A friend of mine, knowing that Naomi and I love old stuff, gave me a heap of old magazines recently. Most are women’s magazines, a few really old ones from the 1940’s or earlier and some from the 50’s. There are also some from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s which don’t feel such a long time ago to me. A few are old copies of Life and some that many Australians will remember Pix and the Australasian Post. I spent an afternoon sorting these out from the old craft and gardening magazines which are probably headed for the Op Shop and of course I could not resist reading a bit here and there.
It is fascinating to see the old advertisements in magazines, what people bought and how it was marketed. In the really old ones you see ads for strange sounding health remedies and cigarette ads that promote them as healthy. In the Australian ones there are ads for products and stores now long gone except in my memory.
I also enjoy reading the letters from readers especially the “Agony Aunts”. I always did like to read those when I was young. In the teenage section of an Australian Women’s Weekly from the sixties there is a discussion about whether it is appropriate for parents to accompany their children to job interviews. A student writes about how she has made a plan to save money to buy things she wants. Another reader tells how she met pop star Normie Rowe.
A mother writes about the difficulties of getting her children to help around the house and what can be done about it.
The other thing that I enjoy about old magazines are the beautiful graphics. Although there are photographs of course there was a lot more artwork and a lot of it is very nice.
I have to confess I even read the fiction.
These are just a few samples from half a dozen magazines I grabbed out of the box. I may do another post later showing some of the older ones and other bits and pieces that I found interesting.