There are about a dozen antique stores and emporiums along Main street and over the years I have found many treasures there – some that I could afford to buy, and many things that I had to pass up.
Today I found a May 1943 copy of The American Home magazine – for only $4.00! (Though the original price of the magazine was apparently 15 cents!)
It is in very good condition and it even has the original mailing label still stuck to it!
Mr. Elmer Little lived just down the street from me! How cool is that? Granted, I wasn’t even born yet and my mother wasn’t even born yet in 1943, but still… Mr. Elmer Little is one of my house’s former neighbors! (Elmer was also my grandfather’s name.)
Since this magazine was published in ’43 – during the thick of the Second World War – it is chock-full of war and soldier references.
This is the back cover:
A handsome, cheeky soldier smoking a ciggy!
Inside, there are tons of advertisements for war bonds…
There are also a variety of advertisements for different products that use the “war-time angle”:
This one was funny:
I wonder if modern-day soldiers are still fed canned meat? (SPAM anyone?)
There were also a lot of references to the “home front”, and what the average civilian could do to help the war effort:
Since many men were away serving in the military, the ads and articles were mostly targeted to women:
In case you can’t read the text, it says:
Life is Not a Bowl of Cherries, So-o-o,
Be Your Own Handyman… Be Your Own Decorator… Be Anything But A Civilian Who Bogs Down!
They sure knew how to pump-up morale back then.
Here’s an article about decorating your home with scrap wood and materials (a must during the lean years of war):
This next one I found ever-so-relevent since I live in a (mostly) man-less home:
The title and sub-text reads:
When Home Is No-Man’s Land
You aren’t the only manless female in this America – and there are many alternatives with which you can fill the lonely hours until Johnny comes marching home again. Chins up!
My first thought when I started reading the title (through my contemporary sensibilities) was: “Oh, how nice that they are being inclusive to single women and lesbians!” But as I continued reading it, I realized the true premise. My bad. (I even have a degree in history – I should know better!)
Speaking of history, there was also this article on Navajo rug patterns:
Note the swastika. But remember, this was in 1943, before the swastika became universally synonymous with Hitler and the Nazi Party. Adolf Hitler actually appropriated (stole) this symbol from Native American tribes in the southwestern United States and he began using it for his own propaganda starting in the 1920’s. For aboriginal peoples, the swastika had a very different meaning and has been used for thousands of years in cultures throughout the world. For the Navajo people the “whirling logs was a sacred image representing a legend that was used in healing rituals.” – wikipedia
[Another ironic twist is that the song “Navajo Rug” by Ian Tyson is said to have actually been written about the town I live in – Canon City, Colorado! Even more ironically, Ian Tyson is a Canadian too!]
Anywho, getting back to the topic at hand…
The 1943 issue of The American Home magazine that I acquired also has many articles featuring home designs and home plans (the real “meat” of the magazine”).
Take a look:
One particular article that caught my eye was this one (below) featuring a house built in the “Modern Individualism” style – the earliest rumblings of what we now call the “mid-century modern home” phenomenon:
But lest we ladies forget our place and start aspiring to become architects or something, there’s this article to remind us of our “proper” role:
Those women back then put me to shame. I’m lucky if I can swing one “dressed-up” meat dish a year! Even that’s a stretch for me since I hate touching (or even looking at) raw meat.
The other thing that jumped out at me was all the advertisements for “paint-over wallpaper paint”.
I find this particularly interesting because in my old 1870’s home, almost every wall is original plaster covered with wallpaper, that is then covered with about 5 layers of paint.
Apparently, that was the thing to do back then (unlike us foolish contemporary folk who go to the ridiculous trouble of stripping off old wallpaper!)
The cutest thing in this 1943 issue of American Home magazine was an advertisement that had me thinking about poor Octomom out there in California:
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe…
Best buy ever! (For $4, anyway)