Mothers' Day special - Little Ads from the American home front.

Here's a few little ads from the back pages of the July 1941 issue of The American Magazine, a decidedly patriotic magazine that seems to be skewed towards war wives.
Virginia Rounds cigarettes seem pretty excited about their cigarettes' corn tipped-ness, but not excited enough to actually explain it to us anywhere in the ad copy. Maybe anybody who wasn't familiar with corn-tipped cigarettes was un-American, and therefore burned as a witch? If so, I super know what the hell corn-tips are. Corn me up, baby! Moving on...

Worried about your liver bile? I know. We all are. So WTF is "calomel"? It's mercury chloride, and although it sounds toxic, it was actually friggin poisonous as hell. It makes you throw up. They used to give it to people to rid their bodies of "impurities". Give too much and your hair and teeth fall out. Good times.

Yeah, so, if they thought your liver wasn't doing it's job, they'd give you calomel for some reason. So I guess everyone was worried about their bile. See the happy lady smiling with her mouth but not her eyes? She is both toohtful and hairful, so presumably her bile is rocking out without the help of mercury chloride.

What's this ad selling? Um, scanning, scanning.. Ah! Carter's Little Liver Pills. That's good design, guys! Force the curious customer to read the fine print to find out what you're selling. No wonder Carter's Little Liver Pills are still doing so well today (psst- not really).

You can make extra cash peddling The American Magazine. Save Crowell-Collier Publishing the huge expense of having a marketing department and make a few pennies by hawking magazines to your friends, like Amway.

See that happy dollar lady? She's pretty funny. A nice guy might crop her all special-like and post her for your rude-finger right-clicky repurposing pleasure. Coming right up!
Click for big $.
Lastly, here's the cover of the magazine. I really feel the need to point out that the model doesn't know how to hold drumsticks. I know she's a model just doing a job for fifteen cents an hour or whatever models earned in 1941, and she's not a real musician (as if drummers are?), but anyway...
There are two ways to hold drum sticks. Traditional Grip and Matched Grip. She's doing the "I'm faking it" grip, favored by people pretending to be playing a drum just for a photograph.
Traditional Grip is the older, more formal way to hold the sticks. It was intended to make it easy to play on a drum tilted at an angle. Marching drums used to rest against the the left thigh of a (right-handed) drummer as it hung from it's strap around the neck, like in the picture.

By the Seventies and Eighties, they had better ways to carry a drum - usually some kind of aluminum brace that hangs over both shoulders, removing the weight from your neck and giving you a level surface to play on. So, in a way, the Traditional Grip is kiiiind of obsolete, although I still find it easier to do drum rolls and play all that rat-a-tat marching stuff with the traditional grip, because that's the grip I was trained with.

When I play at a drum kit, I use the Matched grip, because it just makes more sense to me. To use the Traditional Grip at a drum kit, you have to slant your snare drum at a funny angle to accommodate the grip, which in my opinion makes the whole kit feel weird. Also, because you're holding the left stick at a 90-degree angle to your wrist, you have a shorter reach with that hand. This makes it harder to reach cymbals and tom toms. Yes, there are drummers who play incredibly well at a kit with the Traditional Grip, but it feels weird to me.
Here's Ed Shaughnessy playing like nuts with the Traditional Grip. He was the drummer for The Tonight Show during the Johnny Carson years. I can't do what he's doing, except for maybe the sideburns, but I'd need a few months to get there. How good was Ed? As you can see in the photo, he's not even looking the sheet music.

The drum in the picture seems to be a 1938 (or so) Ludwig Popular Parade Drum. It's probably worth a few hundred dollars now. Turns out I have an old Ludwig Professional Model Snare Drum from 1929-ish. It's missing one or two tension rods (oh well), and in this picture you can see where dad and I reattached the snare strainer with modern nylon lock nuts, instead of the tiny wood screws that fell out. That damages the dollar value, but keeps the drum playable.

What's that have to do with Mothers' Day? Mom paid for all my lessons. Shut up.


Steve Miller said...

No idea what grip he uses, but search YouTube for "drummer at the wrong gig."

Anonymous said...

Q: What do you call a guy that hangs out with a bunch of musicians?

A: The Drummer!

I know, OLD BAD joke. Someone had to.

(BTW- Phil is an INCREDIBLY AWESOME drummer)

Anonymous 2

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Steve: Ah yes. That "wrong gig drummer" guy. I'm familiar with his work. Note that he does his gymnastics while playing the most rudimentary 4/4 backbeat. It seems that's the extent of his rhythmic library. If he put as much effort into his actual musicianship, he might find a better gig. But then, he has carved out his own little niche just being the way he is, hasn't he?

Thanks, Anon2! I assume you'e a fan of overinflated 70's prog rock too.


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