International Harvester... refrigerators? Femineered!

Whether or not you view the past as "the good old days" or "the dark ages" has everything to do with who you are. If you're a seventy-something year old white guy, 1950 might look pretty rosy when viewed through your particular shade of colored glasses. Let us recall that, in 1950, you could market a refrigerator (which International Harvester apparently did, I guess???) with an ad campaign like "femineered".

If you read the list of features in the copy - things like spaciousness, efficiency, and convenience - you'll be reading a list of things that men absolutely hate in a fridge. We are only left to assume that International Harvester's line of "mangeneered" fridges leaked air like it was made from colanders, had shelves designed to hold everything poorly, fell apart in a week, and consumed as much electricity as everything else in your house combined. Thankfully, International Harvester was there to deduce that only women want a smartly designed product.

Or, it was just a refrigerator, a thing that goes in a kitchen, which made it the sole purview of a woman?

Well, that was a long time ago. We've learned so much since then. Of course, no company now would be dumb enough to patronize fifty percent of the popula- Oh jeez...


What do you get when a women’s magazine like Cosmopolitan wants to create a car for women and teams up with Spanish automaker Seat? You get the Seat Mii by Cosmopolitan, and these are the features that the magazine and Seat decided were necessary: purple or white exterior paint, champagne colored wing mirrors, headlights with an “eyeliner shape,” jeweled wheels and ease of parking.


Jim D. said...

We had an International chest freezer in the basement when I was growing up, about this same vintage. Same logo as the truck parked out by the barn. Not sure how efficient the freezer was, but it never stopped working up to the time Dad sold the house in about 1992, and we never heard from the new owner whether it ceased to function. Somewhere is a slide my dad took of himself and the three friends who helped him "femineer" it down the basement stairs. They're all dirty and have torn clothing, and one of them has a forehead bandage covering a still-seeping wound. None of them looks happy. So we can intuit the thing was heavy. It was also almost silent compared to the fridge upstairs. Overbuilt to guarantee the company went bankrupt, because the way to profitability is building stuff that goes to the landfill in 7 years. There were a fair number of International pickups and Scouts and even a few Travelalls around when I was growing up, and I remember them as heavy, ponderous, slow, loud, overbuilt tanks that never were very nice but never seemed to break down or die. Thanks for a great one, Phil! Now I'm headed off to eBay to find my dream Scout.

Wait a minute! You've tricked me into revealing my inner cranky old man! Dangit Phil . . .

Jim D. said...

JACKPOT https://www.ebay.com/itm/1964-International-Harvester-Scout/253245811567?hash=item3af6a06b6f:g:dbIAAOSwHYpZ8V02&vxp=mtr

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