Friday, November 17, 2017

HIstory of Women's Magazines

Girl, Read, Reading, Newspaper, Magazine  You know there are always magazines splashed around the checkout stands at the supermarket but I've never been one to buy and read them.  I tend to prefer do it yourself magazines or farming on 1/4th acre.

Have you ever wondered how long woman's magazines have been around?  I thought they were a recent as in the past 100 years or so but the first women's magazine showed up in London in 1693.

The Ladies Mercury, a weekly publication, stated it was all about answering questions about love, marriage, behavior, and other feminine concerns.  Unfortunately it only lasted a month before going out of business.  The next attempt in 1770 was the Ladies Magazine, a monthly British fashion magazine filled with embroidery patterns, sheet music, literary pieces, and fashion notes. This was one of the magazines which published its readerships contributions.  By the end of the 18th century, about a third of its content came from unpaid contributors.  It lasted till 1847 before it ceased publication.

Up until 1852, magazines were an elite item read by and contributed to by women who had lots of time on their hands but the Englishwoman's Domestic magazine changed that when they focused on middle class  women who did most of the cleaning and washing themselves.  This publication columns on pets and cooking with a special focus on crafts and began looking at fashion.  By 1860, the magazine featured a colored plate of the latest Paris Fashion. The magazine contained the pattern and instructions for making the clothing by any woman.

In 1830's America's  Godey's Ladies Magazine premiered in Philadelphia filled with poems, essays, and art work. It was the most widely circulated magazine prior to the Civil War with just over 150,000 subscribers. About half a century later, in 1883 The Ladies Home Journal made its appearance as a supplement to Tribune and Farmer but became independent in 1884  and in the process revolutionized the genre.  It offered recipes, cleaning tips, and stories.  Within a decade, it had a subscription base of 1 million, more than any other magazine of its time.  However it went out of print in 2014 after 131 years of existence.

At about the same time, a group of magazines began publication but they were specifically designed to provide the latest fashion information to women.  The first, Harper's Bazaar commenced publication in 1867, just after the end of the civil war.  It provided information on current fashion and culture each week. It appealed to upper and middle class women.  This was also the time of specialized magazine promoting patterns such as Butterick and McCalls. 

Through the mid 1800's magazine came and gone and most have disappeared into the mists of time. Only a few survived into the 21st century but with the internet who knows how long the print copies will remain.

Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from my readers.  Have a nice day.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Air Service To Australia?

Outback Australia, Flinders Ranges

Over the weekend, I watched the finale of the third season of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.  I enjoyed it tremendously as I love watching period shows.  If you haven't seen it, Miss Fisher helps the police solve mysteries in Australia back in the late 1920's.  Her wardrobe is absolutely delicious.

In the final episode, her father has missed the ship to Southampton and if he does not get off the boat, his wife will ask for a permanent separation.  So after determining her father really loves her mother, she tells him, they'll fly back to the UK.

At that statement, my mind immediately questioned the ability of them to fly to the United Kingdom in 1929.  At the end, they were shown getting into those old two seater planes as if they'd fly all the way across Asia and the Middle East.  I don't think those planes could go that far without a bunch of gas stations along the way.

The first air flight took place in 1910 with none other than Harry Houdini the famous magician as its pilot. He flew a biplane near Sydney.  Two years later the Australian Flying Corps made its appearance and the military now had its flying service. The squadrons flew various missions during World War I in both local areas and in Europe.  By 1921, Australia had its own Royal Australian Air Force but it was like a step child because neither the Army or Navy felt there should be an independent Air Force.

In the mean time, the Government offered a prize to the first aviators who successfully made it from Australia to England in under 30 days.  Two pilots succeeded in 1919 but one died shortly there after in an air crash, never getting a chance to enjoy the money.  Just 9 years later a pilot made it from England to Australia in 15 days and was given 2000 pounds for his effort.

At this same time, Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory air service) began local service in 1920.  Over the next few years, routes expanded both in and out of Australia until they established service all the way to the UK via Singapore.  For this particular route, they used Short Class C flying boats and changed out crews in Singapore.

As time progressed, air service soon covered all of Australia.  Based on the bit I read about small planes flying to the UK in the late teens and early twenties, it was possible for Miss Fisher and her father to fly the distance but it would have taken about 15 days to do it and it was definitely faster than a ship.

I hope you enjoyed the short history lesson. I love researching things so I can find out if certain plot points in television shows is true or just a figment of some scriptwriters imagination.  Let me know what you think.  I hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tis The Season of Jetlag

Aircraft, Jumbo Jet, Airliner, Sky  We are heading into Thanksgiving and Christmas.  A time when families travel across the country to be home with family.  For some, its only an hour or two away but for others it may require several hours of jet travel from one coast to the other.

It is easier to travel west due to longer days than to head east.  Since I live in Alaska, I often leave on a flight just after midnight or arrive at midnight.

There are ways to minimize jet lag including prepare some ahead of time. 

1.  Take a few days off prior to the trip to relax.  The more relaxed you are, the less jet lag. If you work up to the day before you leave, you are going to be a bit more stressed.

2. Try to get a good nights sleep the night before leaving so you are able to cope with jet lag better.  I"m one of those people who seldom sleep well the night before because my mind insists on going over lists to make sure I have everything packed.

3. Try to arrive during the daylight hours because its easier to stay awake.  Even when I arrive during day light hours, I end up taking a short nap to readjust.  I have never been able to arrive and stay awake for several more hours.

4. The plane can make a difference too.  Look for A350 and A380's because they have hi tech humidification systems designed to keep moisture in the air and have great LED lighting.

5.  If at all possible, break the trip up with at least one stop over to help your body have an easier time of adjusting.  The last time I went to Europe, I stopped off in Iceland for three days before continuing to Finland.  The break would have helped except my scheduled flight was cancelled and I ended up on one which got me there around 4AM.

6. Try to avoid alcohol due to its dehydrating effects and it increases tiredness.

7.  Do not use sleeping pills with the idea you will sleep through the flight so you arrive in better shape.  All they do is make you wake up fuzzy and do not help with jet lag.

8. It is much better to drink water rather than coffee, soda, or energy drinks because they usually have high levels of caffeine which affects your ability to sleep and increases your jet lag.

9.  When you board the flight, change your watch to the new time zone so you have a chance to psychologically adjust.

10. Exercise during the flight to boost endorphins and stretch out.  A quick search will yield exercises you can do in your seat.

If all else fails, take a nap when you get there and do not plan to do any site seeing during the first 24 hours so you have time to catch up on sleep and adjust. Let me know what you think.  Have a great day. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

History of Advertising.

Sale, Price, Bargain, Discount, OfferAfter discovering the diamond industry used a concentrated twenty to thirty year advertising campaign to  , I wondered how long advertising has been around.  Its something we see in print, on the television, or hear via the radio.  Its what is used to finance these businesses but how or when did it all start?

Someone said there has been advertisements as long as people have had something to sell but its rather difficult to find information on it from a long time ago.  What I do know is that the first advertisement published in a newspaper in the United States occurred back in 1704, when a real estate ad appeared in the Boston Letter-News.

The Boston Letter-News started publishing on April 24, 1704 as a one page weekly paper filled with British News. The local postmaster published the paper.

In 1742, The General Magazine published by Benjemin Franklin carried the first magazine ads here.  Over the next few years, more print avenues began publishing and newspapers soon went daily instead of weekly.  By 1843, the first advertising agency opened in Philadelphia and by 1873 enough advertising agencies had opened to hold their first convention in New York City.

Advertising had made enough strides for a department store to hire its first copywriter in 1880. Two years later, Ivory soap began the largest advertising budget ever.  A whole $11,000.  Print advertising continued growing over the following years but when radio began, a new media for advertising opened up.  In 1922 a New York City radio station offered 10 minutes of radio time for $100 and a real estate company took them up on the offer thus becoming the first advertisers via this medium.

Two years later companies began sponsoring radio programs as a way to increase their advertising reach. Unfortunately, the depression forced many companies to decrease their budgets. By the end of the 1930's, television is making its appearance in the landscape on the east coast.  In 1941, the first television ad hit the air during the opening and closing times of a New York station.  The ad?  a 60 second spot showing a ticking watch to all 7,500 viewers. 

Fast forward to 1954 when CBS became known for being the largest advertising medium.  Two years later, advertisements went from live to prerecorded so all advertisements could be created in advance and shown.  At the same time, companies began creating "images" associated with products as a way of making people feel a connection.  One of the more famous ones is the Marlboro Man, a cowboy who showed that real men smoked and it wasn't just a women's thing.

Since its introduction in 1994, the internet has changed the face of advertising with banners, ad sense, etc.  Companies began using the World Wide Web for advertising in 1997.  The internet has changed the way companies advertise because there are social media sites, blogs, companies, etc. 

Advertising has come a long way since the first ad appeared in the United States back in 1704.  Let me know what you think.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Are Diamonds a Girls Best Friend?

Precious, Diamond, Jewelry, Expensive  My father talks about his actress from when he was younger.  A lady who was known for performing the song about diamonds being a girls best friend.  So I wondered if that song is true.  Are diamonds a girls best friend?

Its only been in the last 50 years or so that diamonds have become a regular part of societal acceptance.  Up until about 1870, only a few pounds of diamonds were produced each year but then, someone made a huge discovery of raw diamonds.

This discovery caused diamonds to become more plentiful and to avoid protect prices and production, mine financiers formed a single corporation known as De Beers.  This new entity protected both diamond production and pricing due to having a monopoly.  Now they had control, the next step was to convince people they wanted, no needed to have diamonds.

So in the 1930's, De Beers met with a New York city advertising company to create a campaign designed to create that desire for people to have to own diamonds.  The main suggestion?  To use the rapidly growing film industry by backing films willing to create a story line which included a diamond ring, add a song or two to a musical,  or have the female character flash her diamond ring and necklace.

In addition, they paid to have fashion designers appear on radio shows to discuss the sparkling of the gem.  The company pushed both newspapers and magazines to increase the number of pictures with popular actresses sporting diamonds.  During the 1940's they hosted a series of lectures held in high schools, community halls, etc to talk about the diamond engagement ring.  They hoped this would help build desire for the consumption of diamonds.

By the 1950's the idea of a diamond engagement ring had become part of the culture.  It was considered the perfect item to show the world a boy and girl were now engaged. but De Beers didn't stop there.  In the 1960's they turned their sights towards Japan where only five percent of women wore diamond engagement rings.  By the mid 1970's, almost 50 percent of the female population wanted diamond rings.

So now the diamond has a connection to love.  If a man really loves a woman, he will make sure she has the biggest diamond he can get to "show" his love.   If he doesn't present her with a diamond, its obvious he doesn't really love her, or at least according to the advertising.  If you watch commercials around Valentines day, you'll see an increased number flooding the airwaves as a way of showing your love.

I do not own any diamonds, mostly because they've never appealed to me.  I prefer rubies, emeralds, amethyst or other colored gem because they seem so much warmer.  Diamonds feel too cold.

Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you.