Thursday, 13 May 2010

Back cover, front cover

Back of the September 1926 edition of The Strand with the front cover of the October edition opposite. Particularly striking cover on the October issue - that's Steve Dixie threatening Sherlock from The Three Gables.

But I find the Rinso ad fascinating too with its strict demarcation of the gender roles - He goes out to work, She stays at home and does the laundry. Note too how much older he looks than her - but that's a commercially important male fantasy, one that was upheld in films, I've noticed, way into the 60s and occasionally beyond. It was seen as perfectly normal that a young woman in her early 20s should find attractive men in their 40s or 50s.

In the advert the chap is announcing: 'What I want is a fresh, happy-looking wife on a Monday evening. And that's what Rinso gives me' - by saving her labour and making sure she's still keen to make him his dinner. He continues: 'I don't understand how any man can bear to see his wife struggling with old methods, and aging in the process...' She must remain 'fresh', you see. And hey, she's not even capable of choosing her own washing powder - even that, according to this ad, should be left up to the men folk.

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