Friday, February 29, 2008

Cleaning out the Ephemera

Recently I borrowed a bunch of old brochures from a friend. So far I've only published one post on these: How to Live With Yourself. The problem with them is although they are interesting, the contents are either pretty wordy or just not worth scanning the full booklet. That said, here are a few things I've been sitting on...

True, not one man or woman in a thousand know how to talk effectively. but that's simply all the more reason why the interesting talker is so welcome in this brave new world of our. He brings magic with him, Glamour! Romance! No more silly gossip about the neighbors... no more stupid remarks about the weather... no more tedious complaints about poor health. Instead bright, sparking words that stir the blood and quicken the imagination.
If you take gossip, health complaints and the weather out of people's conversations all that's left to talk about is sex!
This one comes from the Western Electric Booklet Rack Service. It's bright red cover and plup fiction type face must have made this a popular lunchtime read. In fact, this statement on the first page instills the proper 1950's paranoia: This is not a 'reference' booklet. It is not like any other first aid booklet.It deals only with those crucial first few minutes when an accident victim hovers between life and death. Every second counts. You won't have time to consult these pages. THEREFORE, READ THIS BOOKLET NOW. WHAT YOU LEARN NOW MAY SAVE A LIFE!

Oooh-eee. One moment while I stop blogging and read this now! Most of the instructions deal with making perfect carbon copies, making corrections on the carbon copies, and having perfect margins. How did we ever, ever get along without a word processor?
Even more remarkable is the idea that at one time consumers were responsible for fire proofing our own clothes and draperies.

"Sorry Madge, I can't go to lunch today I have to fireproof my ironing board cover...

This booklet has some fun games for long car trips: AUTO LICENSE BINGO. Each player writes down fifteen numbers on a sheet of paper. they may be any numbers from 1 to 99 and a player may list the same number fifteen times if he wishes.

After all the players have written down their selected numbers, an umpire begins the game by calling out the last two digits on the license plate on each truck or car that passes by, and if the numbers he calls are on the sheets of any of the players, they call out that fact, draw a single line through the lucky number, and show it to the referee for verification.

The game continues until someone has crossed off five of his numbers. this is considered "Bingo" and wins the game. The umpire should jot down each number as he calls it so that the winning card may be checked after the game. I'm assuming the umpire should not be the driver.

The most interesting fact is the booklet references the "The Talking Tooth" at the Century of Progress in Chicago 1933.
and speaking of masticating...

Handbook for Emergencies from the Chicago Civil Defense Corps has handy tips on what to do when someone breaks a leg, but their nuclear fallout information seems to be lacking.
Fallout radiation can pass through any material, but some of it is "absorbed" on the way through. Thus, if sufficient shielding is put between you and the fallout, the radiation which comes through will not harm you.

I don't know if they thought putting the word "absorbed" in quotes somehow absolved them from any guilt. But I think you'd be o.k. as long as you had a large red, lead line between you and the fallout.

Also, in all my days, I've never heard that radiation fallout could be Hoovered up.

Again, from the Western Electric Book Rack... "Your Medical Check-Up" let's you know what will happen when you have to go to the doctor. Things like, "Why Do Doctor's Ask So Many Questions". "Why does he need my blood?" "What's a Fluoroscope?" are illustrated by using these Picasso-esqe drawings.
And finally, "Facts About Leprosy" has been in my collection for years. I used to keep it out in the living room along with some old TV Guides. With it's smugged and shockingly frank cover has got many a frightened look from people who didn't know me very well. Hmmm...Maybe that's why I'm single.


Anonymous said...

Thank god you're single...there's alot of us who would have a serious social life deficit if you became dull, boring, and married.

Gary Airedale

BC said...

words...warm human words...

Aaron said...

I used to read all about leprosy when I was in 6th grade, because I was doing a science report on it. All the other kids thought I was strange (for a whole different reason this time).

Thank God that "Pop Muzik" song came out and distracted me!

Aaron said...

Hey! Is there a way to combine the first book and the second book? "The Art of Conversation: Someone's Hurt! Let's Gossip About It"

Mike Lynch said...

Love the graphics on these. Thanks for sharing and scanning and scanning and scanning!