Month: February 2013

Cool Stuff: Name That Tune Control Box from NBC

Cool Stuff: Name That Tune Control Box from NBC

Auction Finds
Here's a really cool piece of vintage TV technology I came across. It's the control box from the NBC game show Name That Tune, which aired on the network from 1952-1954, 1974-75, and 1977. The auction for this box claims it's from the '50s version of the show, which I suppose is possible, except for one thing that contradicts that. See if you can guess what it is. This certainly looks simple enough to be from the 1950s, but a few things make me think it's from the '70s. The first is the faux wood grain DYMO label tape, which I don't think was around in the '50s. But mostly, that NBC logo on the "Made by NBC Electric Shop" label looks newer. Unless this was used internally for a few decades before the public saw it, it's most definitely from the '70s. In fact, that trapezoid N rol
Springmaid Fabrics, You So Naughty!

Springmaid Fabrics, You So Naughty!

Retrotisements
Using sex to sell merchandise is hardly a new tactic, but in the 1940s it wasn't a common one either. And yet in the 1940s and '50s Springs Cotton Mills, makers of Springmaid Fabrics, put out a series of ads that likely pushed every boundary there was in American marketing with regards to sex appeal. The Springmaid ads, clearly influenced by pin-up art, made use of double entendre (written by company owners Elliot White Springs) and liberal doses of voyeurism. The illustrations generally fell into one of two categories, with some exceptions: looking up a woman's skirt or seeing her panties fall down around her ankles.  That's about it. Most of the advertisements came with a short tagline such as "Defy Diaphoresis," "Protect Yourself," or "Perfume and Parabolics." My personal favorite is
Say “Hi” to the New Gray Flannel Suit Logo!

Say “Hi” to the New Gray Flannel Suit Logo!

Blogstuff
I've been at this blogging thing for awhile. I started my first blog in August 2005, and officially opened The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit in February 2007. And in all that time, I've struggled to come up with a consistent visual identity. What I've settled on for the past few years is appropriating vintage advertising art that I felt matched what I wanted my online persona to be. Lately, though, I've been feeling the need to stop aping stuff that other companies had used, and come up with something original for myself. A tiny part of that was guilt I suppose, but mostly I wanted a real logo and brand that I could use across all my internet ventures. So I spent some time getting up to speed in Adobe Illustrator, and here you go: Pretty nifty, yes? Really astute fans of old ad...
Football Friday: Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decals

Football Friday: Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decals

Ephemera, Football Friday, Sports
I've got a special off-season edition of Football Friday for you today! I get daily email alerts from eBay for just about anything tagged as being from the AFL, which I use to find many of the excellent AFL game programs I share. But on occasion I find other neat things too. Take, for example, this set of vintage NFL/AFL team mascot decals from 1969. These are some fantastic stickers.  
Vintage Movie Title Camera Art

Vintage Movie Title Camera Art

Featured Posts, Movies
Back in the day, before fancy computers and gizmos and whatnot, title graphics in movies were painted by hand. By real human beings. And somehow they managed to look fantastic. So now I present to you a gallery featuring a host of vintage title art graphics, most of which date from the 1950s and '60s. (Click for a larger version.)
Retrotisements — 1970 Dodge New Car & Truck Lineup

Retrotisements — 1970 Dodge New Car & Truck Lineup

Featured Posts, Retrotisements
For my latest car advertisement capsule, I've gathered marketing material for the full line of new 1970 Dodge cars, wagons, vans, and trucks. You'll see vintage print and TV ads for the Dart, Coronet, Polara, Monaco, Charger, Challenger, Super Bee, and more. If you like these great vintage advertisements, you could be Dodge Material! (To see other car lineup advertisement galleries, click here. Got a request for other years and makes? Let me know in the Comments section.) 1970 Dodge Dart The fourth-generation Dart was refreshed somewhat for 1970 and was available in three main trims. There was the basic four-door sedan, the two- and four-door Custom, and the two-door Swinger (available in base or 340 performance models). Owners of the Swinger 340, as well as other Dodge performance mo
Album Cover of the Week: Journey, Look into the Future

Album Cover of the Week: Journey, Look into the Future

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Once upon a time, there was a Journey that was not massively successful. I speak of course about the band's first three albums -- which were certainly harder and more progressive than later material, but were nonetheless not very popular. So for this entry let's look at one of those three albums, and the one with the weirdest cover -- 1976's Look into the Future. So it looks like we've got a little bit of an MC Escher thing going on here, but less complex. It does fit with the vibe of Look into the Future, however, which is definitely more progressive and jazzy than the band would become after Steve Perry joined. Journey, which was a five-piece outfit for their first album, lost rhythm guitarist George Tickner and was reduced to a quartet. The four band members, shown here as
For Valentine’s Day, Give the Gift of… Peas?

For Valentine’s Day, Give the Gift of… Peas?

Retrotisements
I guess you can now cross "everything" off the list of things I have not seen, because Valentine's Day was apparently used to sell canned peas. Behold this Green Giant ad from 1952. Yikes. Well this one's definitely going in the Valentine's Day section of the Retrotisements gallery, so if you want to see an even larger version of this advertisement then head over there now.
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 27: Franklin Township Deli, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 27: Franklin Township Deli, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday
We return to New Jersey for this week's vintage photograph, specifically Franklin Township. This shot, taken in February 1936, depicts a woman in front of a small grocery store/delicatessen. She's either fixing a tattered awning or taking it down, I can't be sure which. This is from the days before big supermarkets were a common sight. A few brand names figure prominently in this scene -- Coca-Cola and White Rose Tea. Everyone knows Coca-Cola of course, but fewer know about White Rose. It is a rather large independent wholesale food distributor in the New York/New Jersey metro area and has been in operation since the late 19th century. They got into the tea business in the early 1900s. Below the display window it's all about tobacco. I see a sign for Granger Rough Cut (pipe tobac