Category:
1970s

English Chemist’s Secret Formulation

Transform from a "fat & lonely" cartoon into a "slim & desirable" photograph in 3 days.

It's got my vote for the best before-and-after figures of any weight-loss ad.

Daily Mirror - Mar 25, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 19, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Advertising, 1970s, Dieting and Weight Loss

A vulgar tip to save gas

In 1974, the UK's South East Gas Board (SEGAS) solicited gas-saving tips from the public. It awarded prizes of £10 to those who offered the best tips and published their tips in a full-page ad.

Conservative politician John Stokes subsequently denounced the ad as "deplorably vulgar and in the worst possible taste."

Can you figure out why? The answer is in extended.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 17, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Censorship, Bluenoses, Taboos, Prohibitions and Other Cultural No-No’s, Public Utilities, Advertising, 1970s

Episode in a small town library

Ian Breakwell's unusual photograph documents an "episode" that took place in an unnamed small town library in 1970. The episode seems to be a library user somehow transforming into, or sprouting, printed pages.

"Episode in a small town library" - Ian Breakwell, 1970



The only background information about the photograph that I've been able to find comes from Clare Qualmann's article "The Artist in the Library":

My fascination with Breakwell's image has prompted me to return to it over the last three years to gradually investigate its story. What was the performance that led to this photograph? Was it intended as a performance, or was it composed solely to be photographed? Even in the latter case, there would have been the happenstance performance – the spectacle of Breakwell (or his model) preparing the chicken-wire covered headdress for wearing. Was it actually photographed in a library? Was the librarian consulted? Were permissions sought? Was it executed at a peak user time? Or was it tucked away on a quiet morning? What did 'The Public' think of it, coming across such a scene? Did it last just the time that it took for the photograph to be shot, or was it a longer performance, an episode that endured?

More detailed research into Breakwell's extensive archive held at Tate Britain did not provide answers in written form. Several versions of the image were published in journals, including Fotovision (August 1971), Art and Artists (February 1971) and Stand Magazine (Winter 1997). The different paper stocks that they were printed on enable more detail to be seen than the digital version that I had looked at before – in Art and Artists the photograph was reproduced on a newsprint insert to the magazine that is very different from the glossy black and white of the others. In this version, the chicken-wire frame underneath the newspaper is more visible, as are the titles on the bookshelf behind – Art and Civilization is clearly legible.

The version published in Fotovision has a completely different feel – instead of The Guardian newspaper on the table the artist holds a copy of Typographica magazine in his hands. Although this dates from 1964 (the photograph was taken in 1970), its cover design (an assemblage of logos arranged in a dense slanting pattern across the cover) juxtaposes old and new – the 'timeless' look of the traditional library space with the contemporary graphic design of the journal, and the branding that it is presenting. The existence of multiple versions suggests time spent in the space – time to shoot multiple images, test and trial different ideas and perform the image repeatedly (rather than a hit-and-runundercover-quick-photo-before-anyone-notices).

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 09, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Photography and Photographers, Performance Art, Surrealism, Libraries, 1970s

Birth Control by Hypnosis

The perfect birth control for couples who want more children.

Glasgow Daily Record - Feb 9, 1976



Corsicana Daily Sun - June 6, 1976

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 07, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Hypnotism, Mesmerism and Mind Control, Birth Control , 1970s, Pregnancy

Library Chair

"Library Chair" by Richard Mauro, 1978. Cargo netting and five hundred paperback books.

image source: are.na

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 06, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Furniture, 1970s

Beforehand Postcards

The concept of Beforehand Postcards was that, if you were going on vacation to Europe, you could buy your postcards from them beforehand. Then you could address the cards, and maybe even write them, before you left. Once you arrived in Europe, all you would have to do was mail them.

The business lasted a little over ten years, from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s.

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 17, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 29, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Tourists and Tourism, 1970s, Postal Services

Jim’s Guide to San Francisco

In 1977, artist James Patrick Finnegan published an oddball guide to San Francisco, titled Jim's Guide to San Francisco. It consisted of pictures of him posing in front of San Francisco businesses that were named Jim: Jim's Barber Shop, Jim's Donut Shop, Jim's Transportation, Jim's Smoke Shop, etc.

The book was printed in black-and-white, but he handcolored parts of it with a crayon. I assume he individually handcolored each copy sold.

I haven't been able to find any scanned copies of the book online, and only one copy of it for sale. The seller is asking $300, justifying that price by the book's rarity.

It's been almost 50 years since the book came out, so Finnegan should do an updated guide. I'm sure there's now a whole new batch of businesses in the city named Jim.







Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 28, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Books, Tourists and Tourism, 1970s

Minister Cancels Walk on Water

May 1972: Rev W.L. Jenkins of Mississippi advertised that he was going to walk across the surface of the Ross Barnett Reservoir. But he had to cancel the event when he was shot in the leg while driving to the reservoir. He said he still planned to walk across the reservoir sometime in the future, but wouldn't publicize the event beforehand.

It doesn't seem that Rev Jenkins's failure to walk on water put a dent in his popularity. He continued to have an active ministry, as documented on his website JenkinsMinistry.com.

Related post: When Yogi Rao walked on water

Quad-City Times - May 22, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 26, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Religion, 1970s

Painting mistaken for dropcloth

The classic weird-news theme of art mistaken for trash.

Raleigh News and Observer - Sep 27, 1979



Triple Variants by Sam Gilliam (source: GSA Fina Arts Collection)

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 25, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, 1970s

Library Robbery

The most important rule for being a successful robber is to rob places that have money.

Los Angeles Times - Feb 23, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 24, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Stupid Criminals, 1970s

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