I’ve had a lot of conversations this summer with friends around my age that are saturated in nostalgia for our lost childhoods in the 1960s and 1970s. We survivors of this era of no seatbelt laws (and in some cars, no seatbelts at all!), no carseats, no helmets, knee-pads, or elbow-pads, of forts and long summer afternoons in the woods, and of all of the soda we could drink (plus as many cigarettes we could steal out of our mothers’ purses) had childhoods that must look like science fiction to the children of the 1990s and 2000s. Whereas most reminicences about childhood rely on the trope that the past was a more innocent time, this childhood looks downright dangerous by comparison to that of the children I know today.
I came across this blog, Found $hit, when googling images with which to illustrate a post this week, and thought you might enjoy some of the ephemera of childhoods-gone-by. These images appear to me to date from 1946-1955ish or so–maybe some more expert in midcentury ephemera will correct my guess here. Warning: some of these images are NSFMPWTTTS (Not Safe For Modern Parents Who Take Themselves Too Seriously), so can the sanctimony and enjoy the laffs, m’kay?
All images from this page at Found $hit:
It’s so cute when children are enlisted to advertise cigarettes!
What I really like about the next ad below is the claim that “[l]aboratory tests over the past few years have proven that babies who start drinking soda during that early formative period have a much higher chance of gaining acceptance and “fitting in” during those awkward pre-teen and teen years.” Laboratory tests? Were these double-blind and peer-reviewed longitudinal studies? No wonder these mothers had to resort to “little helpers”–their babies were all hopped-up on caffeine and sugar!