Visit the Funny Farm with 1950s Farm Journal ads


With the 1950s Farm Journal, you were guaranteed plenty of corn-- and not all of it on the cob, either. Nope, there were bushels of it in every page of ads.

So lend me your ears, my friends, and we'll take a look back at the crazy, kooky, corny ads of April 1953. Here's hoping you'll find it crisp, fresh, sweet-- and easy to digest!


First, actor Tyrone Power gets personal...


He tells us why he changed to Camels cigarettes-- and why you should, too. And he's determined to do it in a way that's bound to capture your heart.

So... how do you feel about cowboys, ladies?....


Tyrone is thinking the Maverick look might be just the thing to catch your eye and change your mind about Camels. Doesn't the rakish tilt of his Stetson make your knees quiver and make you want to reach for a Camels cigarette?...

What, you don't smoke and you say studies have shown smoking causes cancer? You say you'd sooner kiss Tyrone Power's horse than old Ciggy Breath here?

Oh. Um...

Well, then how about his wealthy playboy look?...


After all, what woman could resist a man in a burgundy velvet smoking jacket and bowtie?... How sensuous... how daring... how...

Mild-tasting.

Hm... That's not working for you, either, huh? Well, then this. This is sure to grab you...


He's posing seductively on his desk for you, ladies. With his open collar and blindingly-busy houndstooth blazer... Do you not see him there, enjoying the pleasure of Camels? Waiting for you?

A no-go, hm? Disappointing.

But maybe this fellow is more your type...


This is an excerpt from the original "Walk Like an Egyptian" music video. Did you know that song was recorded well before the Bangles did it in the 80s? Yes, yes, it was.

In this case, it was performed by "John Deere and the Ploughsmen." A minor hit for them, which got up a bit of a dance craze for two weeks in 1953.

But then that darned Chubby Checker came along with The Twist, and that was it. No more posing like ancient hieroglyphs. No more outbreaks of impromptu dancing at showings of Karloff's "The Mummy."

The end of an era, really. That's why we're fortunate to have captured this little slice of history here.

And speaking of history... unnaturally hip, wise, and communicative babies didn't just begin with eTrade Superbowl Commercials... Not at all! Just check out this little tyke for Colgate dental cream...


Ah, Mom and Dad are arguing again, but what about?


Yes, when you love a man, it's easier to fight him than them tell him he stinks. I believe Aristotle came up with that little nugget of philosophy.


But the grievance finally has been aired. So Dick goes to see his dentist about his bad breath problem, and the dentist tells him, "Yes, Dick, your wife is right. You have some of the worst breath I've ever experienced in my 30 year career of dentistry...

"In fact, I've been fighting with you myself these last three visits because I was unwilling to bring up the topic of your putrid breath. Didn't you notice how frosty I was to you when you came in? And how I made snarky comments about your car, neighborhood and family dog?"

Dick had been wondering why he'd been having arguments with his dentist, secretary, mailman and elevator operator these last three years.

It was suddenly all coming together in his mind. He'd better get some Colgate Dental Cream, fast!


Yep, no more of that blah-blah-blah from the little wifey. No more jabs about his Olds, tract home and retriever from the dentist, the elevator operator, and the secretary. "Peace and quiet reign supreme, since I use Colgate Dental Cream."


And you'll need Colgate Dental Cream after you dig into this meal!...


Ah, where to start.... where to start? Well, the beige tiki-mask there on the right isn't actually a tribute to any South Pacific deities... Nope! It's a Mustard Mold with Cabbage Slaw!

The magazine tells us:

"A 'chop-chop' salad of this kind goes best with a meat or main dish that has definite form: roast chicken, ham loaf or sliced corn beef!"

Just combine eggs, gelatin, French dressing, heavy cream, peanuts, cole slaw and pimiento! Mmmm.

And I know you're just dying to find out what those oozing pustules are on the left, aren't you? Well, they're "Frozen salads in Orange Shells." Just use fruit cocktail, mayo, cream cheese, vinegar, mustard, and heavy cream.

Mustard goes with everything in the 50s!

Now after you've had dinner, and dripped mustard gelatin all over the front of your shirt, you might need to do a little laundry. And has Tide got you covered!...


In fact, Tide is so exciting, you'll apparently break into a dance routine. Not the 50s "Walk Like an Egyptian" because that is SO two weeks ago... But a perhaps a free-form Degas can-can dancer-inspired number of your own.

"When science brought you Tide, it gave you the greatest cleaning power the world has ever known... a cleaning power that got clothes cleaner than any other washing product you had ever used! Till Tide came along, you never had it so clean!"

Yes, a Tide of enthusiasm has broken over the household. Will washing clothes ever be the same?

Thankfully, once we come down off the high Tide, we can focus a little better. Like on Grandmotherly Wisdom and Unsubtle Product Placement...

"Did you ever stop to think that we'll most likely never meet up with anyone else who'll give us as much trouble as ourselves?" Grandma asks.

We ponder it a moment. We nod. Ah... yes... how true! Except for cousin Elmer who owes us $500 and keeps calling to be bailed out, we ackowledge the verity of this homespun philosophy.

So then, disarmed, the ad decides to hit us with the real purpose of "Grandma's Sayings."

"I may be a grandma in years, but when it comes to cookin' I'm completely modern. Yessir! I allus use Nu-Maid, the modern yellow margarine. Nu-Maid is modern in taste-- so pure and sweet: modern in texture-- so smooth spreadin'. Suits me fine!

Out of nowhere has come this Aunt Jenny-styled folksy grandma telling us, not little proverbs, but getting all chatty about her margarine! Ah, well... Grandma's old. She's hard to keep on-topic these days, I guess.

So we forgive and read on...

"Strikes me the folks that keep recallin' how far a dollar used to go forget to what lengths they used to have to go to get one."

Again we nod. True dat. Very true. Thank you, Grandma, for that great reminder not to live in the past.

And then we get hit with the next one...

"Talkin' about the 'new look' brings to mind the new package for Nu-Maid Margarine..."


And we see Grandma has a dire margarine fixation.

Perhaps she is using margarine to distract herself from the pain of being flat-chested!...

But now, with the Inflation Bra from Formfit, Grandma will have the "natural, rounded 'Under-Look'" she wants...

As long as natural and rounded means "pointier than a highway roadcone," of course.


Well, I'd like to thank you all for visiting me today, and I hope you enjoyed your trip back to the 50s.

I'd also like to thank all the folks who have subscribed, or who have chosen to "Follow" this blog through Blogger. I know we're all busy these days trying to make ends meet, and I really appreciate that you care to spend some of your limited time here at The Thrift Shop Romantic.


And if you must be off, then I wish you a great week and hope to see you next Sunday for more thrifty, thrifted goodness.

28 comments:

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

I met Inflation Bra once...and believe me, she's nuthin' but a bunch of hot air.


Unlike me. :)

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Olga- I thought you might have something to say on the subject! :)

unfinishedperson.com said...

I'll say nothing about the bra...ahem. But the Camels, my grandfather smoked them...before he got lung cancer and then colon cancer. :(

Ooh, on a lighter note, love the phrase "dentifrice history." It sounds like the jumping off spot for a poem; well, it does to me anyway. :)

Jaffer said...

Ah those pointed bras LOL !

The tide look hasn't changed much since then !
Most important line there - "No Bluing" LOL
Some times I miss the days when the Dhobi would take our washing and returned our whites - all blue !

I think they still haven't got advertisements Toothpaste and Breakfast Cereal right !

ThriftShopRomantic said...

UnfinishedDude- So was grandpa as suave as Tyrone Power? Did he own any smoking jackets? :)

Jaffer- "Gets those whites bluer!" Yay!

Linda B said...

I wonder if Inflation Bra somehow inspired the current Wonder Bra? And I really, really wonder, why are all the bras from that time period shaped like that??? Are all my friends and I deformed or was some insane SciFi guy in charge of lingerie design back then? Clearly if that is so, he must be the guy who invented pantyhose.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Linda B- I wish I had some answers for you, but I am at loss, too. It WAS called the "atomic age" so maybe there's something in your sci-fi theory. :)

Da Old Man said...

At least we know where Madonna got her look when she went through her "pointy" period.

Andrea said...

Jenn,
I'm speechless.....I wouldn't know where to begin! I had to call my husband over to read these ads and your comments and he was laughing as hard as I was.

That food looked so disgusting, even if it was in technicolor, I'd have to pass. How did they come up with this stuff?? Could they make food look any more unappealing?

I'm not even going to touch the ads for the Colgate or the bra!!!

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Andrea- I often wonder whether, during the 50s, the combination of ingredients even sounded good in these recipes... I mean, I just read the list and find my taste buds running for their lives... But perhaps our palates have changed.

Doris the Great said...

Love your blog. I was born in '54 and believe you-me! The pointy bra thing was still in vogue in the late 60's/early 70's. I remember my 1st risque bra (around 1970) -- it was a black satin pointy Wonderbra ..... I was in heaven every time I wore that. Alas, I never needed inflation.

Love your witty, catty and oh so funny comments. Good work.

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Doris- I didn't know that pointy-bra trend had gone on quite that long! Hopefully no one was injured by their undergarments.

Karlene said...

Oh, that brought back memories of the past...My daughters laughed at the pointed bra's...I still use Tide today...
Thank for the memory!!! Now I know that I am getting old...LOL

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Karlene- But the question, Karlene, is-- when you use your Tide, do you break into a dance number with the sheer enthusiasm? :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting - of course in those days, all the stars endorsed products, be it cigarettes, shampoo, lotions, whatever. The ad looks circa 1953, around the time he was filming "Mississippi Gambler."

Right before he dropped dead (five years later), Tyrone did a little film for the American Heart Association.

Jenn Thorson said...

Anonymous- You are right on the money with both the date and the film (I'd trimmed caption info on the photo)! "Mississippi Gambler," it was.

Some irony on the Heart Association film!-- of course, we have so much more information on smoking and heart disease now than we did then. Still, interesting to look back on.

RecycleCindy said...

Funny stuff! Thanks for the fun and humorous walk down through those crazy 1950s ads.

NellJean said...

Our family subscribed to Farm Journal in the 1950's. I didn't remember that bras were advertised in Farm Journal, but I remember the 'I dreamed I (did something ridiculous) in my Maidenform bra' in the Ladies Home Journal.

Some of the farm magazines had little classifieds in the back pages and you could send off for things like baby chicks, which came through the post office in large boxes just all enough for chicks to stand, with dime sized holes in the sides for air, and dogs. Someone that we knew sent off for English Shepherd dogs, who came by train from Ohio to Georgia.

Thanks for the memory jog.

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Cindy- Oh, you bet!

NellJean- Ah, yes, I know just the Maidenform bra ads you mean!~-- they're very over-dramatic, too, which is what makes them so funny.

Somewhere I have one where a woman was dreaming of being in London... in her bra.

Could be an interesting vacation for her.

hurricane safe room said...

Notice that they had longer tag lines and dialogue back then. This is fascinating:)

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Hurrican Safe Room- Indeed they did-- and LOTS of dialogue in thought balloons... Also lots of little comic strips to sell products.

chyna said...

Tyrone must have had some sight problems or the shakes because the picture frames in his office are all cockeyed. LOL

Amazing how many of those stars died from cancers isn't it, and how many did ads for cigs. hmmmmm

Melanie said...

Amazing! I read Farm Journal all thru the 70's, 80's and 90's and never saw ads the likes of those. My how times have changed! You certainly don't find soap or bra ads in Farm Journal now-days.

Down Comforter said...

Tyrone is sooo suave :)

Rosemary said...

Hi Jenn,
Your posts always make me smile.
Love Tyrone!
My dad was one of those smokers just like in the ads. He is no longer around because of it.
I was away last weekend, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day.
Have a great weekend,
Rosemary

Patrick Lynch said...

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time! Especially at the original 1953 version of "Walk Like an Egyptian". Finesse is not something you find in 1950's advertising. But it could be worse, I have a tape of a 1930's radio broadcast of Frankenstein which included the original commercials and the claims made in the advertising would probably get you in trouble with the FCC today.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Chyna- Ha, yes, I noticed that too about the photos. :)

Melanie- Life wuz tuff down on the farm, then. We tooks our entertainment where we gots it. :)

Down Comforter- Yes, quite the smoothie. :)

Rosemary- I hope you had a great Valentine's day yourself!!

Patrick- Ah, so glad to have given you a laugh. I swear that Walk Like an Egyptian thing was the first thought that crossed my mind when I saw that photo!

Broke Bettie said...

OMG - these are so great!