Guts and Glory from The Workbasket

The Workbasket, a 1960s women's magazine specializing in doily crochet, was about so much more than just simple tatting. It was about tat, too. Oh yes, within its pages, ads targeted the American middle-aged woman, and revealed a world of guts and glory, girdles and get-rich-quick schemes. Let's open its cover and look inside...

In the market for a Sacro-belt? Wear 10 days free and send no money. If not delighted, just return the sweat-stained tummy-trimmer for a full refund!

No? Well, how about a free Write 'n' Roll notepad?... $1.50 value, yours free!

Okay, yes, by accepting this exciting free gift, we will expect you to sell greeting cards to all your family and friends and fellow parishioners and neighbors and the bag boy at the supermarket. But who doesn't need greeting cards? It's worth it for such a fabulous free gift!

And just think how handy that notepad will be, when you're making money writing short paragraphs...

Write to sell right away! No tedious study necessary! No talent required! Short paragraphs are so "In," so "Today." Why, look at this paragraph-- so short!

No? Not interested? Well, that's all right-- maybe you're more into... Fashion for stout people!

Latest styles and colors, all for you stouties. Lane Bryant won't steer you wrong-- though she will hone her marketing terminology over the next forty years.

And once you've bought that new dress, where do you wear it? Why your new property in Florida-- no money down!...

Look, we'll even give you the property with the tree in it, if you just act now! We've drained the swampland to give you the opportunity for a brand new life here in the Sunshine State. What are you waiting for?

Oh, but I see-- you're busy... You're a crafty sort! So why not learn to make this adorable crocheted stuffed monkey?

That's his tail there. No really. It's his tail.

No stuffed monkey for you, hm? Gosh, you're hard to please! Well, how about you mail order this real simian friend?

Yep, mail order monkeys, ready to send to you for all your entertaining and organ grinding needs! For only $18.95, you can get this darling monkey, sure to delight the kiddies and spread nameless disease around the neighborhood.

What do you feed it, you ask? Why, it eats all the same food you do... Salmon in gelatin, liver and onions, stuffed peppers, SPAM... all those things you feed to the children, you can feed this monkey-- and with a lot less complaint. The ideal pet, and a great way to clear up those leftovers!

But since you've put on a few pounds eating those leftovers yourself, are you sure we couldn't interest you in a Princess Beauty Belt? It'll slim that figure!...

No, huh? Well, did we ask you about selling greeting cards? I think we did, but I thought you might have changed your mind in the last moment or two...

Okay, okay... So sales isn't your style. Then maybe you'd prefer a job in the exciting field of accounting?

Enjoy prestige as an accountant. I mean, who doesn't see an accountant and think, "Wow, she's got sass and style." And then, when you're sitting in your chair for long hours, being prestigious, and crunching those numbers, you'll need...

...Rupture-Easer! Yes, I know it looks a lot like the Princess Beauty Belt, but this is totally different. Not the same sort of product at all. This one is for men, women and children. The whole family's ruptures are completely covered by this one swell product.

But fine, if you can't appreciate that, maybe you'll be more intrigued by--

Instant carefree living with a New Moon Home! No more of that tedious, time-consuming and Old Moon Home living. This living is instant-- just add water and up pops a one-, two- or three-bedroom trailer!

Hey, did you get a good look at the Compreso belt?

It's got four-way slenderizing power!

And once you've taken care of that tummy, you'll want to do something about that sagging skin, too-- with Hormonex!

Just look at how happy that model is, like she's having some moment of spiritual enlightment. That's the power of sesame oil, lanolin and female hormones at work.

Mostly the female hormones.

What's the species on those female hormones, you ask? Well, we don't need to discuss that right now, do we, um...

Hey- look over here!

With Abdo-Slim you'll feel so slender and amazing. And who doesn't want to feel slender and amazing?

Care to sell greeting cards?..
Oh, right. We discussed that, didn't we? But this time Jeanne Adriane will share with you all her greeting card selling secrets! See her face? Does she not look like the kind of warm and friendly person who could sell anything?

Sigh. Well, fine. I give up. I guess we just don't have anything you want.


Half-off on accordians? I hear the pet monkeys love it!


And this coming Treasure Box Wednesday, well, I think I'm going to have quite a bit to show you. I went down one of my favorite thrifting routes yesterday, and goodies abounded!

Hope you all are doing well so far this October. Keep warm!


Wendy said...

Too funny! That ad for Florida land is for my hometown (Ocala)!

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Wendy- I somehow suspect you can't get a quarter acre for $495 anymore, huh? :)

Evie/VampyVictor said...

Ohh I just love it! Things were SO very different back then, and wow every woman must have been wearing a tummy pull-er-inn-er-er :p
That is the only way to warrant so many different brands pasted over the pages.. just wow :)


Da Old Man said...

I so missed out on the monkey and the accordian. :(

I could have had a real career.

Lana Gramlich said...

Don't laugh...I found one of those "write & roll" things in our house when I was a kid. I loved it!

Carrie said...

The vintage ads are entertaining in themselves, but your commentary really adds another dimension of humor to the situation.

Rosemary said...

Hi Jenn,
I guess these were the infomercials of their day!!
Very funny!

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Evie- The tummy puller inner-ers were certainly popular. And gotta love the names of some of them!

Da Old Man- Part time substitute teacher, part time organ grinder... yup. I can see it. :)

Lana- Did your family have a mysterious excess of greeting cards? Because we might now know how your parents might have gotten that "Write n Roll"! :)

Carrie- Hey, thanks. It was just one of those things when I was leafing through the books and noticing the large percentage of girdles. :) Something had to be done.

Rosemary- Really, you're right. One step away from OxyClean and Space Bags. :)

MizSmoochieLips said...

Oh my gosh, hillarious!

Ms. A. said...

I don't know what an inguinal rupture is, but it sounds kinda dirty....

Jenn Thorson said...

Ms. A- You made ME laugh aloud with that one. Reading the fine print on those girdle ads, eh? :)

Andrea said...

Okay Okay!!! I'll sell greeting cards! Where do I sign up?