Some things never change...
We were perusing the October, 1946 issue of Liberty Magazine when we noted that some of the cartoons were strangely relevant to October, 2002. See for yourself!
Taliban or no, the Burkha was funny even back in 1946:
It looks like Enron, WorldCom, and Martha Stewart would have been recognizable in 1946.
Variations on this gag were printed in college humor magazines practically every week through the 1960s. This may be the source -- I have seen nothing earlier. Those with 401-K investments in the Pharmaceutical sector may find a strange resonance with this gag.
Instability in the Nuclear Family was becoming quite a problem in 1946. This gag apparently sympathizes with the vanished father, with possibly some shred of justification --- from whence came the nursing infant? Had Mom been "sitting" under the apple tree before GI Joe came marching home? It could very well be: The Best Years, discussed in our Books Section, is possibly the most complete source on 1946 popular culture. The chapter on "Family Dynamics" reports that nearly 95,000 divorces were granted, dissolving marriages in which servicemen returned to find nursing infants that they could not have fathered. Remarkably, it was estimated that nearly twice that number elected to remain in their marriage.
This cartoon is absolutely NOT relevant to 2002. It is very interesting to me, because it is the only instance that I have found in which an early projection TV is represented.
I am certain that only a few of you have ever heard of a Projection TV, so here is some history:
(l.) The TRK-12 (as sold) and (r.) in See-through Lucite
The 12" mirror-in-lid TRK-12 was RCA's first television to be sold to the public. Priced at $600.00 ($18,000 today...), it was RCA's most expensive yet most popular pre-war model. The pictures were viewed indirectly by reflection in a mirror built into the cabinet lid. The length of picture tubes (Kinescopes) available at the time necessitated the mirror-in-lid design. Vertical orientation of the tube minimized the protrusion of television cabinets out from the living room wall, and the mirror lid could be closed, enabling the television and radio to be hidden when not in use. The Lucite "See Through" model was made for the 1939 World's Fair and was very popular among fair-goers.
Never Say Never...
One of my readers sent this cartoon, taken from a 1947 book called Addams and Evil. So, there are two cartoons with a projection TV...
I have shown this to a few people and they don't get the gag at all, so here goes.
SO -- the wife comes home, sees the vendor on TV and the husband with a bottle of beer. She asks incredulously "Where did you get that [bottle of beer]" The husband says that he got it from the refrigerator. The joke is the wife's misperception of Television -- something that could only be funny in 1946...
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