Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife

Farm Journal, "Rural America's Favorite Magazine", gives glimpse into the past


| November 2000



Detail from the front cover of the Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife October issue, 1940.

Detail from the front cover of the Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife October issue, 1940.

Many years ago, many farmers were reading the October 1940 issue of the Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife. Calling itself "Rural America's Favorite Magazine" and boasting a circulation of more than 2,500,000, the Farm Journal carried a cover price of five cents, while a two-year subscription cost fifty cents. On the cover was a mouth watering color photo of a dozen or so Stayman Winesap and Golden Delicious apples. Inside were many fascinating ads and articles. A look at them gives us a glimpse into our country's past. 

A full-page International Harvester ad touts their Farmall A, B, H and M tractors, showing a picture of an A and a one-bottom plow mounted over the caption: "Harold Jones of Charlton, Iowa, is doing a fine job of plowing his tough sod. His tractor is the plucky new FARMALL-A, which is filling all power needs on thousands of small farms today."

With the headline "Here's the One for '41," is the picture of a Plymouth four-door sedan. "Stunning new 1941 Plymouth, America's Low-priced luxury car" boasts "Magnificent new Artistry of Design – New Powermatic Shifting – New Four-way Step-Up Performance – New Fashion-Tone Interior – 19 Great Advancements!" The new 1941 Hudson with "Symphonic styling" makes its debut in a full-page ad that brags: "Hudson engineering leadership provides safety found in no other automobile. Patented Double-Safe brakes and Patented Auto-Poise Front Wheel Control, for example, are two of the many features that make a Hudson the safest car built today." Quoted prices start at $695 for a new Hudson Six Coupe, while the car illustrated, a Hudson Six Deluxe Sedan, is $845. (White wall tires and deluxe running boards are extra.)

Firestone toutes their closed-center ground grip, triple-braced traction bar tractor tires, while Goodyear claims that their Sure-Grip tire with its open center, evenly spaced lugs won't trap mud and will give an even pull, with no jerking. Goodrich advertises a "golden harvest sale," offering the 9 x 36 Silvertown Hi-Cleat tractor tire for $40.10 each. A 6 x16 heavy-duty truck tire is $13.85 and a 4 x 15 single-rib front tractor tire is $9.50. A Goodrich Safety Silvertown car tire in 6 x 16 size is $11.11, provided you turn in your old tire.

Timken Roller Bearing Company has a picture of a farmer discing with an Oliver 70, beside a photo of a pretty girl with a big smile, and the slogan: 'Miles of Smiles.' Havoline Motor Oil asserts that both growing corn and tractor motors needed expert care, and pictures a Texaco distributor showing his wares to a farmer cultivating corn with a Minneapolis-Moline R.

Prince Albert and Velvet advertise their pipe tobaccos, while Remington, H&R, Winchester, and Stevens offer their guns and ammunition. You can buy a Springfield No. 94 single barrel shotgun in 12, 16, or 20 gauge for $8.70.