Thursday, April 30, 2009

AMERICAN HOME part 2 - Never Too Young to Help

"Yes, boys and girls, every single one of you can help us win this old war! There are lots and lots of ways, and here are some that are right at your front doors!"

This is another reason why we're still having problems in Iraq. Kids these days don't wash and store their rubber beach balls, or take care of their metal lunch-boxes, keeping them clean and dry. KIDS, it's all your fault we're losing this old war!

The suggestions read:

You can help save rubber overshoes by cleaning, drying, and keeping them cool
Neatly placed clothes give you a lot more dressing speed if there's a fire
Rubber beach balls like to be washed and stored dry and cool for the winter
Help the war by taking care of your metal lunch-box, and keeping it clean and dry
Yes, a picnic stove from a big old tin can, holes cut for fire and a chimney!
In New York you can "adopt" a doll if you will always keep her very clean and well
Girl Scout fixes up old toys so other children won't need to buy new ones
New bicycles for juniors are "out," so tip-top care of yours is mighty important
Jimmy helps win the war by taking care of his raincoat so it will last longer

And, get this, the photographs are courtesy of Cleanliness Bureau. What is this magic bureau? Why do the Interwebs offer no information about it? All I can find is something online that says the Cleanliness Institute was started in New York in 1927 by Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producers, to tell women and children that they should be cleaner.


Anonymous said...

Do you know anything about the shortages during WWII? Why not study it a bit. At the time, these were excellent suggestions.

Do you know what happened if your metal lunch box or rubber ball or boots got damaged? You didn't get a new one, that's what. In fact, they used to have tons of recycling drives to collect metal and rubber to use for the war effort.

I'm afraid your mockery just makes you look uneducated

Emily said...

You know, honestly I don't know a lot about the shortages. My intent wasn't mockery, though.

I am in awe that when our country needed to do something, everyone banded together and did everything they could for it. I think if there were shortages now, people would consider participation to help the country a personal decision instead of stepping up and doing what they needed to do. I think it's neat that they did. I think that our United States today has lost a sense of patriotism and community that appears to have been more prevalent in times before.

I joke that kids aren't participating, but surely there must be ways that kids could be more connected to their communities, don't you think? We all could be. But we're not. Why is that? What did they have that we've somehow lost? Why don't we feel like it's missing?

I think old stuff is fun to look back at. I'm living in a house that was remodeled during the war, so instead of a porcelain bathtub, mine is tile. Normal bathtubs are iron coated in porcelain, and they didn't have the metal. I don't think that this was silly, or stupid, or whatever, but I kind of smile every time I see it. It makes me think of some kind of simple life where people had a better idea of what really mattered and what didn't.

And I'm sorry that you're anonymous, because you will probably never read this and you'll just think that I was being irreverent. I guess that's the risk of having a blog that anyone can read; sometimes people misunderstand.

Anonymous said...

Let me apologize for my previous comment. After reading more of your blog, I realized I may have spoken too soon. If peering into the past was your intent, then I need to beg your forgiveness. I too spend a great deal of time investigating the past, and have a great respect for what people were able to accomplish.

Emily said...

Anonymous - thanks for coming back. I love the past. I especially love old advertising, actually. I think it shows how priorities have changed over time. A lot of their adverts were clever and demonstrate different values. A lot of our advertising is saturated with sex and spending more than you have.