Getting Romantic with Love Story Magazine


Dramatic dames and daring rogues... Such characters filled the pages of Street & Smith's Love Story Magazine. This popular pulp magazine for women told tales of loves lost and found, terrifying treacheries, broken hearts, tearful reunions, Prince Charmings and ladies spurned. It also gave fashion advice, social tips, and detailed horoscopes-- all with lush illustration.

I wasn't able to find the dates the magazine was in operation, but to give you a general timeframe, Ebay offers copies from the 20s all the way through the 40s. Wikipedia indicates that publisher Street & Smith sold off their pulps in 1949, adding one more dramatic loss to Love Story's repertoire.

Today we're going to peek inside two Love Story Magazines from the early 40s.


Yowza-- those are meaningful glances of Scarlett O'Hara proportions, aren't they? These colorful cover illustrations were done by artist Modest Stein.

Inside the pages, we find a number of thoroughly-illustrated tales. "Dead Love Should Be Buried" tells the story of Anne who, despises, then falls in love with a mysterious young man hiding a deep secret...


I love how in this illustration, the magazine doesn't just reinforce the story. It gives fashion advice...


Yup, the caption in the upper right hand corner reads: "Copy of silk suit worn by Margaret Speaks, NBC Radio Singer." As if anyone had seen Margaret wearing such an outfit on the radio...


And here we have Lutetia...


The caption reads, "Lutetia found that as often as she looked toward Tim, their eyes met. She knew that all day he had been looking for an opportunity to speak to her."

Little did Lutetia realize that she was just an ambitious dress store mannequin. I mean, she has to be, right? Who stands like that? And look at that glazed expression! The guys next to her appear to be mannequins, too, modeling the latest from Brooks Brothers.

Oh, but Love Story Magazine had more than just tales of fiction. It had its very own comic strip, as well. Nancy Drew knock-off, "Ann Drews: Girl Columnist." Here we see Ann Drews treasure-hunting in a cave...

Poor Ann... "lost, half-starved, desperate" and finding a chest of treasure stolen from the Mogok rajah...


Then we meet the bad guys-- "Lantern-Man" and "Bagger-Man." We know they're bad guys because of their bad spelling. Only bad guys would say "jools."


There also seems to be "One Man"-- who may be Lantern Man, but saves on characters. Whatever will Ann Drews do?


Not only are they out to steal the stolen treasure, but now they're buying TNT and plan to blow up the Panama Canal! Could things get any worse? How will Ann ever make it out of the cave and share their evil plan with the world?

Presumably, we'd find out in the next exciting installment of "Ann Drews: Girl Columnist."

Instead, we learn some very unusual positioning for Wrigley's Spearmint gum-- particularly in a women's magazine...


Yes, indeed, I certainly turn to Wrigley's for all my "real he-man fun." Nothing says "he-man fun" to me like minty freshness. Gee, that's swell!

Below, Wrigley's also tells us about its "lively, husky flavor." Mint was really butch in those days, you know. It used to beat up those wimpy flavors, like cinnamon and lemon... kick sand on 'em at the beach, stuff like that. It apparently also served in the military and liked fast cars.


I also learned a little something about Listerine. Apparently, by putting Listerine on your head, you can cure your infectious dandruff-- did you know that?


He's through fooling around with his infectious condition-- he's gonna go soak his head in Listerine because his doc said to. And the results? Amazing!

"...Itching let up, scales began to go! My scalp felt more virorous and healthy. Take it from me, massaging with Listerine Antiseptic morning and night sure did a swell job for me."

Editors' Note:
The Thrift Shop Romantic does not endorse the external use of Listerine for dandruff, inexpensive cologne or as a brisk aftershave. Thank you.

Here, Listerine indicates a man with bad breath is a fellah ya better cut loose, sister!


Poor little guy! Look at him there, begging, pleading for her not to snip that thread. So make him happy-- get him a bottle of that "wholly delightful" Listerine. Tell him to rinse with some morning and night after he's done massaging it into his scalp.

Lastly, I learned through Love Story Magazine that people in the 40s not only fell in love with each other--- but they really, really loved their heating systems...


Look at those heavenly rays of light radiating from that Duo-Therm heater. Look at those happy, happy people smiling and flailing over the joy and streamlined beauty that was Duo-Therm.

In fact, in this house, the Duo-Therm is the talk of the household. The mother-in-law here, she won't be coming to visit young Bob there, anymore. She'll be coming over to admire the Duo-Therm heater-- the "handsomest heater" she ever saw.


And look at the women in the kitchen in the back. This was the first nice thing the mother-in-law had ever said about anything in their house. It's a miracle! And they owe it all to Duo-Therm.

Well, that about wraps up this week's love affair with Love Story Magazine.
Otherwise, enjoy a he-manly stick of Wrigley's, rub that Listerine into your nifty coiffure, and I'll see you this Wednesday for our next breath-taking installment.

17 comments:

Jaffer said...

Oh this is more mushy stuff that I can handle for one weekend !

The woman in the first cover reminded me of Nurse Ratched.
I used to have nightmares of Nurse Ratched. But then those nightmares turned to kinky fantasies. Yep I was growing up.

LOL !

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Jaffer- Heh, sorry. She does have Nurse Ratched hair, doesn't she? You might be the first fellow I know who viewed Nurse Ratched as a pin-up girl. :)

Heather said...

Jenn, you kill me. Thanks for a laugh!

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Heather- Glad to oblige! I couldn't be the only one laughing about Listerine as scalp tonic.

Carrie said...

This brings to mind memories of these magazines being read by some adults...I don't think they ever let me read one, even though as an earliteen I was an avid reader, and intrigued to know what the mags were all about.

Lana Gramlich said...

Bwah ha ha! This pulpy stuff is always such a riot. Of course I know that this means future people will be laughing at what I currently think is cool...but at least I'll be dead then!
BTW, "Nothing says "he-man fun" to me like minty freshness. Gee, that's swell!" Totally classic! Had me in stitches.

Debbie said...

Hi Jenn......I loved your post!!! I have always had fun looking at the ads in vintage magazines too. Hop over to my blog and see what I did to my bedroom when you have a chance.

Hugs,
Debbie

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Carrie- It's amusing when you read the content in the magazine how tame it is, too, by today's standards. It's fairly formulatic romance, without the overt spice of what current romance novels seem to be.

Lana- Don't you wonder what will be funny to future generations? I love finding this vintage stuff and seeing what they were up to then. I feel I learn a lot. Like Wrigley's "he-mannness." :) I may never see gum the same way.

Debbie- Will do. Sounds like you've been busy.

Da Old Man said...

Ah, but Jenn, you have overlooked the history of gum flavorings. Back then, Black Jack, which was sort of a rancid licorice was popular along with Clove flavored gum. It took a certain manly man to chew gum. It wasn't for kids or the gentler sex, my friend.
Oh, you kids of the namby pamby pink and fruity gum generation.

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Da Old Man- Now you mention it, having tried Blackjack and Clove when they reissued it about 15 years ago, I have to say, there is likely something to your theory!

As I recall, those gums were like Good-n-Plentys on steroids. My taste buds cringe just thinking about it.

Da Old Man said...

*snickers* @ Good and Plenty on steroids. One thing, have you ever researched the illustrators? I know some of the more famous artists of the era got a start in pulps. Often their work is quite collectible.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Da Old Man- Not yet, though it's on my to-do list. I actually got these two magazines on Saturday, and have been kind of running fast to get things done ever since. I know Wyeth and Leyendecker both did illustrations for some of the pulps done by this publisher, so it will be interesting to see what I'll learn.

Rosemary said...

Hi Jenn,
A bit late this week. Busy as usual.
These are great!!! Very mushy gushy!!
Always love your posts.
Rosemary

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Rosemary- Mushy-Gushy sums it up! :) I'm in the middle of reading one of the stories and can't wait to see what melodrama ensues in the exciting conclusion! :)

Hope you have yourself a great week, Rosemary!!

Pink Slippers said...

Just found your blog. I will visit again.

Cameron Sharpe said...

(The much anticipated love!) Most people experience this type of love many times in their life. It is when you see that person for the first time and he/she makes your knees go weak or gives you butterflies in your stomach.i.e. "Love at first sight”. Most people don’t even love the person they think they are in love with…they fall in love with the idea if being in love. This is more of a lustful kind of love, it wears off after a while and hopefully leads to…

Allie said...

Very cool. Thanks so much for posting. The "New Love Stories" mag is so much different.