Tips, Tricks, Advice and Ads from Sixty Years Ago


In November of 1952, farmers and farmer’s wives were reading the Farm Journal magazine, which cost 20 cents. Times were good, although the Korean Conflict was dragging along after more than two years of see-saw fighting. Your humble correspondent was just five months away from becoming involved in that conflict as a member of the U.S. Army. Another Presidential election had just been decided, with Republicans the winners. Although the outcome of the election was unknown when F.J. went to press, the conservative editor was hopeful and wrote: “We believe that a truly sound prosperity must be based on a new majority in Congress, devoted to peace, honesty, and economy, with Eisenhower and Nixon in control of the executive branch.”

The November cover of the magazine featured a smiling young farm couple who had just voted and were dropping their paper ballots into the “secure” ballot box, a wooden frame covered with chicken wire.

Auto and truck ads included Oldsmobile (“Park with just 1 finger” with new power steering), and Chevrolet and GMC trucks, while Chrysler showed off three “idea cars,” the Phaeton, K-310 and C-200. Also featured were Studebaker’s 100th anniversary, Dodge “Job-Rated” and Ford trucks, Willys 4-wheel drive trucks and station wagons, and the famous Hudson Hornet.

Farm machinery ads touted International Harvester’s “5-Star Service,” as well as Massey-Harris Colt and Mustang tractors and the new Ferguson 30, while farmers were urged to bring their New Holland balers to a dealer for “Triple-Check Service” to prepare for next summer.

Other vintage magazine ads included Firestone, General and Goodyear tractor tires, Camel cigarettes, Sanka coffee, GE radios, Coleman and Duotherm oil-burning heating stoves, Hammond organs, U.S. Royal work boots, Cities Service, Pennzoil and Texaco oil, Prestolite batteries and anti-freeze, Tru-Temper cutting tools, AC fuel pumps and Perfect Circle piston rings, and Remington and Ithaca arms and ammunition. Just in time for Christmas were ads for Lionel trains and Western Flyer bicycles.

There were feature articles on sorghums, how to conduct yourself while travelling by train and a new method of harvesting alfalfa seed by spraying the plants with a chemical when the seed pods are ripe but the plant still green, causing the plant to quickly die and be ready for combining.

Jay Trevorrow
11/21/2012 2:08:48 AM

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