The Year Was 1959: Casinos, Kodachrome, Cameras, Cars, and Cutouts

The year was 1959. NASA selected seven military pilots to become America’s first astronauts. The Xerox 914, the first plain-paper copier, was introduced. Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone premiered. The Barbie doll was born. Glen Raven Mills of North Carolina introduced pantyhose. Four members of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas were murdered, inspiring Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood. “Weird Al” Yankovic was born. Frank Lloyd Wright, Lou Costello, and George “Superman” Reeves died. And these ads appeared in the Star-Telegram:

casino ballroomOut at Casino Ballroom on Jacksboro Highway, for one night only, Denny Beckner and his Madcap Merrymakers were making, well, merry. Note the CEdar phone exchange for Lake Worth/Azle.

1959 camera storeRemember film?

camera 8mmAt Stripling’s, The great-great-great-grandfather of the GoPro.

opel renaultmgForeign cars were all the rage. That $1,459 Renault would cost $12,000 today.

3 dealersOverseas Motors, of course.

merecuryEven the full-sized Mercury was marketed as an “economy car.” It weighed about four thousand pounds. Gas mileage was just a scooch under thirteen miles per gallon.

buick

A 1959 Buick land yacht.

cutouts boots“Boots Cut-Outs” was a syndicated newspaper feature that had spun off of the newspaper comic strip “Boots and Her Buddies” by Edgar Martin. The strip began in 1924. Notice that a design submitted by a Fort Worth girl was featured.

Boots 1939This panel is from 1939. (Photo from Wikipedia.)

boots1948The comic strip also spun off comic books. This issue is from 1948. (Photo from Wikipedia.)

The character Boots (“Sweetheart of the Comics”) attended Monmouth College from 1924 to 1945. Perhaps she just couldn’t get past that frog dissection in freshman biology. In 1945 she married Rod Ruggles. Soon Boots was knitting booties. Her son Davey was born in 1946—a gestation considerably shorter than Boots’s college career.

The strip ended in 1969.

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