The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

March 5, 2009

Recycled Newspaper: And Now, a Word From Our Sponsors

Filed under: Bellevue, History, Recycled Newspaper — Brian Lutz @ 2:08 am

Whats going on here?  Answer at the end of this post.

What's this cat's problem? Find out at the end of the post.

Thus far in these Recycled Newspaper features, I have focused primarily on some of the articles that I have come across while searching through the various microfilmed newspapers for the local area.  From a purely historical perspective, the stories found in these newspapers can provide interesting little glimpses into the lives of Eastsiders back during the times in which they were written, but to be honest, I tend to find the advertisements in the papers to be far more interesting.  This is not just because of the information that can be gleaned from them about what was where, and when it was around, but also because many of the advertisements (especially those related to clothing and fashion)  in the newspapers back in the fifties, sixties and into the Seventies would frequently eschew photography altogether and make generous use of illustrations to depict the products being sold.  Aside from the fact that these ads just look a lot more interesting than photos would, they also translate to the medium of microfilm a lot better than the photos did, and are a lot easier to retreive from them in a visible form. 

After the jump, a look at a few of the ads I have run across recently.  Most of these are from the Bellevue American in February-April 1967, although I think one or two may be from other sources.  I haven’t been quite as dilligent about keeping track of dates on the ads as the articles, but in several of these cases ads may be repeated in subsequentt editions. 

We’ll start off withan ad that ties in with the post I made a couple of weeks ago on the Standard station in Bellevue.  You can actually catch a glimpse of this particular gas station circa 1969 in one of the photos available in the Eastside Heritage Center collection.  This station stood on the northeast corner of the intersection between 116th and NE 8th, a corner which is now occupied by Bellevue’s Whole Foods store.  From looking through the newspaper archives, it appears that this ad would run on a regular basis, and the textbox in the middle would be used for various announcements like the one here announcing the Girl Scout Cookie sale. 

Incidentially, the Richfield station you might see on the opposite corner in that picture remains in business as an ARCO (which stands for Atlantic Richfield Company) station, and apparently hasn’t changed much in appearance from its original construction.  Astute readers of this Blog might also recall that this particular station was mentioned in a 1977 article I posted some time ago as an example of the trend away from garages and toward convenience stores at gas stations.  You can see the station in the Google Streetview below.

Next up, we have a letter advertising a new Dutch Boy paint store being opened up in Bellevue, at the corner of Bel-Red Road and Northeast 8th.  I had to do a bit of thinking about that one since I’m pretty sure that Bel-Red Road and Northeast 8thdon’t actually intersect with each other.  Another trip over to gives us our answer to this one, showing that there have been some changes to the layout of the roads in this area.  In the 1968 image of this particular area, Bel-Red Road does in fact veer south at the intersection of  124thAve. NE and merge with NE 8th a few blocks away.  Sometime between then and 1980, NE 12th was added here, and a short stretch of Bel-Red road was vacated as a result.  The leftover disconnected stretch that goes to NE 8th still retains the name of Bel-Red Road though.  Chalk that one up to urban planning, I guess.

And going back to that letter, if you’ve read through it you’ve probably noted that there isn’t anything particularly unusual.  Nonetheless, the name of the company would definitely raise a few eyebrows if you tried to publish it in the paper today:

From the people who brought you Consolidated Asbestos and the Great Pacific Arsenic and Cyanide Corporation, no doubt.  Surprisingly enough they’re still around, but unsurprisingly they’re not using that name anymore (now they go by the name of NL Industries) and they seem to focus more on Titanium Dioxide-based pigment products.  In the meantime, the Dutch Boy brand is still going strong as well, although I’m guessing they’ve probably kicked the lead habit by now.

Next up, we’ve got a reminder that even though the Seventies hadn’t quite arrived at this point, they were definitely on the way in, complete with all the disastrous home decor that would accompany that turbulent decade .  The sheer horribleness of the decade was still a few years off at this point in time, but it was clear that the groundwork was being laid for its arrival, one square yard at a time.  As for the name “Shagrilla,” I’m not sure if it sounds more like something out of a Japanese monster movie that had a bad run-in with a 300-foot tall remodeling crew, of it it sounds like the setting for the next Austin Powers movie.

Taking a closer look at the ad copy for this stuff makes it begin to sound downright evil.  When the carpet isn’t busy trying to devour your feet as it anticipates your heart as its dessert, it will apparently be busy having affairs withyour family, your friends, your neighbors, your dog, and the mailman who happens to wander in unsuspectingly one day.  As for that last statement, I suspect there was probably someone around 1982 or so silently disagreeing with it as they struggled to pull the stuff up, quitelycursing under their breath.  I’m sure that this stuff was probably considered quite fashionable back in 1968, but then again, so was LSD.

Finally, here’s what was bugging that cat in the picture at the beginning of the post:  It was being mistaken for a telephone.  This particular ad was for the GTE Starlite telephone, which used solved the apparent problem of cat answering by providing a glow-in-the-dark dial that used an early form of electroluminescence (but also required an extra power supply.  Eventually push-button models were made as well, but these still used pulse dialing rather than the now-standard tone dialing.  Starlite phones can be found without too much trouble on eBay and at other purveyors of vintage telephones.  A number of pictures of various Starlite phones can be found at this page (scroll down to the bottom for the links.)

To conclude this post, I’m going to stealborrow an idea from the Bleat, and run an Out of Context Ad Challenge of my own here.  Above, there is a fragment of an old advertisement.  Based on this fragment, your challenge is to guess what this ad might be for andf what exactly is going on here, and post your guess in the comments.  The answer will be included in next week’s Recycled Newspaper.


1 Comment »

  1. I think this an ad about sailing.

    Comment by pochp — March 5, 2009 @ 2:44 am

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