Magazines #25: Sunset Magazine (August 1972)

Pacific Monthly began in the late 1800's and contained a diverse array of topics.  Tolstoy and Sinclair Lewis had text published in this Oregon periodical.  In 1911, it was purchased by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company and merged with its current mag, Sunset.  By the time the 1970s rolled around, this magazine was basically a bunch of advertisements and short articles on "Western Living".  (It's still around today, although I haven't read any current copies of it.)

As far as Retrospace is concerned, the more advertisements the better.  Here's a look at a few nice ones that I've scanned for your viewing pleasure.

Madge is a bitch.
If you lived in the seventies, you remember Madge.  Sure, she was painfully insulting, but she would tell you straight up if your hands looked like shit.  Simply by soaking them in this magical emerald green liquid, which fascinated me to no end, your dry grotesque hands would instantly become smooth and young looking!

"Imagine the possibilities", I used to think.  "When I'm old, I'll just submerge my entire body in this miracle soap and look young again!"  Madge was too stupid to realize the ramifications; but my seasoned 8 year old brain knew that this was the Fountain of Youth in a plastic squirt bottle.

this is a cropped image; click to view full sized complete ad
This mobile home ad is something to behold.  My favorite line is "Explore the spacious bathrooms... conveniences truly planned for m'lady."   Got that? It's not a single wide trailer, it's a spacious home designed specifically for m'lady.

Honey, take down that framed picture of mom and dad above the mantle.  Put up this crummy paper towel in its place.  The only problem is - which horrible design do we choose? The poorly drawn fruit, the unbelievably lame bags of sugar and flour, or the awful patchwork design.  Decisions. Decisions.

Looks nice, but I wonder if a child could get to sleep with colors so loud as to burn the retina.  

I first thought this was a travel ad for some little known European town called Wamsutta.  No dice. It's just a sheet ad.


  1. Chiffon: It's a paper towel! It's margarine! It's both!

    My parents had a coffee table and end table similar to the ones in the mobile home ad. They were wood, but the fancy carvings on the doors were plastic.

  2. Big KahunaJuly 26, 2011

    Congratulations. That's the first time I've seen a Flash ad embedded in an RSS reader!

  3. AnonymousJuly 28, 2011

    I still read Sunset when I see a copy somewhere. I do like the recipes (I use my phone to snap a shot of those) and reading about places I wouldn't have thought of to visit. Or places to avoid, lol.

  4. i liked sunset magazine because it wasn't snotty. too many "home improvement" magazines these days seem to be designed for wanna-be yuppies, or assume we all strive for that result. not to mention denial about actual money to afford everything!