Spacesuit 1955


Bedtime scene.


Up Your Decor - Turn that frown upside brown!

 Hey there, decorators!!!! Shut up and pay attention to my decorating!!! I've got some really boss ideas that you need to do them to your house immediately, okay? Of course it's okay!!! Let's get started with your basement!

Your basement is probably full of spiders and not yellow! Fix that with this brave basement rumpus room concept featuring concentric yellow floor rings centered on the sump pump that you walled over. Then, you can cleverly force your visitors to sit and stay a while by reducing headroom with that cheeky shelf! What's on the shelf? The steamer trunks of previous guests who tried to leave! Neat! Everybody stays!!!!

If your bathroom is more of an open plan concept, consider adding Arizona! Meep meep! The brown fixtures not only gloss over the months where you forget to clean them, it also  harmonizes with the bucolic  Southwestern scenery. That's you over there by the window, looking lonely, but not for long! The bears and coyotes will be lining up to have a dip in your bath!

Your little media moguls will appreciate this super-affordable bedroom! Firstly, the vinyl-covered pillow tubes were probably just lying around somewhere or something! They'll do a good job of keeping your head from drying our too much when you're sleeping! And those drapes probably look expensive imported or whatever, but they're really just painted rulers! Not only that, but they also block up to 35% of unwanted daylight when you're watching the latest news on the television! Speaking of news, that wallpaper is really grabbing headlines what with it's being-actually-just-newspapers-ness! Why stop there, when the floor can totally be covered in newspapers, in case your children are boys? That's because they simply can't be taught where to do their filthy business!

If you're like me, you dream of floating in a sea of brown that's actually just your bathroom! Don't dream it! Do it! It all starts with brown shag carpeting that you'll no way ever, ever regret! Brown towels, extra bath mat and curtains! Then, add some beautiful brown stools for anyone who wants to watch you take a bath! Contrast that with yellow tartan wallpaper... wups, make that ceilingpaper... and you're goin' down to brown town! With a bathroom like this, you'll be at the forefront of the brown movement!!!


Jameson Whiskey - So... dolls?

In the 1939 issue of Fortune magazine, journal of captains of industry and what the Monopoly guy reads on the can, you'll see lots and lots of ads for hard liquor. Boy, did those industry captains like to salute the bottle. Yowza. This ad has weird dolls, for some reason.

Usually, when an ad has a baffling picture, there'll be some kind of visual pun or hint in the copy that helps the picture make sense. Nope. Just those weird Art Clokey figures pouring us a glass of Jameson's finest... through a bung hole punched in the side of the bottle, somehow?

It seems that's how the art director solved the problem of "How do you show a  ten-inch wooden dude pouring a drink while keeping the label right side up so the reader can read it?" Bizarre.

Well, they were probably having a little Jameson at the production meeting.


New Idea Parade 11



Cooking with flaccid vegetables.


Blitz Burner - Burning your trash the modern way.

Okay. In 1955, Climate Change / Global Warming were not really things that science was worried about... or even had names for. People commonly burned garbage in their yards. As far as anyone knew, the soot and smoke simply went up into the sky and just kept on going, up into space. There was no way that human activity could possibly have a cumulative effect on the entire planet, so far as anybody knew.

Leaving environmental responsibility aside, there are still some eyebrow-raising things about this ad for the Blitz Burner.

Back in '55, your average backyard incinerator was a concrete affair with a rusty wrought-iron grating somewhere on it to let the smoke out, and keep woodland varmints from getting in or something. I don't think anybody ever had the notion to use the thing as a grill.

Sure, the possibility was obvious. A thing with fire in it and a metal rack on top, at pretty much perfect grilling height, no less. Who wouldn't have thought of using it to cook food? Anyone who came within a few yards of it, that's who. Burning trash stinks, and the smell of it, and the general effluvium, tended to marry itself eternally to the very structure of whatever it was burned in.

People burned pretty much any kind of household garbage that was even vaguely flammable in their backyard incinerators. Old rotten food, and especially unpleasant diapers that were irretrievably filthy. Anything that was awful enough that you wanted to kill with fire went into the family incinerator. That was the point.

But the clever folks at Montamower Distributing Co. weren't squeamish about using the same thing you burn garbage in to cook food. Let's assume that you wouldn't be using a trash fire to cook burgers. Montamower probably intended its customers to toss in a few mesquite logs or something. Still... wow.

There's a reason this idea never caught on. But maybe, in the Blitz Burner's defense, since the unit was all metal, you could concievably hose it out, fresh and clean, every time you used it, making it hunky-dory for cooking food with. ...Mmmmmaybe.

Still, no way.

And then there's the name. In 1955, World War 2 was just ten years into memory. America was enjoying a booming economy and the invention of the suburbs was making it possible for loads of (usually white) people to enjoy a little bit of the American Dream.

In London, however, they were still smarting from having most of their city bombed into gravel after a little thing called "the Blitz", courtesy of the Third Reich. So, to name your new product the Blitz Burner has all the tact of marketing... say.... a bug spray, calling it "The 9/11 of hornets". It's kind of hard to imagine that nobody asked the boss if they was sure about that idea.

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Bunched, August 1957