Yes, it's nearly that time of year that all kids dread and all adults love -- Back to School! And so I'm back for a third time with a set of vintage advertisements that will either appeal to you or drive you mad. Either way, I hope you enjoy!
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...
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.
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.
This slide is purportedly an image of the Pentagon parking lot, but is not dated. The seller indicated that other slides in the same batch were dated 1949, which seems plausible given the design of the cars I can see. As always, if any car experts can chime in with some makes and models that would be a huge help.
A publicity still featuring William Shatner and Patricia Breslin, co-stars of the season two episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Nick of Time." It originally aired on November 18, 1960 on CBS. Shatner returned to the show in season five for one of its most iconic episodes, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet."
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.
These days preserving memories of Halloween parties and trick or treating is as simple as clicking an icon on your phone. Back in the day it not only meant fumbling with a camera and film, but also finding a way to preserve all those spooky and cute memories. To remind us all of simpler Halloween times, here is a brand new gallery of 13 vintage slides (some Kodachrome) depicting kids (and kids at heart) getting into the Halloween spirit with costumes, jack-o-lanterns, parades, parties, and of course trick or treating for candy! Many of the classics are here, like cats, princesses, clowns, skeletons, football players, pumpkins, robots, and ethnic costumes of varying degrees of PC-ness. There are also some truly inventive, homemade costumes as well. Almost all of these were taken in the 1