Be a Taxidermist. Profit and FUN
. A small small selection
of adverts from Popular Science
, July 1949. Other people have done this in far more detail than this; check all of Popular Science's
covers, or visit Modern Mechanix
, a weblog with copious scans of ads and articles from the golden age of speculative magazines. A small selection of articles, 'These are the planes you'll fly after the war
' (from 1945), 'Detroit's Latest Plastic Fantasies
' (March 1954), the Smithsons' House of the Future
(1956), 'Comfort in Cubes
', a speculative home design by George Nelson
and, finally, 'Tunnel-digging as a hobby
', the subterranean world of one Dr H.G.Dyar. Sadly, google mostly throws up links to this page, so it's tricky to establish where this network actually was and whether it still survives.
The spirit of small scale entrepreneurship and optimism shines through in so many of these adverts, a world awash with surplus equipment and labour, returning to a changed world and awaiting the economic miracle of the 1950s to manifest itself. The sheer amount of equipment that was available reminds us of Million Dollar Point
The exhortation to Raise Hamsters
has a curious history. According to this page
, the Gulf Hamstery was founded by one Albert Marsh. Marsh won his first syrian hamster (then used mainly for research, having been first imported into the USA in 1938) in a bet, before becoming so intrigued that he wrote the first major book on the subject. But can this really be true? 'There were subsequent live captures of syrian hamsters but almost all of the domesticated hamsters in the world today are descendents of the three hamsters captured in the 1930s.'