1922 Ad Touts Lane Bryant's Offerings for 'Stout Women'

This really puts the debate over the term "plus-size" in perspective: Here is an ad for Lane Bryant, from the back of the September 1922 Ladies Home Journal. Hey, stout women! Lane Bryant has the hot fashions you want! » 6/23/14 1:00pm 6/23/14 1:00pm

These Vintage Lingerie Videos Are Amazing, Saucy Fun

I love vintage lingerie. Vintage-inspired, authentic vintage, vintage catalogs…taking a past look at women's undergarments is interesting not only from a fashion perspective, but also from a social or cultural one. » 5/13/14 6:10pm 5/13/14 6:10pm

These Vintage National Enquirer Covers Are Hilarious

It's been a big week for The National Enquirer (the magazine that I once got sent home for reading at school). The publication broke the news that Ellen's house is possibly haunted and alerted faithful readers to a big secret that Jimmy Fallon doesn't want you to know (he loves his wife and child!). And if that wasn't… » 3/03/14 4:15pm 3/03/14 4:15pm

Taste Test From Hell: We Cooked a Bunch of Gross Recipes From the '50s

Few things are more luridly delightful than midcentury food porn—fishy Jell-Os, mayonnaise frosting, all canned everything, foods ground up and then moulded into the shapes of other foods. If you've ever flipped through your grandma's post-war Betty Crocker cookbook, then you know what I'm grimacing about. These are… » 2/25/14 3:40pm 2/25/14 3:40pm

Celebrity Diet Stories of 1929 Just as Depressing as Today's

As previously mentioned, back issues of Photoplay have been archived online. A quick flip through of the January 1929 issue revealed a piece that feels chillingly current: It warns that women are putting their lives at risk when they try to be as skinny as Hollywood stars. We've been talking about this shit for 84… » 9/04/13 4:05pm 9/04/13 4:05pm

Lessons from a 1943 Advice Column by Bette Davis

Exciting news: As Open Culture reports, there are now vintage issues of Business Screen, The Hollywood Reporter, Photoplay, and Variety online. Flipping through a June 1943 issue of Photoplay, we found "What Should I Do?", an advice column written by Bette Davis. » 8/28/13 5:05pm 8/28/13 5:05pm

This Hideous Toy Commercial From the '70s Is More Like a Horror Movie

In 1971, a toy called Baby Laugh-a-Lot was unleashed unto the world, to strike fear into the hearts of unsuspecting humans and hypnotise innocent little girls. Once in her thrall, unspeakable evil comes to all who hear her terrifying cackle. Be afraid. » 7/11/13 3:20pm 7/11/13 3:20pm

Let's Shop For Cheerleading and Band Uniforms in the 1980s

Do you like big, harsh-looking sequins and synthetic fabrics? You're in luck! These images from vintage Colorifics catalogs selling cheerleading, band, drill team and choir uniforms are dazzling. With these get-ups, no one will ever doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion. Go team! » 4/15/13 2:00pm 4/15/13 2:00pm

Your Morning Cry: Leonard Nimoy's Touching 1968 Advice Column Answers…

While the William Shatner era of Star Trek isn't exactly the first thing that springs to mind as a predecessor of the "It Gets Better" anti-bullying movement, Buzzfeed's got an excerpt from the advice pages of a 1968 teen magazine called Fave displays Leonard Nimoy's sensitivity to the plight of one particular young… » 3/16/13 12:00pm 3/16/13 12:00pm

Are You a Spermologer? Find Out With 18 Obsolete Words That Never…

Just like facts and flies, English words have life-spans. Some are thousands of years old, from before English officially existed, others change, or are replaced or get ditched entirely. » 3/13/13 1:50pm 3/13/13 1:50pm

Putting Your Baby in a Cage Used to Be Perfectly Acceptable

Inequality by (Interior) Design, a blog by sociologist Tristan Bridges, turned one-year-old last month and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites. In a recent post, Bridges featured a product that reminds us all why history is awesome: the "portable baby cage": » 3/04/13 2:50pm 3/04/13 2:50pm

As I discussed in a , with industrialization came…

Feminist Satire From 1915 Declares That Men Are Too Emotional To Vote

Yay for our foremothers (is that a word?) Alice Duer Miller! This baller piece of old-school Americana comes via @iRevolt. My favorite: "Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them." Zing. » 2/23/13 6:00pm 2/23/13 6:00pm

What Ever Happened to Elsie Scheel, 1912's Perfect Woman Who 'Didn't…

Back in 1912, the New York Times declared Elsie Scheel the "perfect woman." Sure, she may have been a little bit of a dick about how perfect she was (a followup article in The Oregonian reported that "Miss Scheel feels that the average girl does too much of the wrong sort of thing - too many dances and not enough… » 1/03/13 2:50pm 1/03/13 2:50pm

Meet 1912's Perfect Woman: Pear-Shaped, 171 Lbs, Doesn't Know Fear

100 years ago, the New York Times declared Elsie Scheel of Brooklyn the "most nearly perfect specimen of womanhood." » 12/21/12 12:45pm 12/21/12 12:45pm

Very Phallic Vintage Ads Prove Agencies Were Thinking With Their Dicks

Copyranter posted seven phallic ads in his column on Buzzfeed, and each one is worse than the next. It would be nice to construct some in-depth commentary about visual literacy and subliminal messages, but all I can think is They knew what this looked like, right? And someone still gave it the green light? I mean,… » 11/26/12 6:45pm 11/26/12 6:45pm

Vintage Towel Ads Reveal Our Changing Perceptions of Homoeroticism

We've posted before about how our changing collective awareness of homosexuality in the U.S. over the last several decades often leads us to see implicit (or even explicit) gay themes in vintage ads and photos that likely wouldn't have carried those connotations at the time. My colleague Gregory R. sent in a set of… » 10/22/12 2:20pm 10/22/12 2:20pm

In 1993 Mila Kunis Was Stuck on Lisa Frank

This commercial was taped circa 1993, although 9-year-old Mila Kunis's enthusiasm is reminiscent of an earlier, more coked-up era: the Eighties. Mila will never forget the day she got stuck on Lisa Frank, you guys. A simpler time, before Jackie met Kelso. Awesome! Bee tee dubs, Lisa Frank is back, so all of your… » 10/19/12 11:50am 10/19/12 11:50am

Raquel Welch Dances with Leather Daddies While Waiting for the Subway…

Why is it that when people wax rhapsodic about the gritty New York of the '70s and '80s, they always manage to leave out the part about how waiting for the subway used lead to choreographed dance sequences with a variety of ethnic stereotypes? Knowing this, the nostalgia makes a lot more sense. » 8/17/12 5:00pm 8/17/12 5:00pm