Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Just two years after the end of World War II the above book came out.

The American people were ready to return to normal American life. And one of the hallmarks of being normal over here is the advertising and the packaging that dominate our consumer-driven culture.

Here's a scan of AROUND THE CLOCK WITH ROCKY AND RUTHIE, which is part childrens book and part activity book. The staple-bound publication asks kids to actively cut up and paste in logos and advertising from the products they consume every day. This "personalizes" the book for them, and increases their identification with what they buy I suppose.

There's no plot per se. We follow the two title kids, Rocky and Ruthie, through a typical day. The ticking clock on the page pushes us on. As they eat, go to school, etc., the reader is asked to cut out labels and paste them on the page.

The uncredited commercial artist uses a lithographic pencil and the book's interior is all two-tone. The whole thing was printed on newsprint.  Since there's no price, it makes me think this may have been a commercial giveaway.

On the cover, there's the number "1908,"just below that is the notation

The Saafield Pub Co.
Akron, Ohio
Made in U.S.A.

and the title page says it's copyright 1947 by S. Harold Labow.

Saalfield published a lot of books during the 20th century. It was one of the largest publishers of children's books in the world, with books like Raggedy Ann, Peter Rabbit and The Little Red Hen in its repertoire.

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