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From the inside back cover of Adventures Into the Unknown # 17, published in 1951, when television was still fairly new, and next to nobody had one.

I kind of think this ad was meant to give kids the impression that there was an actual miniature working television embedded at the top of this penny bank, instead of a set of static images that you could flip through using that big honking knob. Kids weren’t used to being lied to by advertisers yet — the inundation hadn’t quite begun. Spam (the digital kind) hadn’t even been invented. With their slender, untested resistances to this kind of bullshit, 1950s kids were bound to be fooled by language like:

Whether you go for ‘zowie’ shows (fights and such) or want a dream dance-team or peppy cartoon, you’ve got them — and MORE — right on this miracle Television Bank! What’s more, shining convex lens over screen gives you the brightest, cleanest picture yet!

The copywriters even try to appeal to greedy little children’s greedy little greed:

None of your friends, relatives, or chance visitors can resist depositing enough to see the complete show!

If I didn’t know better, I’d want one of these thingies right now! How could a kid in 1951 resist? He couldn’t, that’s how! I mean: “zowie” shows!

 

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