Monday, August 14, 2017

“Cheaper buy the dozen”

[Life, August 24, 1953. Click for a larger view.]

Oh, they’re clever, what with their puns and their pencil named after the largest of the British Virgin Islands. And with their not even mentioning s-c-h-o-o-l by name. But school is around the corner: why else would there be a full-page advertisement announcing that Pedigree pencils are on sale?

Notice the date of this Life: August 24. When I was a boy in Brooklyn, school began after Labor Day. School in New York City and other northeastern places still begins after Labor Day. In downstate Illinois and many other places, school begins in mid-August. In 2015 CNN offered some explanations of “why August is the new September.”

Back to pencils (briefly): I have never liked Pedigree. But I always loved shopping for school supplies with my children, even for “1 box tissues” and the elusive “oilcloth.” I’m not sure we ever figured out that one.

Related reading
All OCA pencil posts (Pinboard)
Pedigree pencil (With a photograph of an old one)

comments: 4

Slywy said...

"Oilcloth" used to make an appearance in some of my favorite children's books. I was thrilled when I found an oilcloth bag at Duluth Trading in Port Washington, Wisconsin. Wanted to collect all the colors. :)

Slywy said...

PS. But Pedigree offers "much smoooother" writing!

Michael Leddy said...

Any idea what elementary-school kids would need oilcloth for?

Michael Leddy said...

My daughter Rachel tells me that it was used to protect tables from paint and clay. It was sold in the school-supplies area and was needed only for one year, kindergarten or first grade. My strongest memory of it is just being baffled.