Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Evening (Blog) Post

I bought this 1947 copy of "The Saturday Evening Post" from an estate sale for $1.  I loved the cover.

Though the style was familiar, I didn't recognize the artist, Constantin Alajalov.

When I first looked at this cover, I was reminded of Disney's "Fantasia 2000" and its "Rhapsody in Blue" segment.

Reading about it, I found that this segment was actually inspired by Al Hirsfeld's work who is also credited as artistic consultant for the short.  Hirschfeld and Alajalov both illustrated covers for The New Yorker in the 1930's.  I don't know if Hirschfeld influenced Alajalov's style or vice versa, or they were both simply reflecting an artistic style of the time.

Alajalov was a Russian emigrant who came to America in 1923.    Looking through some of his other covers, it's clear he had a firm grasp on Americana.  I'm not sure if it's because the American Experience wasn't exclusive to America, or if he was just that observant and a fast learner.

A small blurb on Alajalov is included on the index page and focuses on how to pronounce his name.

The issue was originally delivered to 4842 Maffitt Ave in St. Louis.

The best part of the magazine is the ads.  It's amazing how many full-page painted ads there were.  The demand for commercial artists must have been huge -- almost as huge as the size of these pages.  I couldn't fit them on my scanner so I ended up scanning many of them in segments and stitched them together.  Which brings me to my uncompensated plug for Microsoft's free ICE (Image Composite Editor) software.  In previous image editors I've used, I had to find common points between two images, click on them and then have the software join based on those reference points.  The result was typically disappointing with image ghosting and misalignment.  ICE uses the data behind the image to find its own match.  Simply open two images and it's automatically stitched, regardless of the orientation of the original images.  Some of the images below were scanned before I discovered ICE. It's so easy and accurate to use, it almost made me go back and rescan those...almost. (Okay, I did go back and do some).

GMC Postwar Cab

Simoniz for Floors

Norge Applicances

Preserve Industry Council.

I couldn't find who won the contest, but the winning entry named Elsie's new son (bull?) "Beauregard".

B-Wise Gum

There has been much speculation on the amount Stan Lee really contributed to the creation of Marvel's most famous superheroes -- many believe Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four and Steve Ditko Spider-man. The final nail in the coffin is revealed in the above ad for "The Iron Fireman".  Coincidence?

Stan Lee, you insufferable hack.


Pard is Puppies, People!!!!!

Automobile factories were finally returning to civilian production and producing some of the best looking cars this nation would see.




Willys-Overland Jeep

Body by Fisher


Along with automobiles comes their accessories

Arvin Automobile Heater

These two ads demonstrate two different methods for aftermarket automobile heaters.

South Wind fuel automobile heater

Fulton Sunshield

Who knew there really was an Acme company?

Miller Tires

The ghost's hood is a little too pointed for my comfort.

My dad always used Vitalis and I've even given it a try in the last few years.  It's still available.

Arrow Harvest Tones Ensemble

Du Pont Zelan

Hammermill "3 Steps That Get Things Done"

Sir, can I just have my tip?

Ingram Shaving Cream

Westinghouse Radio-Phonograph

Jud Whitehead Heater Company
Oh no, Jud.  I'm not falling for that...again.

 Camel Cigarettes

O-So Grape Soda, Siedelhuber Iron and Bronze Works, Otis Underwear and Hosiery, Hanvia Ultraviolet Quartz Lamp.  

Clark Candy Bar

So which is "The Center of Attraction"?  Clark candy bars or Roadmaster bicycles?

Roadmaster Bicycle

Candy's Dandy

Warren's Standard Printing Papers

Monarch Outdoor Garments

Sealed Power Piston Rings

Clearspun Nylon Hosiery

Bell & Howell Filmo Movie Cameras

Victor Triumph 60 16mm Projector

Dr. Grabow Pre-Smoked Pipes.  I'm picturing a room full of Chimpanzees with wet, hacking coughs.

Chicago Streamlite Corporation Trailers

Bendix Radio

Kreml Hair Tonic

G.E. Lamps with Bob Hope

This ad reminded me of the classic Jack Handy quote from Saturday Night Live: “Sometimes when I feel like killing someone, I do a little trick to calm myself down. I'll go over to the persons house and ring the doorbell. When the person comes to the door, I'm gone, but you know what I've left on the porch? A jack-o-lantern with a knife stuck in the side of it's head with a note that says "You." After that I usually feel a lot better, and no harm done.”

With a grape jelly center?

If Picasso drew ads.

3-in-One Oil

Gravy Master
This would make an awesome t-shirt.

Don't forget to drink your Ovaltine.

Pennsylvania Railroad

Scattered throughout the pages were single-panel gag comic strips, some drawn by familiar cartoonists.

At first glance, I thought he had decapitated his partner with his axe.  Not much about Tom Henderson on the internet other than his son (also Tom) is a painter living in California.

Salo Roth was a cartoonist for The Chicago Tribune and sold cartoons to several nationwide magazines. There's not much about him on the internet except for his obituary and some of his original art for sale.

A couple panels from The Bears' Berenstains.  Jan and Stan Berenstain met in art school and formed a partnership in life, both personal and  professional, for nearly 60 years.

And now I want to play with youuuuuuu...

Hank Ketcham started out as a Disney animator, working on such classics as "Pinocchio", "Fantasia" and "Bambi".  After WWII, he turned to cartooning, eventually starting his most popular comic strip "Dennis the Menace" basing it on his own family and the "menacing" exploits of his real-life son.  Sadly, Ketcham's wife, and Dennis' mother, Alice died of a drug overdose in 1959.  Dennis struggled in school, served in Viet Nam where he suffered post-traumatic disorder, and became estranged from his father, having little contact with him the remainder of Ketcham's life.  Hank Ketcham died in 2001 though the strip continues through the hands of his former assistants.

Duofold Health Undewear

Dormeyer Mixers.  Winner of the Creepiest ad in the magazine

Knox Hats

Soundmirror Magnetic Recording

Everyone knew "King" Bub was merely a figurehead for the Bowman corporation, parroting corporate slogans. "Bub gives you those big, championship bubbles that always win," he said emptily, his vacuous eyes staring blankly ahead.  How many more times would he have to say it?  And his father: "I'm glad Charles prefers Bub.  I know it's made to King's taste -- both for quality and purity!"  Man, what a sellout.


Mallory Hats

But the aluminum madness didn't end there.  One day he realized how wasteful the human creature was, how fallible, how obsolete. What if, he thought, what if he could fashion a new family -- one made entirely of aluminum.  One by one, he quietly replaced his family members with their soulless, metallic counterparts. Only when he felt the cold aluminum hands closing around his neck did he realize the folly of his aluminum utopia.

Air-Vac Hats by Mac Lachlan

Kohler Bathroom Appliances

Chesterfield Cigarettes with Dorothy Lamour

The white-haired mascot "Sprite" actually had nothing to do with Coca-Cola's soda of the same name.  He was used to introduce the name "Coke" as short for "Coca-Cola" beginning in 1942.  And according to my daughter, he's really creepy.

In this age of information literally at your fingertips, the concept of waiting for a magazine to arrive on a Saturday evening may seem quaint, but I'm not so sure that was such a bad thing.  The Saturday Evening Post is still published, although it's no longer weekly (and hasn't been since 1963).  It's now published 6 times a year.


  1. Excellent post of the Post. I want the bicycle.

    1. I give you dibs, Maggie. I'd take just about anything offered in these ads!


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