Saturday, December 9, 2017

Vintage Christmas From Reader's Digest #1

Hello! While cruising a local thrift store earlier this year, I spied a stack of vintage Reader's Digest magazines. The publication dates ranged from the mid-1950's-early 1960's, and were a quarter each. And to my delight, several of the magazines were December editions. That meant I could check out some vintage Christmas ads. 

And through this blog post, you can check out some of these ads too!

"Beautiful, useful, always welcome...PYREX GIFTS". Still would be a welcome gift today. 

I'm writing this blog post on a Saturday, which likely was a very busy Christmas shopping day for a lot of people. Did you stop for a sandwich-and-Coke break like the two women above did? You should have, since "The cold crisp taste and lively lift of Coca-Cola send you back shopping with zest." 

"Give Telephones this Christmas". The ad copy goes on to proclaim: "There's nothing more appreciated than comfort, convenience and security and you give all three when you give a additional telephone is a gift that rings the bell the whole year through."

And where to purchase this gift? "Just call the Business Office of your Bell Telephone Company."

A rotary-dial landline phone purchased through a Bell Telephone business office sure does seem quaint now!

I already showed a Coke ad, so in the interest of fairness, here's this:

"Here's the drink that goes with all your Christmas fun! The special parties, the tree-trimming, the surprise guests, all of it...No wonder 7-Up is spending the holidays in so many happy homes. Shouldn't you order some more right now?" 

"Shouldn't you order some more right now?" - you mean they didn't have those big displays of soft drinks around the holidays like you see now, so you had to order the case shown in the ad? (glass bottles, of course) Well, after all, grocery stores in 1958 (the year of this ad) were smaller, so I suppose they might not have had room to display stacks of 7-Up cases. 

I love the font used for the words "for a star-bright Christmas" - very 1950-ish, I think. 

Watches not your thing? Then how about RCA Victor radios and "Victrolas"? Some of the features of these products include "Up to 2 hours of music with '45' EP's", "2 speeds!" (45 or 33 1/3) or, "3-speaker High Fidelity. 4 Speeds". 

Until I saw this ad, I'd forgotten that the record player my family had when I was a kid was a 4-speeder: 16, 33 1/3, 45 and 78. For kicks, we'd sometimes play our kiddie records at 16(too slow) or 78 (too fast)instead of 33 1/3, just to laugh at the sound distortions that occurred.

Another watch ad:

Love the turquoise color on this 1957 Westclox Baby Ben. Baby Bens were very popular clocks back in the day, but I'd never heard of Glendale clock on the left. "New idea - beautiful electric 'two-way' clock mounts on wall or stands in its own base! Dial in red, charcoal or turquoise." (yep, turquoise was "in" then, all right). 

The Glendale model may have been a "new idea" that year, but it may have not been a good idea at that. The only current eBay listings I saw on Glendale clocks pertained to print ads that featured them. 

And speaking of 1957, here's what the cover of this issue looks like:

I'm used to seeing Reader's Digest covers with the table of contents on them, but apparently the publication went for front cover artwork instead at one time. 

One more ad for today:

A timeless ad: a young boy, exhausted from too much Christmas excitement, sleeps on his father's lap. But wait - what gifts did that boy play receive that Christmas Day? A bat and glove, a hook-and ladder fire truck, and a cowboy outfit. Of course, not an electronic toy in sight! 

And as for the "Present...with a future": Dad is holding a savings account passbook. "You give more than money when you give a savings account in an Insured Savings and Loan Assocation. You give someone a head start on the savings habit...on getting many other worth-while things in the future." Like maybe more toy fire trucks? 

But seriously, giving someone a "head start on the savings habit" sounds like a very good gift indeed!

I hope you've enjoyed these vintage Reader's Digest ads as much as I did! I'll show off more in my next post.



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