Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Healthy Colon, Cigarettes At Dinner And Other Tales From 1944

Would you ingest something that promises to “help the friendly colonic flora to fluff up and prepare wastes for easy elimination?” Well, in 1944, that was the claim made by Kellogg’s All-Bran, reminding you that it is not a “purgative, it is a regulating food.”

To substantiate this claim, Kellogg’s enlisted the help of 71 year old Frank Lowe, from 4303 S. W. 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa. (Yes, they provided the very regular Mr. Lowe’s street address.) Among other things, Mr. Lowe states that “after the first week my passage was normal.”

I came into the possession of the 1944 Cleveland News through my wife, who spirited a few copies from her dad’s house. This one happens to be from June 6, 1944. D-Day. In huge bold letters on the front page the headline reads, “INVASION ON!” (That sure beats, “CONGRESS AT AN IMPASSE!”)

But since we all (hopefully) know the story of D-Day. I thought I’d highlight a few other interesting items from the paper.

• They picked up a story (God knows how) from Pittsburgh about a guy who filed a complaint against the Office of Price Administration (known today as OPEC) for the ever increasing price of the small cakes he bought daily for his lunch. The baker is quoted as saying, “I only sell the cakes, I don’t make the prices.”

• The Pendleton Round Up in Portland, Oregon was revived after a two year hiatus. It is hard to believe that anyone outside of the Portland metropolitan area cared about this, but there it was on page 3.

• It was “Meat Week” at Fisher Foods. They remind you to bring in your waste fats for the war effort.

(Much of the advertising had to do with the war effort. The most prominent was from Raleigh Cigarettes, urging its consumers to not hoard its smokes as a full 35% of its production capacity was going to the armed forces.)

• An apartment building owner in Wesleyville, PA, was so upset at the Rent Control Board that he posted a notice on his apartment building stating, “This apartment will not be for rent for the duration due to the unfair rental set by the Rent Control Board.” There isn’t more to the story; it is thirty-eight words long. It is right above a shorter piece on the over production of magnesium.

• "The Correct Thing," an etiquette aside, informs its readers that if refreshments are refused, do not “urge” by saying, “I’ll be insulted if you don’t take something.” A friend of mine refused a shot one time, he was told, “drink the fucking shot, you girl.” I guess I have a long way to go.

• The advice columnist, Elinor Ames, states that it is not impolite to smoke between courses at a friend’s home, as “most hostesses will pass cigarettes.”

• The State Theater was showing “Two Girls and a Sailor.” You can work your own magic on this one.

• Lastly, the classifieds offered this gem. “On and after this date, I will not be responsible for debts contracted by any other than myself. Clyde Shook.” Clyde went on to write fiscal policy for the United States.

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