Farberware Electric Cookware - A look in the mirror?

1959. The near-zenith of the Mad men era, when baffling sexism was plentiful - so plentiful, in fact, that no one ever even had to go shopping for sexism, or harvest sexism out in the fields. It just appeared everywhere if you just sat around long enough. Behold! Farberware's electric cookware line!

"Give her 'cooking without looking!'" Nice. Of course, no man would ever prepare food, just as no woman knew what end of a hammer you should hold while using it to house train the dog. Even flipping through old magazines like this all the frikkin time, you still find yourself muttering to yourself "Jeez, guys! really?"

Anyway, these shiny steel cookwares present an interesting opportunity to look into the photo studio where they shot the ad.

When they're taking pictures of reflective objects, they always have to think about a few extra things. How do they dress the set to make sure the product looks good? How do they hide the camera? Here, they went with a pretty standard white box approach.

If you place the shiny thing in a rough box made of white boards, and then fill the set with light, your coffee tureen will look pretty good. The shading of the corners of the box will still communicate the curves of the metal object while still looking very bright and clean.

"But,", you say, "if we can see everything, where's the camera? My god!!! Where's the camera! AAAAA!!!".

First, try it again but with more energy and bigger hand gestures. Second, the lens is probably peeking into the white box through that black gap inbetween the two walls of the box. Or, it could be that shorter, thinner, teardrop shape toward the center of the decanter. If they had cut a lens-shaped hole in the board and poked the lens through it, it might look like that shape there, allowing for the distortion of the compound curves in the surface of the coffee thingy.

Lastly, let's just point out the irony of this ad concerning itself with the photography of reflective objects while simultaneously being as blind and non-self-aware about sexism as everyone else was at that time in history.

Click for big.


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