MANLY ADS OF 1951

MenOnly

While flicking through an old copy of Men Only (“incorporating The Strand Magazine“) in search of antique pin-ups for my post on Vintage Smut, I started looking at the advertising, and thought other people might like to look at it too.

The advertising in this 1951 magazine was monochrome (except for the inside covers, which added red), graphic as opposed to photographic, and relied heavily on typography. The ideal man of 1951 was presumably meant to be interested in smoking, liquor, travel and slicking his hair back.

The magazine gives us a rather nostalgic vision of post-war masculinity, in which the role played by sexuality was discreet and almost tasteful (there’s a single beautiful pin-up drawing, plus one photograph of a woman in a mantilla exposing a breast) but the cartoons leave the reader in no doubt as to woman’s role in society – they’re either young and sexy ex-Wrens, or old battle-axey wives, and they do not partake in the smoking, liquor, travel and slicking hair back. For these are gentlemanly pursuits.

Click on an image to enlarge it. You can also read extracts of what passed for humour in 1951. The New Yorker is this not, though contributors include the great Geoffrey Willans, writing about commuting, and Alan Whicker, on “The Long Japanese Night”.

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