Typically, this podcast will be about antiques, vintage, & collectibles (with plenty of contextual history & culture commentary), but this second episode has a lot to do with gender, so I am linking it up here. It’s under 3 minutes long, but if you prefer to read it, you can do so here.
In 1885, W. Duke & Sons inserted “sexy” trading cards of actresses in their packages of Duke’s Cigarettes. This act is said to have led to Duke’s becoming the leading cigarette brand by 1890. Widely heralded as the birth of sex in advertising, i,e. the use of images of women in ads without any connection to the product being sold, these trade cards have led to many a scholastic “sex sells” advertising paper.
While the photographs of actresses seem rather tame to us today, the photographs on the trading cards were considered “lascivious” by some. Complaints even led to James Buchanan “Buck” Duke being advised, via letter, by his father Washington Duke to cease use of such images “as an inducement to purchase” — for fear the immoral “mode of advertising will be used and greatly streghten [sic, “strengthen”] the arguments against cigarettes in the legislative halls of the States.”
Did the use of lascivious ladies on the tobacco trading cards help to make Duke the most popular cigarette brand?
But not entirely for the reasons one thinks.
It would be folly to overlook the other factors involved in Duke’s success. Such as Buck Duke’s ingenious idea to use a small cardboard insert, printed with a series of themed images (ranging from life tips and birds, to flags and Civil War heroes) along with the brand name. These cards were a completely new way of advertising tobacco and cigarettes, and they stiffened both the boxes and cigarette sales. Then too, Duke was the only large tobacco manufacturer to take a chance on the imperfect Bonsack machine – which, once perfected, cut the cost of cigarette manufacturing in half. And there’s also the fact that tycoon Buck Duke merged the five largest tobacco companies in America to form the American Tobacco Company in 1890. But even that doesn’t give the full picture.
To get a clearer picture, one has to look at the times in fuller context.
By the 1890s, use of female celebrities was already a powerful marketing gimmick. It began by using the more “mature” theatre actresses, those in their 30s and 40s, as spokespersons. Some, such as Julia Marlow, even had products made in their names.
But as opera and motion pictures were deemed more legitimate, younger famous performers were also used to sell — and to sell to women. For in fact, female celebrities were not only beautiful, and so used to motivate everyday men and women to purchase, but everyday women themselves were used to legitimize and make palatable such “unsavory” enterprises as the nickelodeon and motion pictures themselves. (No small surprise then, that women would become the biggest draws in entertainment.) In placing women on trading cards and other advertising pieces, women were also used to make the whole notion of smoking acceptable and even desirable in two ways.
The first, likely, was the use of the iconic American Girl imagery to made smoking — especially the brands using the images — not only the popular thing to do, but the acceptable thing to do. As Bergeret wrote in Vanity Fair (April, 1915):
She [the American Girl] incarnates the spirit of her nation; she is the living ideal, the only adornment of a country that, without her would be a veritable cave of Alberic, a black and smokey dollar-forge. It is true, too, that the United States owe her all they possess of art, of good breeding, of humanity… she is the standard-bearer of American ideas and products over all Europe.
And, in 1889, in Jonathon and His Continent: Rambles Through American Society, Max O’Rell would describe the American Girl as follows:
No matter how much of a butterfly she may be, she never loses sight of the future. She does not say, as she sits musing on marriage: “What kind of man shall I suit?” but “What kind of man shall I choose.”
Showing American Girls, however attractive, was less about sex than it was about being appropriate, being the upstanding sort that would marry and carry on in the best American way.
The second path was all about selling directly to women themselves. While not completely culturally acceptable, women were using tobacco and smoking at this time — and even earlier. Corporations no doubt sought to court females directly as consumers for their tobacco products, using female celebrities as they had been with other products for women.
None of this precludes a primal male reaction to the sight of a beautiful woman; lascivious or not, men will be, well, men. And too often women are too quick to call them on it. However, to see all advertisements, tobacco or otherwise, at this time or now, as purely sexual is to underestimate the importance of just how the female form figures into shifts in culture — and, indeed, the historical purchase power of women themselves.
For example, this 1871 packaging for Pearl cigarettes is often called “the earliest known use of sex in advertising.” But isn’t it at least equally possible it was just using the already classic beauty of the Venus de Milo? “Lascivious” is in the mind of the viewer. Or collector.
I spotted this pair of vintage crochet (or knitted?) potholders at one of the local antique shops and I had to go back to snap a pic of it because it drove me that nuts. I know it’s a small thing, a petty thing — and, since this about little underthings, perhaps a petty-coat thing, but the fact that “his” is embroidered on the “men’s underwear” but only “her” is embroidered on the pair of “lady’s bloomers” just, well, gets my panties in a bunch. It should be “His” and “Hers.”
Also, underthings as pot holders just makes me feel like it’s all about negative body issues…
Donald Trump may pretend to be a Bible-toting evangelical with his “two Corinthians” bit, but he has more in common with Bible-thumping Ted Cruz than some may have realized. Both patriarchal fools have appeared on the cover of the National Enquirer for alleged sex scandals — cheating on their wives, to be precise.
I’m sure by now you’ve read all about the #CruzSexScandal. While The Daily Beast reports such tales of Cruz’s cheating have been peddled for months, one must remember that sometimes the Enquirer gets it right. Even if you go by the old idea that if you throw enough things you’ll find something that sticks, the publication was also right about Trump’s affair with Marla Maples.
Since this past survey of cheaters at Ashley Madison suggests that evangelicals are the least faithful when it comes to spouses, perhaps that all plays to the evangelical base anyway.
…Then again, it seems evangelicals are always ready to cast the first stone — even if they are the most repressed and tend to be anti the things they themselves cannot control, like alcohol and sex. (That last one is why they are so anti-abortion — it’s all about women’s sexual autonomy.) That’s one of several things (like fake women bots) we can learn from the whole Ashley Madison hack & ensuing debacles.
Image Credits: 1993 National Enquirer signed by Donald Trump & Marla Maples (& Vanna White) via eBay — current price: $150.
All I know about this vintage photo is what the seller notes:
a vintage & original 1963 gelatin silver publicity photograph promoting “The Obscene Couch” featuring “Lovely Karen.” Karen is lovely indeed as she shows off her curvaceous beach body and wild, mod blonde hair. This film was also known as “The Oblong Couch” and was eventually released under the title “Saucy Aussie.” An exciting film artifact and interesting in the fact that all publicity images advertised Lovely Karen yet she appears nowhere in the credits of the film. Starring role went to Sheree Steiner and the production company went on to make a few other sexploitation films such as “Wild Hippie Orgy.”
Measures 8″ x 10″ with margins on a glossy, single weight paper stock.
While the “Lovely Karen” isn’t quite in the buff (at least not here), I’m thinking fans of nudies also know their sexploitation films. And I’m hoping buffs of in-the-buff can share what they know…
A vintage gold plated golf tee in the shape of a women’s nude body. The seller says it’s circa 1960s and, in case you don’t actually have the balls to use this on the golf course, this risque tee will arrive with a bunch of golf balls.
Americans are obsessed with breasts. Not just looking at them, judging them, but controlling and legislating them. Like the old “children should be seen and not heard,” there are rules about just how, when, and why breasts are exposed. In public and in private. Even if those breasts are doing the most natural thing in the world: feeding babies. According to the “seen but not heard” societal law, the sucking sounds of an infant clearly ought to be held against the child — except that mothers are blamed for everything, including the soft but necessary noises of a nursing infant.
But we all know it’s not the noises thing that bothers people so. It’s the sight of a nipple. Even the fear of seeing a nipple outrages folks. Sadly, we are not winning this fight for the right to bare our breasts. But Robyn and Michelle Lytle, a Chicago-based couple, are on a mission to fight it. In a not-so-subtle way. They are the women behind The TaTa Top Shop, which sells TaTa Tops: bikini tops in various flesh shades — complete with nipples.
Now, before you think this is some sort of gag gift thing, like those t-shirts ; it’s not. “The TaTa Top was created in response to current censorship issues regarding women’s bodies.”
Always one to push boundaries and challenge authority, Michelle decided that The TaTa Top was the perfect way to stir things up and get people questioning the current law.
The TaTa Top is far more than nipples on a bikini top. As a brand we work to promote questioning the social norm and digging deeper when it comes to society’s expectations.
…From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to use a sense of humor to shed light on some serious issues while simultaneously raising funds for two areas we are extremely passionate about: breast cancer awareness and women’s rights. It’s great to create a product that makes people laugh, but it’s even better to be able to do something very serious with that success. For each TaTa Top sold, $5 goes directly towards supporting one of our partnered organizations, and this is what it’s all about!
But the couple isn’t above selling a few of these bikini tops for bachelorette parties. I doubt they would mind — or could control — selling them for bachelor parties either. (Because nothing is funnier than a man dressed like a woman, right?) At least the Lytle’s and their charities would get some money. Proving that nipples — at least faux nipples — are good for something.
This holiday weekend, in honor of Memorial Day, I’ve seen this poster circulating quite a bit…
But there are some things you should know. (Yes, feminists often don’t have the luxury of taking the holidays off.)
“Good work, sister. We never figured you could do a man-size job!”
America’s women have met the test!
Artist: Packer. For Bressler Editorial Cartoons, Inc.
What a lovely backhanded compliment this whole poster is.
The whole gender dynamic is astounding…
…The language — use of “never” and “a man-size job” — is insulting.
…The man being shown as larger to impress upon us both the size of the job and the ‘little lady’ is a bit of visual overkill. (But, hell, shouldn’t that USDA prime cut of red-blooded American beefcake have been drafted?)
Fundamentally, it seems this poster was designed to assuage male discomfort at the notion of “Rosie the Riveter” women working outside the home rather than actually thank women for their work.
During WWII, almost 400,000 women served in the US armed forces — including 6,500 Black women who faced even larger racism hurdles to do so. Those are pretty big tests too, poster.
However, despite any of their wishes, women could not serve in combat. Because “menstruation & bears!” or something.
But still, even without combat duty, many women — over 400 of them — lost their lives serving their country in the armed forces. In addition to the fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons we lost, we also lost mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters. More were wounded. Women sacrificed mightily. And not just the danger of “those spreading hips that may come from long hours of sitting” too. They gave their lives and limbs, just as men did; only the women suffered more in secret. Just as they do today. Just as they always have during war: See This.
Whether women & girls worked in factories or shipyards, in the armed forces, in their yards planting victory gardens, in their homes — wherever they worked — they served this country. To the best of their ability — and as much as they were allowed.
This holiday, remember everyone who gave for this country.
In the 70s, footprints were big things. Sometimes they were quite literally big things; such as the giant, and very fuzzy, footprint rugs my sister and I had in our room. (See other things that may have been in your bedroom back then.)
Other times, the feet were smaller.
And in pairs.
If you were cognizant in the 1970s, you likely recall all the pairs of mating feet. Because many adults labored under the incorrect belief that such pairs of feet were somehow not understood by children (umm, this is exactly what many children saw when they opened the door to your bedroom), these sex feet were everywhere.
And — surprise! — there’s sexism involved in such a sexual revolution.
Typically, sex feet are shown as heterosexual couplings in the missionary position; which is neither all that revolutionary or, for many, very pleasurable. We are able to see that it’s a man and a woman doing it missionary style as there are two sets of feet — but not of the same size. This is typically deciphered to mean that the larger feet belong to a man. After all, hetero-normative rules state men are to be larger than their lady partners. And his feet must be much bigger because, you know, big feet mean big penis. That’s the myth, anyway. And he must be on top because he is The Top.
Besides, who would change their minds (cross their legs and feet) and say “no” other than a woman?
But if you think this is all about the Free Love movement, sex feet were often presented or captioned with odd supposedly humorous notions revealing traditional values. Like this ashtray and its “Man does this mean we are engaged” speech bubble.
Along with confusion caused by missing punctuation, there’s more than a little cognitive dissonance between the “free love” and the marital sentiments or concerns. But then, the liberating 70s was always more than a little confusing that way.
Evelyn Nesbit aka Evelyn Thaw, who we discussed in conjunction with sex scandals and reports of roofies in 1910, is making the news rounds again. This time it is at The Daily Mail, with lots of photos; but she was also at the BBC at the end of 2014.
All that may just provide some cultural context to Nesbit’s sweet song of freedom from men, sang a decade or more after her divorces.
Who doesn’t like a company that preaches values while looking up a lady’s skirt?
After complaining about Uncle Sam’s tax, ye olde Day & Night tobacco company wants you to get your money’s worth.
When you spend a nickle for tobacco, do you want your money’s worth, of part tobacco and the rest in coupons for pot-metal knives or brass watches?
I would point out how such an advertisement which combines capitalism with complaining about taxes — all while belittling women — reminds me of specific political parties, but I don’t have to spell everything out, do I?
Card for sale here.
Just in case you thought the 1950s were such a pure time… Via.
Straight out of the creepy files, dads are viewing their daughters as their own property — property which can be defended like some backward “stand your ground” law. The following exhibits were all found at Etsy.
10 Rules For Dating My Daughter includes references to threats of violence & legal prosecution. “Get the 411 Before You Need 911.”
Naturally, this whole “Dads Against Daughters Dating” or “D.A.D.D.” thing appeals to the gun-toting crowd. “Shoot the first one and the word will spread” is another variation.
This version makes it clear that only the pretty daughters will be “protected”.
Oh, and be sure to dress your daughter up with the warning — in a shoulder-baring tee.
Likely these protective fathers have spent too much time at these “dating sites” and assume all boys are as bad as they were.
I’m also insulted for our sons. Not all of them are predators, worthy of violent disposal at the mere idea of offending some twisted notion of “protective paternity.” Nor are boys completely free of hurt from girls either.
A sampling of some of the lovely ladies of yesteryear who have shaken their money-makers on noisemakers for New Year’s Eve: ¡Muy Caliente, classic round version, and the last lot of three contains some sort of creepy BDSM clown…
Have you seen Subway’s latest ad ~ the one with the woman who reminds us to “Eat Fresh!” and stay healthy & slim so we can fit into our sexy Halloween costumes?
But come on now, let’s face reality. Aren’t all the Halloween costumes for women sexy now? The fact that Subway knows they are shouldn’t really be a surprise. Because just who hasn’t noticed this? There’s a name for it: Slutoween. And, right or wrong, there’s a history behind it. (And, in fact, Hallowe’en began as a holiday for rowdy, bawdy adults, not children.) Whether or not you want to don such sexy apparel is up to you; but stop denying that they are popular. Guess what, $1.4 billion will be spent on adult Halloween costumes. The free-market has dictated that sexy does sell when it comes to Halloween costumes.
With so much money being spent on the costumes, is it any wonder Subway would latch onto our vain desire to look better in those costumes? If our cultural definition of “better looking” is thin (or at least “thinner”), it makes dollars and cents to pull that marketing string. And if you want to cry out in body image outrage (apparently not seeing the shirtless man in the Viking costume at the table, as well as the humor of the commercial itself), go ahead. I’ll cynically counter with the point that Subway also wants us to be alive next year ~ if only to be customers. Having a business that’s all about eating healthier really is a great business model; it really does cost more to acquire new customers than to retain existing customers, you know.
Where were the complaints about men having to slim down so they didn’t have to wear those huge pants?
The collective “we” saw that as a healthy move. There was no out-cry then.
But a woman wants to be sexy? A woman who dares to admit she wants to be sexy?
Oh hell no! We simply can’t have any of that!
Meanwhile, Natalie Mitchell, the actress in the ad who models all the sexy costumes (complete with “Foxy Fullback”), is keeping mum until this latest, mainly feminist, frenzy passes. Keep an eye on her Tumblr page for comment.
Most of us know of, if have not seen, the naked and hairy Burt Reynolds centerfold in Cosmo. (It was the 70’s equivalent of a sex tape in terms of exploding a celebs popularity.) But have you seen this puzzle featuring a pants-less Reynolds? Published about the same time as the issue of Cosmopolitan, circa 1972, one can enjoy Reynolds nearly unwrapped — just wearing a football jersey. No manscaping, that’s for sure.
The Men’s Right Movement (MRM) may have begun in support of women and feminism, but it’s gone to hell.
There’s always been an element of “I want to be a playboy” in the world of modern Western men. From the somewhat harmless fantasies of bachelors who want to play with sex kittens in what they imagined “the good old days to be like”, to the sincere and earnest pleas of men who feel they are less desired than so-called traditional masculine males, they (and a number of women) have created decades of openly making money off the “how to get girls” marketplace. You can make an argument that this sort of thing gives women the upper hand. That even men in “the game” (often referred to as Game with a capital ‘G’) are at the mercy of women. Certainly, many Third Wave Feminists would agree. And, frankly, many of us struggle with where to draw the line between what is harmless and funny and what is perpetuating negative stereotypes and outright misogyny.
But now, too much of the behavior from the MRM removes any notion of this being a fun “game.” It has crossed that line and angrily morphed into a hardcore hatred of women. Even if it seems hidden behind benign men’s help sites.
Typified by phrases about “reclaiming their balls”, as if the fact that women are equals somehow feminizes men, and given the supposedly harmless name of “The Manosphere”, it has grown on the Internet, connecting like-minded males and converting others. Dagonet of The Quest For 50 explains:
The history of the Manosphere is nebulous.
…Like an echo, a shadow, a vague thought that has reverberated louder and louder with time. You can trace its DNA through the works of ancient poets and philosophers– great men throughout history who identified truths of human nature– through to the modern era. For millennia, these truths were regarded as common sense, and they were integrated functionally into the way society was organized, and the social standards of each population. But with the cultural revolution beginning in the 1960s and reaching a tipping point in the 1990s, a need arose for men to more explicitly teach each other these lost truths. The Manosphere might have begun with Tony’s Lay Guide, The Mystery Method, or other forums hidden in the dark crevices of the nascent internet of the 1990s (such as alt.seduction). It might have begun with The Futurist’s essay “The Misandry Bubble.” It might have begun with Roosh (f/k/a DC Bachelor), Matt Forney (f/k/a Ferdinand Bardamu), and Heartiste (f/k/a Roissy) coalescing around a shared worldview at the crossroads of sex, politics, and a restless sense of lost masculinity, awaiting a revolution.
As more voices began to join the swelling chorus of disenfranchised, horny, clueless men looking to reclaim their balls and dignity, the “Manosphere” as we currently know it was born.
Lest you believe this sounds harmless enough, Dagonet goes on to complain about how so many in the Manosphere have been “‘outed’ and had to delete their blogs in hopes of preserving their privacy and maybe keeping their job/relationship/reputation.” How innocent could these poor victims have been?
And Dagonet’s the guy who claims to be part of Red Pill Thinking yet he feels that the #YesAllWomen response to an all too typical tragedy is not part of reality but rather is an “absolute shitstorm of idiocy, misinformation, and narcissism.”
His collaboration with The Real Christian McQueen should relegate that site to “questionable” at best.
Then you’ve got guys like Jeff Allen, an “Executive Coach” with Real Social Dynamics Nation, a site the exists to sell a boatload of “how to be attractive to women” books, products, and seminars. Again, this might seem innocuous, maybe even helpful; but take a look at Allen’s Twitter account and you’ll be enlightened. These are some of his stellar tweets:
All this, & we didn’t even get into the series of nauseating legislation proposals or anything.
Manosphere diminishing? You’ll get no tears from me.
(Some screen caps in case the tweets disappear.)
China Daily reports that “adultery” is now banned for communist party members. That might seem a bit shocking, in one direction or another, depending on your view point of China and/or politics. You may have thought that was already the case or you may have thought that as in the US’s republican party and religious community, the anti-adultery stance was just a common sense approach for politicians — that marital infidelity is proof of “disloyalty” which would include a broken or weak commitment to country. Or, heck, maybe you never thought about it all. However, now you know: Though adultery is not illegal in China, it is now forbidden under CPC rules. And just in case you were wondering, there are a few distinctions regarding this new policy too.
Firstly, it seems the terms “adultery” doesn’t mean a simple extramarital affair; it means having a mistress — or more than three mistresses, to be precise. So cheating in general is A-OK; having one, two, or even three mistresses is A-OK; but four or more (presumably at the same time) is trouble. You might think this magic number of three has something to do with another typical assertion here in the USA, namely the fear that politicians would be sharing government secrets with lovers via pillow-talk; the more partners, the more pillows, the more talk. Hence, the greater the mathematical danger of loose lips sinking our nation’s warships. But the Chinese Communist Party is far more worried about another kind of math. The BBC explains:
In the public’s eyes, mistresses have become the ultimate symbol of corruption. The common assumption is no official would able to buy his mistress a car or a home without pilfering from public funds.
Secondly, sexism remains alive and well in this Chinese version of the Red Menace; for there is no mention of female party members. I suppose the term “mistress” might include the lesbian variety of paramours; but there is no mention of male lovers kept by women (or by men, for that matter).
The third issue worthy of noting in this new CPC rule is that there was no list of punishment(s) for those who break the rule.
In any case, Communist Party members must now at least appear to adhere to a higher moral standard than the general public.
I guess all things are not equal in this land of Communism. What. A. Surprise.
Take, for instance, the fact that it’s illegal to buy and sell sex toys in some American cities! Sandy Springs, Georgia is in the center of a recent HuffingtonPost.com article that highlights the ludicrous city ordinance that deems “‘any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs’ obscene material, and prohibits their sale, unless ‘a bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial, or law enforcement purpose’ exists.”
Talk about the dark ages!
This ordinance has forced one resident, Melissa Davenport, to go through the insulting process of getting a sex toy prescription from her doctor. You see, Mrs. Davenport has multiple sclerosis, which impacts her ability to have enjoyable sex. She needs the help of sex toys to make sex with her husband pleasurable. “The ordinance,” she said, “basically says the government can stick its nose in your bedroom… It’s appalling. I just think it’s ludicrous.”
And it is.
Civil rights buffs might be reminded of Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, the landmark 2003 Supreme Court decision, which declared it unconstitutional for the government to have any say in what goes on in the privacy of one’s bedroom. In this case, it was a couple of men enjoying consensual sex.
And yes, this ruling does seem to apply to Mrs. Davenport’s case. It certainly did in 2008 when a federal appeals court struck down a similar ban on sex toys in Texas. According to NBCNews.com, the opinion of the court was that “the case is not about public sex. It is not about controlling commerce in sex. It is about controlling what people do in the privacy of their own homes because the state is morally opposed to a certain type of consensual private intimate conduct. This is an insufficient justification after Lawrence.”
Phil Harvey, president of Adameve.com, one of the plaintiffs in the case, spoke of the company’s plans to expand sales in Texas to include home parties. Previously, the company had been hesitant to pursue this because of the Texas law.
At the time of the ruling, there were two other states with sex toy bans on the books—Alabama and Mississippi. Since then, Mississippi’s ban has been lifted, but Alabama’s inexplicably remains.
There’s reason to be optimistic, though. And maybe Melissa Davenport of Sandy Springs will soon be able to see light at the end of the tunnel. It sure seems like a no-brainer, both constitutionally and rationally.
The fact is, sex toys have been around just about as long as human beings have been having sex. According to Alternet.org, archeologists have excavated numerous wood and stone dildos dating back to the Paleolithic era. It’s even believed that Cleopatra might have invented the first vibrator—a hollowed out gourd filled with angry bees!
If it seems completely asinine that there would be bans on sex toys in the twenty-first century… Well, just imagine what Cleopatra would think!
Bunny Yeager, who passed away at the end of last month, did a lot of pinup photography work. Some of it more legendary than others. For example, posing a topless model with various lamps and lighting, presumably for an advertising calendar. (Those were the days, my friend.)
According to the seller of this first generation gelatin silver contact sheet:
vintage 1950s to early 60s taken by Bunny Yeager for The Seymour Lighting Company in Miami Florida. A strange time as we have a collection of these stills from a folio directly from the photographer – the majority of models were topless which really makes this atomic age lighting commission pop as it were…
Sometimes in this field real life is stranger than fiction and this contact sheet is pretty rich, our model in this pose was presumably posed by Yeager for an advertising pin-up calendar.
All images via Grapefruitmoongallery.
I’ve written / ranted about this sort of thing before. If I let myself shop a lot, I could make a whole website devoted to this subject of inappropriate clothing that sexualizes children. That’s sad. And infuriating.
At the Mall Of America, in a shop called Rainbow, I spotted this tee-shirt for girls, sized 7 – 16, which features a bar-code graphic and says, “Check Me Out”. As if our girls need to be further scrutinized and evaluated as commodities. See Also: Remembering Retro Risque T-Shirt Iron-Ons.
It wasn’t that long ago that companies provided calendars and other promotional items featuring scantily-clad and even nude women to their clients. This is a classic example of one of those advertising pieces from the 1980s: a lingerie wearing lady on the glossy surface of a clock promoting Snap-On Tools. (See also: Vintage Risque Pin Up Calendars.)
Normally, we see the pin-up version of women working in WWII. Like this image of dancers at London’s Windmill Theatre practicing their routine while wearing gas masks and hard-hats with their costumes. (January, 1940.) Or we find articles focusing more on the figures of women, in service or not.
But hard hats were more than de rigueur for cute images of women on the homefront during those war years. In fact, there were many promotional campaigns advising women on how to dress for their new world of physical labor and factory work. This one didn’t emphasize hard hats; but clearly the focus is safely, not being fashionable.
Here’s another bit of history:
Mrs. Arlene Corbin (right), time checker in a Richmond, California shipyard brings two-and-a-half-year-old Arlene to a nursery school every morning before going home to sleep. Mrs. Corbin works on the midnight to 7:30 a.m. shift and relies upon the school to keep her daughter busy and happy during the day.
If you collect actual historical objects of women from WWII, check out this vintage wartime fiberglass safety hat.
The hardhat belonged to a female employee who worked for Kaiser Steel in Fontana, CA during 1942-45. It may be more difficult to appear beautiful in a hardhat (even Rosie the Riveter’s bandana is pretty rockin’), but hard hats were the realities in hard times like war. And hats like this are a part of women’s history that shouldn’t be shunned for the pretty pinup version.
What guileless innocence!
From naughtiness your eyes you turn
But if the truth were really known
You’ve little left to learn.
Series No. 767, Comics 24 design; also sold in a Valentine edition, aka a “vinegar valentine”.
I spotted this old postcard while working our monthly day as a dealer at Exit 55 Antiques. If you are interested in owning this antique postcard, you can contact the shop at their official Facebook page — or call the store at (218) 998-3088, between 10 am and 5 pm (central time). Let them know this antique postcard was found in DT’s space, in a small wooden box (like a recipe box).