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©Copyright 2015 Eric Wrobbel



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Vintage Los Angeles Playboy Club menu cover features gorgeous 'pinup' artwork on a par with Elvgren and Petty. Circa 1980. From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm Los Angeles Playboy Club menu. Circa 1980. The cover of this menu features gorgeous 'pinup' artwork on a par with Elvgren and Petty. From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm A brochure extolling the virtues of Southern California in an attempt to entice women to work for the Air Force in one of 25 'college-campus-like' office buildings in the high-tech South Bay area. Office of the Deputy Commander, Air Force Systems Command for Aerospace Systems, Los Angeles. From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm 'To Lib or Not To Lib, These Are the Questions.' A 'LIBretto' (book) by Phyllis I. Rosenteur with drawings by Harry Carter, Golden Press, 1971. This book starts with the 'joke' that burning a bra is not 'an uplifting idea' and it's all downhill from there.  From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm Psychedelic Poster Stationery says 'Let the lines of art flow and vibrate in your mind.' Oooo, trippy, man. 'Original HiSun,' San Francisco, California, c.1970. From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm 'Office Boy's Diary,' a vintage 1955 booklet of sexist and mostly stupid gags & jokes. This was given out by Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul, Minnesota to promote their 'Remembrance Advertising' business (calendars, etc.) to other businesses. It's amazing that at one time people actually thought the attitudes expressed here were good for business. From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm 'Office Boy's Diary,' a vintage 1955 booklet of sexist and mostly stupid gags & jokes. This was given out by Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul, Minnesota to promote their 'Remembrance Advertising' business (calendars, etc.) to other businesses. It's amazing that at one time people actually thought the attitudes expressed here were good for business. From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm The 1975 Pet Rock came with a 32 page training manual. Rock Bottom Productions, Los Gatos, California. From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm 'Man... Like, Get Well'-- a get well ash tray gift featuring a 'beatnik.' Like, you know? The box says it's 'A Houze Art Product.' From 'Collecting Pop Culture' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/culture.htm

Collecting Pop Culture is a nice catch-all category for collecting things that reflect attitudes and values of a particular time. These things are sometimes amusing, sometimes ludicrous, sometimes maddening. Viewing these items, today’s generation can smirk at the crazy things their forebears did. And viewing these things can give those inclined to rail against today’s pop culture some kind of hope: this too shall pass.

What the likes of Elvgren and Petty did for guys in the 1940s, the uncredited artist on this Playboy Club Menu cover does for guys who came of age in the 1970s. There is a very strong appeal here that transcends the obvious, a freshness and a cheerfulness in those bright, no-mystery eyes. Just what the ’70s needed. And doesn’t that glass just make you thirsty? Keep those coming, will you beautiful?

Around the Clock with Judi, Space-Age Secretary shows Judi at her new job and describes all that awaits her in her “space age future.” This brochure extols the virtues of Southern California as it attempts to lure women to work for the Air Force in one of 25 “college-campus-like” office buildings in the high-tech South Bay area. From the Office of the Deputy Commander, Air Force Systems Command for Aerospace Systems, Los Angeles.

To Lib or Not To Lib, These Are the Questions. “LIBretto” by Phyllis I. Rosenteur with drawings by Harry Carter. Golden Press, 1971.

This book starts with the “joke” that burning a bra is not “an uplifting idea” and it’s all downhill from there.

Psychedelic Poster Stationery. “Let the lines of art flow and vibrate in your mind.” Oooo, trippy, man. “Original HiSun.” San Francisco, California, c.1970.

Below: The Office Boy’s Diary is a fairly stupid and very sexist little booklet published in 1955. It is humorous to me probably only because I am a man. But I would argue that it isn’t really the gags and jokes that are humorous to me, it’s the idea that some people at one time actually acted like this, and even thought such attitudes were good for business. That indeed is what this little booklet was made for, by Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul, Minnesota, purveyors of “Remembrance Advertising,” which is to say promotional products like advertising calendars. This booklet was given out by their salespeople in the hopes that its contents would prove to prospects what swell guys they were.

Many of my other collections could be considered “pop culture” but they are collected for other reasons as well. The theme runs in, around, and through other collections you’ll see in these pages, greeting cards, paperbacks, music guides, video games, disposables, and the “wacky.”

Left: The 1975 Pet Rock came with a 32 page training manual. Rock Bottom Productions, Los Gatos, California.

Right: Man...Like, get well. Early 1960s. Ah, the beatnik and the ascendency of the word “like” to the supreme status of appearing in nearly every sentence uttered by nearly every American in the last 60 years. I like to think it originated in beatnik poetry readings where reader and audience alike affected a kind of “speaking in simile,” as if their conversation, indeed their whole lives, was poetry. Nearly everything said could be “like” something or other. And it was! Like, wow! This six-inch long get well ash tray was sold in a gift box which says “A Houze Art Product” on it.