Life – it begins (Volume 1, Number 1)

Hello, again, BWP readers! We have now exhausted the available issues of Calling All Girls – at least, the ones that had anything at which to poke.

Did you know that you can read old issues of magazines on Google Books? It’s true! They have the entire run of Life magazine. So let’s go back, back, back into our virtual time machine, and take a look at the very first issue, which hit newsstands on November 23rd, 1936.

lifead - vibe
Yes, wives, don’t actually talk to your husbands about the latest in kitchen management; just be discreet and coy, and slip adverts into his pockets after you iron all of his damned clothes!

The rest of this ad is fairly innocuous, talking about this miraculous machine, which really is quite comprehensive for its time (it slices! it dices! it makes julienne fries!); it’s a proto-Kitchen Aid, really. My attention, however, is focused on the left-hand side of this ad, which features the other great products from the same manufacturer: toaster, hair dryer, vibrator . . . wait a minute. Yes, vibrator. Looks more like a hand-held jackhammer with the hair dryer handle, but these devices, now marketed for household use, were quite scary and industrial-looking in the beginning.

So, obviously, wives needed this Kitchen-Kit to save themselves the “200 hours of arm-tiring work a year” that could be better spent attending to themselves – if’n you know what I mean.

As you might imagine, Life, being from a different era, is kind of, well, racist and elitist. Our next item up for bids is a picture from an article about the little shanty towns springing up in Montana during this time period.

lifead - bedspring
The caption is a bit hard to read; it says, “The only idle bedsprings in New Deal are the broken ones.” What are the Life editors really saying here? The only things to do in New Deal besides work is fussin’, fightin’, drinkin’ (except for the Indians) and fuckin’. Nice!

For those of you out there who have tummy troubles, I have a solution for you! You need to pick up smoking!
lifead - camels
A Thanksgiving meal is a five-cigarette affair, and it’s just around the corner, American readers. Get crackin’!

And finally –
lifead - northwestern
This girl eventually became, through the power of the internet, THIS girl:


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