1964 World’s Fair Wonderment – Meet the future at the Heinz Magic Food show

Heniz Magic of Food Show“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” So said futurist and science fiction author Arthur C Clarke.

And the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair was chock full of sufficiently advanced technologies.  Visitors marveled at GM’s Futurama , IBM’s puppet show about computers, DuPoint’s “Happy Plastic Family” that ushered them into the “Wonderful World of Chemistry” and, perhaps most astonishing of all…

Heinz’s “Magic of Food” show, held in the “Theatre of Food” in the “Festival of Gas Pavilion.”

Yes, the “Festival of Gas Pavillion.”

Now fifty years later, witness yesterday’s tomorrow, visit the Magic of Food show now. Indistinguishable from magic, indeed.

How to Give a Vodka Party – Perhaps the Ultimate in Late-50′s Cool

Vodka Party ActionThis is the pamphlet that started it all here at TheVodkaParty. “How to Give a Vodka Party” from Smirnoff, was found in an attic in a musty box where it had lain hidden for years, maybe since its publication in 1959. When I flipped through its pages, I knew the vintage design, copy, cocktail recipes and hors d’oeuvres suggestions had to be shared. TheVodkaParty.com was the result of that inspiration. And now, with the “New & Improved” site, you can interact, post your thoughts, comments and reactions. Just make sure you do it before you’ve sampled too many of the cocktail receipts included herein. Bottoms up! Go to “How to Give a Vodka Party.”

Barmate – Is that a tall drink on your platter or are you happy to see me?

The fulcrum from which the swinging 60s swung was The Playboy club. In that brief period between women stepping out from behind the apron to the birth of modern feminism, nothing else oozed the stuff of the liberated man more than The Playboy Club. The clubs were temples to the god of 60s chauvinism, adorned with the modern equivalents of Greek statuary; only these statuesque beauties were flesh and blood…and wore adorable ears over their perfect bouffant hairdos.

In Barmate, Southern Comfort teams ups with Playboy Magazine for a promotional pamphlet that appeared in the December 1964 issue. But don’t let the low cut tops fool you. This booklet is more about “bottoms up” in the traditional sense, focusing on the swingin’ cocktails that Playboy Club members enjoyed in those exclusive enclaves…and now could be enjoyed at home.

Get ready to flirt with some truly swinging cocktails (not a single appetizer recipe here) along with an inside look at the history of the original Playboy Clubs… and the lives of the real Playboy Bunnies who worked within. (All images and links are rated TV-14 at the most extreme.)

Check out this Barmate now!

New Cheez Whiz! – Believe it or not, there was a time BEFORE Cheez Whiz

New Cheez Whiz - Kraft - 1953

“Never, no never before have you ever had anything like Kraft’s Cheez Whiz!” begins the copy in New Cheez Whiz. And they weren’t kidding. You could spoon it, heat it and spread it. “You’ll see for yourself there’s no end to the quick cheese tricks your jar of Cheez Whiz holds.” This begs the question, who is the trick on?

This is the original pamphlet that launched the radioactively golden cheesy comestible. It’s from the year 1953, perhaps the most amazing year in the history of convenience foods. That incredible year saw the introduction not only of Cheez Whiz, but also Eggo Waffles, the Starkist Tuna brand and the landmark couchside culinary achievement of the first Swanson TV dinner.

So imagine what it was like in the dark winter of our discontent when cheese didn’t flow and then bask in the glorious golden summer of New Cheez Whiz.


Fine Cocktails Made Easy – Nice ‘n Easy Does It Every Time

Fine Cocktails Made Easy

Fine Cocktails Made Easy,” speaks from the cool, distant and repressed depths of the Eisenhower era. The design is clean, the cocktail recipes are neat (so to speak) and everything seems “above boards.” But what wild desires are seething just beneath this calm surface? I have a few thoughts. Publication date: Easy 50s. Go to “Fine Cocktails Made Easy.”

Tuna: Welcome Aboard for Adventure!

Tuna - Starkist - early 1950sAhoy landlubbers, get ready to experience the adventure of life on the high seas withTuna from StarKist. You’ll enjoy ripping yarns of the tuna and sardine fisheries and get tips on seamanship, knot tying and even Morse code. You’ll also be treated to a lifeboat-full of tasty (and not-so-much) recipes including tuna noodle casserole, avocado tuna mold and mackerel loaf.

Don’t miss the amazing fish illustrations and classic 50s line art.

I date this to 1953 based on the fact that the StarKist brand was introduced in that fine year (as was Cheez Whiz, Eggo Waffles and Swanson’s TV Dinners…what a year).

So don’t let your mackerel loaf and get your sea legs on for a voyage of discovery into to the watery part of the world in Tuna.

Vintage Sexist Advertising

Vintage Advertising Sexism

With the new season of Mad Men starting on Sunday, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at how women fared in the “golden age” of advertising. The answer is: not well. Here are a few examples of the best (worst?) sexist advertisements of the Mad Men-era, compliments of our friends at Retronaut.

See the full post for more.

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God Save the Queen! Celebrate the Diamond Jubilee with the most English of spirits – Gin!

60 years on the throne. And no, I’m not talking about how it felt after overdoing it at Taco Bell last Saturday night.

Queen Elizabeth II - Happy Jubilee Liz!I’m talking about the glorious reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the UK. Not since that curmudgeonly lady on the Bombay Gin bottle, has a British monarch reached such a milestone.

Today begins an even more glorious four-day weekend of gin-soaked celebrations in honor of the stalwart gray lady. And while your humble host here at TheVodkaParty is from a country based on flipping the bird to Kings and Queens of every variety, I’m also from the region of New England. In fact, I’m from the state that’s home to New London, on the fabled Thames river (rhymes with “games” over here).

Oh, and I like gin.

So, in honor of Her Majesty, I’ve included a selection of vintage gin recipes below, many of which would have been imbibed to celebrate young Elizabeth’s coronation.

Drink up, celebrate the idea that you can be qualified as head of state based solely on a happy accident of birth.

And stay queenly my friends!

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Classic 1960s Heinz Ads

Beanz Meanz Heinz


Mad Men season 5 has revolved around the elusive hunt for Heinz Beans as a new client. But did the Ketchup king need the creative magic of SCDP to bring the beans campaign to life? Or were they getting along fine without them? You be the judge with this collection of classic Heinz print and TV ads from the 60s.

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