Here is an advert from Good Housekeeping: Wartime Scrapbook, Barbara Dixon (ed), Collins £ Brown, 2005. Today the tampon adverts show windsurfing and rock-climbing; this was the 1940s equivalent.
The book – of reproduced extracts from the British magazine (which is still going), both editorial and adverts – contains all the “housekeeping” things you’d expect, from how to make “delicious nutiritious meals out of powder egg” (which I doubt is really possible, having tasted them once, in a “five-star” hotel in North Korea) to the best ways to ensure your woollens survive the wash.
But the book shows that during the war years the magazine also had a serious, if often highly paternalistic, side, with discussion of venereal disease, abandoned children, and other somewhat surprising outbreaks of social honesty.
The modern commentary in Good Housekeeping is brief, but informative. I was surprised to learn that: “By 1944 almost one baby in three was born illegitimately.” (Interesting light on the babyboomers there.)
If you’re looking for a Christmas present for an elderly female relative – particularly one who doesn’t read a lot but would enjoy looking at the pictures – this would be just the ticket.
(This is a review of the British edition, which has a different cover, and may otherwise vary from the US edition on the Amazon link here.)Powered by Sidelines