Green Cross Code Adverts, 1975

In the Britain of the early 1970s, growing salaries meant that private car ownership was on the rise. Yet children were still often expected to circulate unsupervised, and worry was growing at the increasing numbers of them who were being hurt or killed on the roads…

“People Can Stop It”: Three Ecology PSAs, 1971 – 1977

With the first Earth Day in 1970, ecology and environmental protection entered the public consciousness in a way not seen since the 1962 release of biologist Rachel Carson’s investigation into the effects of DDT, Silent Spring. Earth Day tapped the nascent environmental movement among scientists and conservationists and gave it a public face…

A Dream of Middle Class Respectability: ‘Crisis in Levittown’, 1957

After returning from World War II, William Levitt, the son of an upscale real estate developer, set out to build affordable homes for the millions of veterans that needed one. Using mass production methods innovated at the beginning of the century by the Ford Motor Company and taught to him during his tour as a Navy Seabee—and by cutting out union workers and middlemen—Levitt did exactly that…

Nancy Reagan Appears on ‘Diff’rent Strokes’, 1983

As part of her anti-drug Just Say No campaign, First Lady Nancy Reagan made a guest appearance on the NBC sitcom Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986) on March 19, 1983. In the episode, titled “The Reporter,” Arnold Drummond (Gary Coleman), a reporter for his school newspaper, breaks a story on drug pushers at his school and submits it to a major city newspaper…

Cannon Films Print Advertisements in ‘Variety’, 1979 – 1986

In 1979, Israeli film industry giants (and cousins) Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus purchased tiny independent American film production house Cannon Group, Inc. Cannon had spent the ’70s producing B-movies with occasional surprise hits (like the 1970 “hardhat revenge” tale Joe starring Peter Boyle). Golan and Globus saw in Cannon a way to gain a foothold in an American market that they’d long eyed entering…

Continental Airlines Commercial, Circa 1976

Prior to the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the fares, routes, schedules, and establishment of commercial airliners were controlled by the federal Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). While regulation meant smaller profits for the airliners, it also meant guaranteed profits: the result amounted to a monopoly that was “too big to fail.” The supposed “golden age” of air travel, as depicted in the commercial above, was actually the result of so many half-empty planes in the sky…

BBC Handbook, 1965

The BBC Handbook was published annually beginning in 1928 to inform the British public about the work being done by its national broadcaster. Under one cover and written in a straightforward prose style, a reader could find the Beeb’s technical broadcasting details (including the exciting new vistas opened up by Telstar and other communications satellites)…