Brochure Beauties #8: 1937 Willys, The Surprise Car of the Year!

Brochure Beauties #8: 1937 Willys, The Surprise Car of the Year!

Ephemera
It's hard to believe that I'm almost 10 entries into this series and haven't shared any car brochures. Luckily I found a real gem for the first one. This brochure highlights the new 1937 Willys, with the slogan "The Surprise Car of the Year." The typeface and color scheme are very much of their era, and are a pure delight. The first image breaks down (OK, unfortunate phrasing) the cost of ownership over 35,000 miles. Can't say I've ever seen a car brochure give a depreciation amount before. Next up is the money shot, a pretty nice looking pre-war car that boasts up to 35 miles per gallon. Next we get several exterior and interior shots, with some very well-dressed people looking very approvingly at the beautiful bench seats, roomy interior and spacious trunk.
Vintage NBC Promo Slides

Vintage NBC Promo Slides

Auction Finds, TV & Radio
Many, many years ago, when television technology was still somewhat crude, stations used still images to promote upcoming shows or events. Often they used slides that were simply projected to the screen. Of course, the need for these slides is long past but they remain a fascinating reminder of a simpler TV age. And so I was thrilled to come across a series of them for sale on eBay recently. According to the seller of these slides, they were used by NBC affiliate WRC-TV Channel 4, and were shown thanks to a piece of technology called a film chain. The film chain allows a station to convert a slide into an electronic signal and project it to a TV camera for broadcast. I'm not certain of the dates on these, but I suspect many of them are from the 1950s and '60s. I know the 1960s are in...
Kodachrome Memories #6: See the Sights of Nashville

Kodachrome Memories #6: See the Sights of Nashville

Photography
Here's a neat slide from what I assume was somebody's vacation to Nashville, Tennessee sometime in the 1970s. All I really have to go by for that date guess are the partial car views we get. Most prominent in this slide is the tour bus for country music legend Ernest Tubb. We also see signs for other tourist traps like Loretta Lynn's Western Store, Tubb's record shop, and Eddie & Joe's Putter Place. If anyone can provide a date for this slide, let me know in the comments.
First Year Covers: Playboy

First Year Covers: Playboy

Ephemera
I'm starting a new series called First Year Covers, the purpose of which should be obvious. I'll take a famous magazine and share a gallery featuring all or selected covers from its first year of publication. For no particular reason I've chosen Hugh Hefner's Playboy for the first entry. Scratch that - there is a reason. Aside from all the controversy Playboy has courted almost since its first issue published in December 1953 -- and featuring previously unseen nude photos of Marilyn Monroe -- many of its covers in the early days are fun and imaginative exercises in graphic design. So with that out of the way, let's enjoy a look at the twelve months of Playboy covers, plus a bonus 13th cover to round out 1954. Sorry fellas, no nudity here.
Get Toasty With These Wisconsin Electric Power Company Christmas Cooky Books

Get Toasty With These Wisconsin Electric Power Company Christmas Cooky Books

Ephemera
Here are some wonderful artifacts from the days when public utility companies at least tried to pretend like they cared about their customers or wanted some sort of connection with their communities. This gallery features covers from a series of Christmas "Cooky Books" produced by the Wisconsin Electric Power Company in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. The designs run from homey but bland to festive to delightfully cheerful and mid-century. One note: In fairness, the current version of this company, We Energies, still produces this book. Good on them. Most scans courtesy eBay. Click on any image for the full-size version.