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?

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!

In the Fabulous Marvel Style!

September 1963

X-Men #1

I know that I just posted an ad from 1963, but I just got an awesome Spider-Man (and Deadpool!) tattoo, so I’m in a Spidey kind of mood! 😉

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So here’s an ad for issue #4 of The Amazing Spider-Man. I don’t really know anything about the contents of the story of this issue, but I know that it’s the first appearance of Sandman, so that’s a pretty big deal!

Stamp of Approval

September 1963

X-Men #1

Stamp collecting must’ve been big in the ’60s – on this page of classifieds the entire first column is stamps, most of the second column is stamps, and there’s even one in the third column!

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Something I’m wondering about – “approvals” – anyone know what this refers to? It’s in most of the stamp ads – “10¢ to approval buyers,” “Write today for approvals,” “10¢ to approval applicants.” Any ideas, guys?

Anyway, the thing I find most intriguing in this ad is the personal radio – “no need for batteries or tubes – no need for electric ‘plug-in’ either – diode eliminates them all forever” – well, the diode needs to get power somehow, right? If it doesn’t use batteries and doesn’t plug in, then what is it – hand crank or something?

They Would Be a Mile High if You Stack Them Up!

March 1985

G.I. Joe #33

If you want comics, here’s the place to get them! If you’ve ever read comics, you’ve probably seen ads for Mile High Comics – well, here’s the first of mine for you to check out!

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SO! MANY!! COMICS!!! This has to be my listing with the most tags – I’ve actually learned quite a bit about comics just by typing all the titles!

Don’t Spend Coins – SELL Coins!

September 1963

X-Men #1

Buying and selling money seems a bit redundant to me, but with prices like this, how could you say no? $11,750 for a silver dollar? Sign me up!

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I’ve got a penny from 1911 sitting on my desk (that I just randomly got in change somewhere), so according to this ad, I could get up to $4,800 for it!

…But somehow I get the feeling that I would be very disappointed if I actually expected to get that much for it.

Instant Life? Is That for All the Losers Out There?

September 1963

X-Men #1

This ad actually turned out to be more educational for me than I was expecting! With the headline “INSTANT LIVE SEA ANIMALS” I initially assumed it was some generic knockoff of Sea-Monkeys… but then I noticed that it actually used the term “sea-monkeys” in the description. So that left me wondering – if these are genuine Sea-Monkeys, then why is the term only mentioned once in the text rather than in the headline and repeatedly throughout the ad?

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Upon doing a little research, I discovered that these creatures weren’t officially rebranded as Sea-Monkeys until 1962, and before that, they were known as “Instant Life.” Although this ad was printed in 1963, maybe it just hadn’t been updated yet – at least, that’s my best guess.

And if you’d like to learn more about the fascinating history of Sea-Monkeys, check out this article!