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©Copyright 2015 Eric Wrobbel



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This vintage silk-screen store placard from about 1960 shows that our 'consumer culture' is no recent phenomenon. Your Credit is Good!' Pay Next Year.' Spend, spend, spend! 'Pay next year' sounds a long way off, but from the appearance of Santa Claus on the poster, I think your payments may be due sooner than you think, like next month. From 'Nothing New Under the Sun' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/nothing-new.htm The single use camera isn't a '70s invention as I always thought. The Photo-Pac 'Snap and Mail' Camera is from 1949. It claims it is 'The Most Convenient Way To Take Snapshots.' Photo-Pac Camera Mfg. Company, Dallas 6, Texas. From 'Nothing New Under the Sun' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/nothing-new.htm Disposable 'handy wipes' from the 1960s. 'Wash-Up, 26 Moist Towelettes, the instant cleanser and refresher.' Box dated 1965. Youngs Drug Products Corporation, New Jersey. The loose packets are 'Wash'n Dri Moist Disposable Towelettes.' 'Washes and refreshes without water, soap, or towel.' By Canaan Products (Colgate-Palmolive). From 'Nothing New Under the Sun' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/nothing-new.htm The forerunner of the 'handy wipe' -- The Bay West Wash-Up Kit, 1920. There can't be many of these still around. 'Pure Paper Soap and Pure Paper Towels, For tourists, campers, picnickers, hikers, etc.' Manufactured by Bay West Paper Co., Green Bay, Wisconsin. Made of pure sulphate (kraft). 'Pure-Clean-Sanitary.' From 'Nothing New Under the Sun' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/nothing-new.htm The forerunner of the 'handy wipe' -- The Bay West Wash-Up Kit, 1920. There can't be many of these still around. 'Pure Paper Soap and Pure Paper Towels, For tourists, campers, picnickers, hikers, etc.' Manufactured by Bay West Paper Co., Green Bay, Wisconsin. Made of pure sulphate (kraft). 'Pure-Clean-Sanitary.' From 'Nothing New Under the Sun' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/nothing-new.htm

Collecting is eye-opening. In a world obsessed with the new, we are exhorted constantly to buy the “latest and greatest” and the new scientific breakthrough “never before offered.” And once in a while those claims may even be true. But looking at old stuff, I occasionally come across something that gives credence to the old adage, there is Nothing New Under the Sun. Here are a few of them.

The single use camera isn’t a ’70s invention as I always thought. The Photo-Pac “Snap and Mail” Camera is from 1949. It claims to be, with reasonable credibility, “The Most Convenient Way To Take Snapshots.” Further details are given on the package, and I quote: “8 Exposures, Printed 3-1/4" x 4-1/2" and mailed to you. Photo-Pac Camera Mfg. Company, Dallas 6, Texas.”

Above: This vintage silk-screen store placard from about 1960 shows us that our “consumer culture” is no recent phenomenon. Your Credit is Good! (even if it isn’t), Oufit the Entire Family, Buy Favorite Gifts! Pay Next Year. Easy credit indeed. Spend, spend, spend! And “pay next year” sounds a long way off, but from the appearance of Santa Claus on the poster, I think your payments may be due sooner than you think, like next month.

Left: When I found these disposable towelette things I call, generically, “handy wipes,” I thought wow, these are pretty old. In the blue box was “Wash-Up, 26 Moist Towelettes.” The box described them as “The instant cleanser and refresher.” It has a UPC code on the bottom but it was added later to this 1965 box. Youngs Drug Products Corporation, New Jersey. The loose packets are Wash'n Dri Moist Disposable Towelettes. "Washes and refreshes without water, soap, or towel. From Canaan Products, a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive.

You might be surprised to see that these towelettes existed ’way back in the 1960s. I know I was. But then I found—to use a word one of my collector friends loves to use— their antecedent: The Bay West Wash-Up Kit. There can’t be many of these still around. “Pure Paper Soap and Pure Paper Towels, For tourists, campers, picnickers, hikers, etc.” And don’t forget: “Every Motorist Needs It” and “Every Emergency Wash-Up Demands It.” Manufactured by Bay West Paper Co., Green Bay, Wisconsin. Patent 1920. Made of pure sulphate (kraft). “Pure-Clean-Sanitary.”