Handcar Scooter - Saves on Shoes!

1940, Popular mechanics magazine. Here's an ad for a hand-pupmed cart for children. Apparently, at the dawn of World War II, there was a crippling shortage of children's shoes. Apparently, there was an overabundance of wheels, levers, wood, metal, and screws. Every bomb dropped on German cities was filled with tiny loafers. Every rifle fired little wing tips. Every soldier survived in the trenches by eating miniature pedal pushers.

To save our nation's critical supply of children's shoes, Some Guy invented this children's "Handcar" Scooter. In our country's time of Great need, one brave anonymous inventor deduced a means to save a few scraps of leather with the simple expenditure of a few feet of steel angle, a plank of wood, some rubber, a handful of screws, and three wheels. And the whole thing only costs the equivalent price of several pairs of children's shoes (probably). Keep those planes in the air, boys!

To make the genius of this marketing strategy perfectly clear, here are some examples of this reasoning taken to it's logical extent:

Killing "People" Saves Wear on Furniture
Buying Second "Motor-Car" Saves Wear on First "Motor-Car"
"Bulemia" Saves Wear on Scales
Being Filthy "Pig" Saves on Soap
Starving "Family" Saves Wear on Teeth
Staying in "Bed" Saves Wear on Carpets
Not "Inventing Things" Saves Wear on Sarcasm

The picture shows the whole ad as it was published. I didn't crop out the address. There isn't one. What gives? How do I get my very own shoe-saving scooter? Tell me now, dammit!!! At the bottom of the page I found this...

So, to get your scooter, you had to write to the magazine, who would then send you the address of the manufacturer, who you would then have to write to get your scooter. But by that time,  your kid would simply have walked her feet into bloody stumps when she could have been scooting! Why the secret identity? Other ads on the very same page list the manufacturer's name and address, but not this one. Are they proud enough to show their product, but ashamed they couldn't come up with better copy for the ad? Know what I think? I think it was a product developed and marketed in America by the Nazis, hoping we'd squander out resources trying to avert a bogus children's shoe shortage.


Post a Comment