Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Peek Inside Some Old National Geographics

They are the staple of garage sales, attics and thrift stores everywhere: the old National Geographic magazine. Someone dropped off some at our library today, mostly 1958-1961 and some mid 1960s. I pursued through them and snagged about 10 or so to look at. Oh, is there so much goodness here! I am only going to give you a taste, though. I want to see if I can disassemble the bindings so that content on the inside can be photographed better.

The bunch--mostly 1959 and 1960--with a 1968 and 1951 mixed in. You might remember that the ads were always in the beginning and the end of the magazine. We'll start with some of those.
American Telephone and Telegraph was a big advertiser as was Detroit.
Anyone remember Columbia Record Club? It was their fifth anniversary. It's not just the delivery system--music sure has changed too.
Camera companies were also big advertisers in National Geographic. Here a two page spread from Eastman Kodak Company--movie cameras and projectors, and still cameras of various degrees of difficulty. No "Instamatic" yet.

Oh, there's some nifty content I'm looking forward to showing: Early 1950s New England, St. Bernards, 1968 Afghanistan, Nixon in the Soviet Union...

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Capt. Schmoe said...

I'll bet Kodak was well served by National Geographic. A publication like that must have inspired many amateur photographers.

Look at the prices of some of the 35mm range-finders. One of them is well over $300. Compare that with the cost of a quality point 'n shoot. About the same. Except that the Kodak was in 1960 dollars. Maybe that is an advantage to Chinese goods? I'm just sayin'

the observer said...

Capt. Schmoe:
It looks like the movie camera was the priciest and the point and shoot the cheapest. The amazing thing is that my digital camera by Kodak can shoot stills and video, all for about $100. A combo of offshore manufacture and incredible tech advance--in just 50 years--a blip in history!
Thanks for looking in and commenting.
The Observer