Articles and advertisements from old magazines are interesting, thought provoking and sometimes amusing.They show both how times have changed and the similarities between yesteryear and modern times.
In the 1920s Women's Weekly provided advice to women who were employed and those who were housewives. There is career advice about life as a 'lady's maid' from a woman who had gone up through the ranks from a position as a housemaid.
Back in the 1930s a reader asks a beauty expert about the cost of 'blue rouge' which she saw a fellow theatre goer wearing on her eyelids. The reader was intrigued by it and wanted to try it out but was afraid it could be expensive. The beauty expert explains it is called 'eye shadow', not rouge. It seems it was sold as a paste and cost 4s. 6d. (45c in today's money). This was considered quite expensive for the item but the expert says a little goes a long way. She adds the advice that eye shadow is only for evening wear.
In the 1930s women were worried about looking fat. That hasn't changed. A miracle soap, claiming to 'wash away fat' is advertised. La-Mar soap was said to make you as thin as you wanted without dieting or exercising, 'Acts like magic in reducing double chin, abdomen, ungainly ankles, unbecoming wrists, arms and shoulders, large busts or any superfluous fat on body.' The soap could be ordered by mail and cost 2/- a cake. I find the terms, 'ungainly ankles,' and 'unbecoming wrists,' interesting.
I was surprised when I read instructions for boiling carrots, 'They should be put into boiling water with a little salt, and a piece of fat or dripping, and boiled for two hours.' Yes, two hours. When I was young one was instructed to add salt to the water when cooking vegetables and I know some people still do. I had never heard of adding any form of fat to the water. My carrots are cooked in the microwave.
During the second world war an advertisement placed by Macleans peroxide toothpaste instructed women to recycle, but that term wasn't in use back then. The ad read, 'The country suffers from an acute metal shortage. You must help save the situation by handing over all old metal tubes to your chemist who is an official collector. Tubes that contained shaving cream, toothpaste, ointment, paint, rubber solution, etc. - all must go back to the shop. And make this a rule -.' I wonder how soon after the end of the war people stopped returning metal tubes for recycling.
In a copy of Home Journal in 1960 there is an advertisement for a product called, 'Curlypet'. It claimed to make a baby's straight hair go curly, apparently something that impressed the judges of baby shows. It appears curly hair was all the go for babies through to seniors at that time. There wouldn't have been a market for hair straighteners.
The same magazine includes a pattern for a dress with matching bolero and instructions for crochetting a 'trolley cloth'. There is a page size advertisement (in colour) for dresses made of the new material, bri-nylon. The ad claims bri-nylon comes in 'enchanting colors and designs'. The woman in the picture is wearing a hat, as was the fashion when going out in 1960.
Looking at magazines from the past has made me want to research some topics further. It also makes me wonder what future generations will make of the articles and advertisements in magazines of 2015.