When Flying Was Fun for Thanksgiving

As millions crowd our airports for the traditional Thanksgiving trek home over the river and through the woods, the tension mounts at the thought of long lines, insufferable crowds, and the dreaded delays that inevitably await the weary and wary traveler.

Gloom is cast before the holiday even begins.

But for the Post-War population, the new air travel was a breeze.

For the modern mid-century family, the notion of flying home for the holidays was a novelty and a grand experience at that.

“Over the River and Over the woods. To grandmothers house we go,” this 1951 TWA ad announces gaily.

The gleeful modern family fairly bursting with pep and anticipation couldn’t wait to board their flight to visit Grandma. Why let old-fashioned distance keep a family apart?

“There’s a new road now to an old tradition. It’s the TWA high way home for Thanksgiving. And what a blessing it is to families separated by too many rivers and too many woods….and so many years!”“If you’ve let distance and lack of time keep you away too long, try traveling this high way. Find out how TWA can make it very near to someone dear- for even an ocean apart is only hours apart…by skyliner!”

TWA went out of their way to make flying a family affair! Flying was no longer just for Dad and his business trips. Once the airline, started their Family Budget Plan, “…parents have had cause to cheer'” boasts TWA in this 1949 ad. “for now they can take the whole family by air at down to earth prices.”

By traveling on a Monday Tuesday or Wednesday, they could save substantially. “As head of the family,” they explain “Dad pays full fare. Mother and the children under 22 go for only half fare each”…and best of all crying infants and toddlers under 2 could fly free of charge!

Tempting you further, TWA promises, “The flight is a delight, the service supreme, with delicious hot meals served free. Best of all…and oh how mother loves this!…you’re there long before the kids start to fuss or fidget!”

“Snowtime’s no time to give up flying! Vintage American Airlines Ad 1950

Compare the cheery disposition of Mr. and Mrs. Modern who have chosen the up -to-date way to travel to visit Grandmother with their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Outdated who chose the more antiquated mode of travel- their automobile.

Hampered by a snow storm they are unable to dig out in time for the turkey. Mrs. Outdated, with visions of stuffing and cranberries dancing in her head, looks longingly at the speeding plane in the sky, carrying the wise Moderns to the destination.

Vintage ad American Airlines 1949

 

“Don’t Give Up- Go Up,” declared American Airlines in this 1949 advertisement , touting the benefits and wonders of the new air travel that most post-war families had yet to experience.

“Air Travel- and only air travel can often make the difference between the accessible and the impossible. This is especially true during the holidays when the earthbound are frequently snowbound. Hence, wise travelers plan to go by air.”

“Also, air travel is little affected by the challenge of distance and time. The miles on the map lose their menace- the hands of the clock become friend instead of foe when you use this modern means of transportation.”

“So when holiday travel plans seem likely to get ‘bogged down’ don’t give up- go up.”

Siri – The Voice with a Smile?

Welcome home Mac! The first Mac Pro to be Made in America will be unleashed in December. This news got us to thinking about all things Mac and we zoomed in on Siri because the real voice of Siri was recently uncovered.

Siri Speaks!

Exactly two years after Siri made her auspicious debut on October 4, 2011, the mystery woman’s identity can now be revealed. Apple’s voice activated virtual assistant never quite took off in popularity the way Apple envisioned her, but the closely guarded identity of the oft time snarky Siri has been widely speculated.

According to CNN, she is an Atlanta based voice over actress named Susan Bennett.

Though Apple is being cagey and won’t confirm it, the sleuths at CNN found audio forensic experts to back up the actresses claim.

Would You Repeat That Again?

Staying connected with the assistance of a disconnected female voice is nothing new.

Once upon a time, the alert, courteous voice of the telephone operator was known to everyone who used the telephone. Siris’ snippy voice and quirky personality stands in contrast to the golden age of telephone operators who possessed the “voice with a smile.”

The Voice With a Smile

Bell Telephone Ad 1940

Vintage Bell Telephone Ad 1940s The familiar "Voice With a Smile' operator

Telephone operators were known for their courtesy. “It’s nice to pick up the telephone,” ads would point out, “and hear an alert friendly voice come over the wire.”

“The voice with a smile” was the familiar AT&T slogan used from the 1930’s through the 1950’s . The ads visualized the cheerful sound of the company’s female operators painting a pretty face on the happy voice of the phone worker.

The speech of operators was firmly regulated through strict codes of appropriate responses enforced by supervisors listening unannounced on operators line.

“Operator ~ May I Help You?

"The Bell system appreciates your patronage, and tries to deserve it"

From the beginning, the occupation of switchboard operators was almost exclusively female. Women were valued not only because of their gentle voice, and nimble fingers , but as an added bonus, they worked for lower wages.

According to Lana Rakow in “Women and the Telephone.” an article in The American Telephone Journal of 1902 explained why female operators were desirable: “The dulcet tones of the feminine voice seem to exercise a soothing and calming effect upon the masculine mind, subduing irritation and suggesting gentleness of speech and demeanor, thereby avoiding unnecessary friction”

What Number Did You Want?

Vintage Bell Telephone Ads

From the 1930’s through the 1950’s AT&T recruited female employees through popular women’s magazines such as American Girl, Senior Prom and True Story, appearing next to ads for weight loss, feminine itch relief and bust creams.

Ads emphasized how important women were to the telephone industry. “170,000 women are employed by the Bell system,” one ad stated. “More than half of the 315,000 employees of the Bell System are women. They are your friends and neighbors- living in the same section of the country. They average length of service is about ten years.”

Perhaps courtesy and manners have gone the way of the telephone, which itself is beginning to feel rather antiquated.

 

How To Get Lucky At Your Prom

Though Prom season is newly over, we just had to post this wonderful essay by our contributor Sally Edelstein. Was it really that way?

Pretty and popular, Patty Barnes was one Lucky girl.Not only was this perky senior voted her High School Prom Queen 1952, the honor came with a gift of a carton of Lucky Strike Cigarettes. Her steady, Rick, a hulking football playing -ROTC- National Honor Society- dreamboat, always knew Patty was one smokin’ gal; like Lucky Strikes “so round, so firm, so fully packed and easy on the draw.” Her yearbook said it best: “As a student and as a ‘personality’ Patty Belongs!”Big Party- Gay Time! After the whirlwind rounds of graduation festivities attending 15 dances, 20 Coke parties, 12 teas, 8 luncheons and 5 barbeques, winding down with a soothing cigarette was a most welcome break for pretty, popular Patty. Does a Girl Who Isn’t Pretty, Stand a Chance to Have Fun?

Vintage Listerine Ad 1950

But then there was poor Babs Johnson. The only date she seemed to have were with her musty old history books.

She read all the magazine articles and took all their advise on becoming popular. Eagerly she joined all the school clubs, taking a job behind the scenes as a prompter for the senior play, timer for the swim team, pianist for the school operetta and assistant in the library. But, she often wondered, does a girl who isn’t pretty stand a chance to having fun? It was only after Dee Dee D’Angelo offered her a Lucky Strike cigarette in the girls bathroom that Babs wised up and saw the light…lighting up could really light up her life. After that she made sure to light up a Lucky whenever the gang was around and it wasn’t long before Babs was wearing her steadies gold football on a thin chain around her neck. Be happy…go Lucky!

I’m Just Sayin’

I'm Just Sayin'They say that men are from Mars. If I hadn’t spent a total of 19 hours in labor delivering two baby boys who are quickly becoming men, I would believe it. So now I live with three extraterrestrials who are confused and perplexed by my earthly expectations and feminine feelings. What’s a woman to do? Well, I take solace in being the different one in the house- hold. They have their rules, and I have mine. My checkbook and my closet are off limits to any complainers. But most importantly, I keep my girlfriends close, very close. If I need a sympathetic ear, I ain’t gonna get it under my roof. I have accepted that fact and, believe me, it’s a fact.

My men are unusual. They weigh before dinner and after. I weigh once a year—usually at my doctor’s office and only by force. They howl at South Park. Sometimes, they are completely deaf to my voice. Trying to get through to them is like playing tennis – the ball just keeps coming back, again and again, just like before, in exactly the same fashion. Tennis frustrates me. Men frustrate me. As I age I accept it more freely. There’s no changing the male know-it- all psyche, the “I’m in charge” attitude. Just ignore it, girlfriend. I do. Life is easier that way.

I have come to accept there are things my husband is never going to understand about me. I got eyeliner tattooed on my eyelids and beneath my eyes. Sounds crazy, but I have small eyes. He thought I had absolutely lost my mind. I looked like Rocky Balboa for a day or so, but after that it was quite lovely. I am glad that I did not spend hours trying to justify why and what I was doing. It was an unexplainable beauty technique that only a woman could comprehend.

In case you are surrounded by male counterparts, relax, don’t stress, don’t spend hours explaining this and that, just know that there are many female things that will always be foreign to them. I have been contemplating many of the things that males just do not get. It might help you out a little. Here’s the list so far.

Men will never get – the one day sale, expensive shampoo, buttered bread, pajamas on hangers, the $200 purse, the emergency shoes in your car, facials, The Notebook, a chocolate brownie and Diet Coke, Botox, high school photos, soap operas, Thelma & Louise, granny panties, Pampered Chef, heated seats, Midol, cappuccino, eyebrow waxing, fat jeans, Celine Dion, seasonal purses, pedicures, designer dresses, and low-fat cookies.

But the biggest thing that they will never understand is – “not tonight, honey!” I’m just sayin’.

 Shelly Gail Morris

Back to the Future

Back to the FutureA better life in the future is, in effect, the promise made by all advertising.

Beginning in the dark days of the Depression and accelerated during the War years, many American businesses adopted the future as an explicit leitmotif in advertising.

Especially during the deprivations and sacrifices of WWII, the glittering promises of a post-war world filled with unheard of conveniences and an abundance of tantalizing technological advances as presented by Madison Avenue, gave hope to a war-weary public.

Tomorrow’s Living Today

In the post-war push button dream world, a man would travel in 300 mph trains, translucent automobiles, four-decker planes, helicopters, buses equipped with cocktail lounges and amphibious jeeps. Television would bring the world to his living room, and he could transact his business by walkie-talkie while bagging a brace of ducks.

It was to be a world in which stockings never ran, fabrics never had to be washed, and intercommunication systems eliminated the need for a babysitter. Pants would never shine or lose their crease even in the rain since a man would ordinarily own several dozen synthetic suits, which after a wearing or two, he would roll up in a ball and fire into the automatic garbage disposer.

To read the entire article pick up the latest issue at Barnes & Noble or Book World Stores.

Envisioning the American Dream