Monday, January 07, 2013

Magazine Man

This card, found in an old book, brought back the memory of one of those little rituals of my childhood- the door to door magazine salesman. As I was growing up, at least until early 1960s, my life was so uneventful that the appearance of a man at our front door wearing horn-rim glasses and a fedora and selling magazines was the highlight of the week. My mother would actually buy some: Good Housekeeping (later to be replaced by Redbook), Life, Readers' Digest, and perhaps a teen magazine for my sister and Popular Mechanics for me. This went on until the mid 60s when bulk mail became dominant and Publisher's Clearinghouse started running their sweepstakes.

It is hard for me to imagine the business plan- how this way of selling could make any money at all. We've had magazine salespeople come to our door in recent years, but they are kids doing it as a fundraiser (working for nothing) and some of those were just plain frauds. But my mother's "magazine man" worked door to door for a living. It was a different time; now most mass market magazines are on the brink of extinction.

There was also a Fuller Brush man who came around from time to time, but that's whole 'nother story altogether.

By Professor Batty



Blogger Jono said...

We also had "Charles Chips" that set up weekly deliveries of pretzels and potato chips.

Blogger Darien Fisher-Duke said...

I still use a Fuller Brush brush!

Blogger Professor Batty said...

Jono ~ when Charles stopped coming around was it "Goodbye Mr. Chips?

Darien ~ I had a Fuller nylon scalp brush until a couple of years ago...

Blogger Mary said...

The life insurance man used to come every month to collect the premium. I remember one time when I was little I had cut myself just as he happened to arrive and he helped my grandmother stop the bleeding. His name was Mr. Altman and as I recall it was the Metropolitan Insurance Company.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

You remembered his name! Now that's a good memory!

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