms like "police officer" and "firefighter". No matter - he was a dear man anyway!)

I don't have a fireplace, so I can't try this out. I've not seen this project anywhere else, so thought it was interesting. 

These handcrafted desk accessories would still be useful to have on hand today, and the directions look fairly easy. But what interested me the most was that the projects were credited to one Annette Hollander. There's a paper arts store, Hollander's, in Ann Arbor, MI, run by Annette's son and daughter-in-law. I remember seeing items similar to these being sold at Hollander's back in the 1990's - in fact, I bought a couple of small desk accessories there. If I'd only had this issue of Woman's Day back then! I could have made my own. 

That's it for my blast from the past. I enjoyed this look back and I hope you did too!



  1. Maybe I'll have to try making the borax fireplace logs? Do they do anything special or do you just use them as a fire starter?

  2. I did find an article about adding a Borax/Salt mixture to your fire to help prevent the build up of Creasote (sp?) in your chimney. Interesting.

  3. According to some Internet research, the borax-treated newspaper "logs" burn with a green flame, so that may be the main reason for doing this. And here I thought "green"meant that it was a way of recycling newspapers!