Magazines #10: The Saturday Evening Post (January 1961) Part Two

If you've ever had the opportunity to take a ride on an old train that's been restored, it's a remarkable experience. There's so much room, there's a beautiful bar/lounge, comfortable seats, big windows... I could gush all day. It beats the hell out of flying coach - packed like sardines with big sweaty passengers who all seem to be in bad moods.

Today, a round trip Amtrak ticket from Chicago to Los Angeles will run you about four to five hundred dollars.  Actually, that's cheap compared to the 1961 price of around $120 bucks, which, adjusted for inflation, is about $875.  Ten dollars a month for a year doesn't sound too bad... until you realize that ten dollars in 1961 is the equivalent to seventy-three dollars today!


This advertisement disturbs me.  My God, there's a grown woman in footie pajamas.... and they're playing with a GIANT deck of cards.... and the "Tech" sign on the wall would seem to imply they are supposed to be in college (!)... and there's some sort of cartoonish humanoid in a bathtub.... must.... look away!


Do you see that dad on the top? Make no mistake, his position is not random. Those Ward Cleaver's of the 50s and early 60s ruled the roost.  WWII was over and they were basking in the splendour of an exploding economy and standard of living heretofore unheard of.  The average dad spent less than ten minutes per day with his kids - most of his time was spent at work, playing poker with the fellas, drinking Scotch whilst enjoying the paper, reclining in his Barcalounger watching baseball, and being waited on by his dutiful wife. Perhaps I'm exaggerating, but you can't deny that being a dad in 1961 must've been a damn fine experience. 

BTW what a great idea: have a symbol on each tube of Chapstick so people won't mix them up! I mean, if there's even a chance that your lip balm has been swapped, it goes in the trash. Sharing Chapstick is gross.

Borden's Ready Diet

I've read and reread this ad trying to figure out how often you are supposed to drink this stuff. It would appear that you are to drink this once a day, AND THAT'S IT! I've looked at other ads for Borden's 900 calorie drink, and all evidence points to this being your only sustenance for an entire day.

Okay, so how much exactly are you supposed to drink? According to a 1962 ad, you are supposed to have four 8 ounce cans per day - 32 ounces (which equals one quart, the amount specified in this ad) totalling 900 calories.... and nothing else.

Perhaps it's not that different than today's diet shakes, but Slim Fast shakes only have about 180 calories, and you're not supposed to use them for all three meals.  Sweet Lord, what did they put in this drink to make it 900 freaking calories? You'd have to puree an Awesome Blossom and mix in a little pork scrathings to achieve that level of calories per ounce.


  1. I got to do some of that as a youngster. My late father worked as a conductor on the Burlington Route (now BNSF) and we could travel on the train as a family for free. Made several trips, and it was unforgettable. A different time, most of the trips were in the 60s. A lot of the old grandeur of the railroads was still hanging on. Magnificent stations, dining cars, Vista Dome cars, man, those were the days! On my bucket list to do it again with my wife. And I know "it won't be the same".

  2. Is there some calculator online that compares the spending power of a certain amount of money in a certain year to today?

  3. Here you go, TotalToyz: