Encyclopedias: The Pre-Internet!

September 1963

X-Men #1

Encyclopedias! Back in my day, when we had to look something up, this is where we turned – not that new-fangled internet! While I was growing up, we had a set of World Book encyclopedias – I think they were from 1967 or ’68, so not too far off from when this set was around!

The unique thing about these, though, is that rather than being organized alphabetically, they’re organized by subject. To me, that makes them seem more like textbooks than encyclopedias, so I’m not really sure what the distinction is.

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A few things strike me about this ad:

  1. All that white space at the bottom! Did someone fail to plan this very well?
  2. This is an educational product, yet they unnecessarily/incorrectly capitalize “School” in the blurb on the top right.
  3. In the section describing the different volumes, they start out giving a brief description of each one, and then halfway through it’s like they just said “Screw it – this is too much work!,” and started listing them all with no elaboration whatsoever.
  4. This set claims to free you from the hassle of “having to look in books to solve every problem”… Umm, maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t looking in books to solve your problems exactly the point of this set?

This Con Is Super, Thanks for Asking!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

OK, I know that I should have an ad from the ’80s this week, but I just finished the ads I’d been posting from G.I. Joe, and now I can’t get my scanner to work, so we’re stuck with ’60s and ’70s for the time being.

Anyway – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Super DC Convention! Lots of great stuff, with no real specifics – they don’t name a single guest or panel that will be there – hardly adequate by today’s con standards! 😉

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I think it’s interesting that they mention Superman’s birthday – he was created in 1938, which means that in 1976 he would’ve been 38 years old – not exactly a notable milestone.

Get an Actual Replica!

September 1963

X-Men #1

You can get a FREE $100,000 Confederate bill! That’s right, this “lots-of-fun actual replica” – wait a minute – “actual replica”?? They’re boasting about the authenticity of a reproduction?

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I also like the “Free China – our ally” bit – this was smack dab in the middle of the Cold War, so whether or not someone was Communist was a big deal back then!

Don’t Use Your Karate Skills on the Seahorses!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

It’s another random grab bag of mini ads!

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The one that strikes me the most here is the one for live seahorses – they’ll send you two “freshly caught” mated pairs, with at least one pregnant. OK, I have two main thoughts on this:

  1. Sending live, pregnant seahorses through the mail seems like it would be prohibitively difficult/risky.
  2. Capturing seahorses from the wild and then sending them through the mail seems rather cruel… and seems like it should be illegal.

At least Sea Monkeys are in a type of suspended animation when they’re shipped, but live, conscious animals is a whole different story!

Tons of Newtons!

March 1985

G.I. Joe #33

Ah, the fun of a game included within an ad! Here we get to help a pirate through a maze to find a treasure chest full of tasty Fig and Apple Newtons! I’m sure that fun ads like this still exist, just in places I don’t see them – but I just always associate stuff like this with the ’70s and ’80s.

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I’ve never really thought of Newtons as cookies, but that’s how they describe them here – huh, new perspective, I guess.

GRITty Persistence

September 1963

X-Men #1

We now have examples of GRIT ads from three different decades! Today’s is from the ’60s, then we’ve got this one from the ’70s and this one from the ’80s.

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Wow, just look at how happy that kid is with his sack full of cash! (Is that in pennies?) In this ad the papers sell for 15¢ and you get to keep 5¢, but nine years later the papers sell for 20¢ and you only get to keep 7¢ – I guess that’s inflation for you!

I find it kind of funny that the fact that sellers need to be boys isn’t stressed as highly in this one as in the 1972 ad – maybe at this point they hadn’t even considered that girls might want to sell papers, so didn’t think it was really necessary.

Snap Into A Smoked Beef Snack!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

I’m not really sure what the deal is with talking about werewolves here – the publishing date is February, and if things were the same in 1976 as they are in 2017, that means this was probably actually published in December, so it’s not like this was around Halloween.

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Based on the way they’re marketing this (comparing it to unsatisfying sugary and crunchy snacks), I was wondering if maybe Slim Jims were a new product, but it turns out I was way off – apparently they’ve been around since 1929!

And I had no idea there were so many varieties – I’ve only ever seen original and mild. Where are the pizza Slim Jims now? I want to try those!