Becoming a man...fifties style

Retro guide for young men
It was a quick stop at my local Goodwill. My expectations were low. I scanned the bookshelves, seeing nothing but Danielle Steele and Tom Clancy. I was about to give up and leave empty-handed when I saw him. HIM!

Isn't he dreamy? And he's just "becoming a man."

Published in 1951, this guide for young men is illustrated with Norman Rockwell-esque illustrations and oddly staged photos. 

Here's our soon-to-be-man -- serious, studious and smartly dressed. No wonder the gals behind him are giving him the once over!
retro book on becoming a man
Here's a different proto-man, post-graduation. Even his sister and grandmother think he's dreamy.
retro book on becoming a man
The book offers plenty of dating advice. This young man has already won over his date and her mother.
retro book on becoming a man
In a back-to-back comparison, there's no contest. The drapes win!
retro book on becoming a man

Another milestone in a young man's life -- made complete by grinning parents.
retro book on becoming a man

But it's not all sunshine and smiles. Becoming a man means learning tough truths...from books...
retro book on becoming a man
And creepy neighbors.
retro book on becoming a man
But in the end, it all comes down to this: Real men wear plaid..and stripes.
retro book on becoming a man
To see the tablet case I made out of this book, click here.


Comments

  1. I LOVE these kind of books, mainly just to see how people looked back then and what they considered important. Love the plaid shirt on the neighbor; that's what I like to call the vintage LL Bean look.

    Not that it matters, but I wonder if the older people in the graduation scenario are supposed to be his parents, with kid sister looking on from the picnic table and the young man's "steady girl" adjusting his collar or whatever she's doing? Most of the other scenarios show people whom today we think of as looking like grandparents being depicted as parents. I think what's considered "old age" has shifted upwards since this book came out!

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    1. I wasn't sure about who the older-looking folks were supposed to be either, Aimee. It's funny that parents have gotten older but they look younger!

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  2. hahaa! Are you sure that creepy neighbor isn't Dan Akroyd?

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    1. Or maybe Wilson from "Home Improvement"???

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  3. You're right - books like these are a lot of fun. I have one picked up for a song called The Motherhood Book from the 50s. Some of the things they suggest are horrendous! Plus they have knitting patterns for underwear and that fabulous knitted swimsuit that will stretch to kingdom come when you come out of the water :)

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  4. A truly wonderful book. I shall have to keep an eye out for it. :)

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