Jul 31, 2008

A Look Back in Time

My mom is a garage-sale-pack-rat. At her house, I discovered a copy of "Coronet" magazine from 1957. I'm assuming Coronet was really what we know as Reader's Digest since the size and many of the features were the same.

It was a fascinating read. First of all, an ad for suppository birth control was cleverly disguised as "protection for your most intimate marriage problem". It was hysterical. Then, there was a large article about a new life-saving test called a Pap Smear. It was supposed to save women from deadly cervical cancer. The trouble was that most doctors didn't think it was reliable and weren't using it regularly.

There was an article all about Marilyn Monroe called "Waif to Woman". It was complete with dramatic photographic re-enactments of times of her life like scrubbing floors in foster homes. Then there was an article by a Japanese woman who was married to an American business-man with 2 sons and how she stoically took on the role of step-mother in America. Oh, and an article all about looking 10 pounds thinner without having to do "reducing exercises". For instance, if your stockings have seams, you'll look taller. And, you should wear a tall hat, not a pill-box style - who knew. Another ad showed a chef holding a pie he had made at 60 miles per hour on the train. It was singing the praises of food on trains.

History matters. How many magazines have been thrown away over the years? Wouldn't you love to get hold of some of these? I think the stories that go with our photos should be treated the same way - write them down on your pages. Some day in the future, someone will find them fascinating. They will tell a bit of not only our personal history, but the history of the world we live in.

1 comment:

Starling said...

Coronet was not Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest already existed way back then.

I'm shocked that there was any birth control advertisement in any publication in the 1950s. Just as shocked that they were talking about the Pap Smear. Most women didn't know that either thing existed. And magazines NEVER talked about either.