JF Ptak Science Books
Retroist excursions like this into the land of social propriety from not so long ago is a bittersweet thing--its concerns can remind of of how far away from something we seem to be, when in reality that distance in time and space just isn't very far away at all; it is just slightly different, renamed and repackaged. For example, this advertisement from LIFE magazine for Trushay hand softener (1954) delivers pretty much the same message as most similar products today, except for the change in packaging and less obvious message. The message may seem outdated but I think only in so far as the images and clumsiness of the delivery is concerned. Products like this have increased by orders of magnitude, the target audiences age seems to have dropped considerably, and most of the time the pursuit of this 1954 end-result stays pretty much the same. Exercises like this are peculiar, and can show us that the people who we are laughing at may very well be us.
The reconstructed ad is below.