Collecting Pop Culture
That’s a nice catch-all category for collecting things that reflect attitudes and values of a particular time. These things are sometimes amusing, sometimes ludicrous, sometimes maddening. Viewing these items, today’s generation can smirk at the crazy things their forebears did. And viewing these things can give those inclined to rail against today’s pop culture some kind of hope: this too shall pass.
What the likes of Elvgren and Petty did for guys in the 1940s, the uncredited artist on this Playboy Club Lunch Menu cover does for guys who came of age in the 1970s. There is a very strong appeal here that transcends the obvious, a freshness and a cheerfulness in those bright, no-mystery eyes. Just what the ’70s needed. And doesn’t that glass just make you thirsty? Keep those coming, will you beautiful?
The 1975 Pet Rock came with a 32 page training manual. Rock Bottom Productions, Los Gatos, California.
Psychedelic Poster Stationery. “Let the lines of art flow and vibrate in your mind.” Oooo, trippy, man. “Original HiSun.” San Francisco, California, c.1970.
The Office Boy’s Diary is a fairly stupid and very sexist little booklet published in 1955. It is humorous to me probably only because I am a man. But I would argue that it isn’t really the gags and jokes that are humorous to me, it’s the idea that some people at one time actually acted like this, and even thought such attitudes were good for business. That indeed is what this little booklet was made for, by Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul, Minnesota, purveyors of “Remembrance Advertising,” which is to say promotional products like advertising calendars. This booklet was given out by their salespeople in the hopes that its contents would prove to prospects what swell guys they were.
Around the Clock with Judi, Space-Age Secretary shows Judi at her new job and describes all that awaits her in her “space age future.” This brochure extols the virtues of Southern California as it attempts to lure women to work for the Air Force in one of 25 “college-campus-like” office buildings in the high-tech South Bay area. From the Office of the Deputy Commander, Air Force Systems Command for Aerospace Systems, Los Angeles.
To Lib or Not To Lib, These Are the Questions. “LIBretto” by Phyllis I. Rosenteur with drawings by Harry Carter. Golden Press, 1971. This book starts with the “joke” that burning a bra is not “an uplifting idea” and it’s all downhill from there.
And below is shown the inside of the Playboy Club Menu seen above. What’ll you have?
Man...Like, Get Well. Early 1960s. Ah, the beatnik and the ascendency of the word “like” to the supreme status of appearing in nearly every sentence uttered by nearly every American in the last 60 years. I like to think it originated in beatnik poetry readings where reader and audience alike affected a kind of “speaking in simile,” as if their conversation, indeed their whole lives, was poetry. Nearly everything said could be “like” something or other. And it was! Like, wow! This six-inch long get well ash tray was sold in a gift box which says “A Houze Art Product” on it.
Many of my other collections could be considered “pop culture” but they are collected for other reasons as well. The theme runs in, around, and through other collections you’ll see in these pages, greeting cards, paperbacks, music guides, video games, disposables, and the “wacky.”
©Copyright 2008-2020 ericwrobbel.com. All rights reserved.