Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lolcats of the 1950s

The fine folks at the Cheezburger Network have traced the history of the cat macro back to the late 1800s, but they don't seem to have run across any from this collection yet. It's a cool glimpse at promotional advertising from the middle of the 20th century.

The suture company Ethicon first produced the "Cat-a-log" in 1950 as a handout for doctors, nurses and hospitals (noting, of course, that the product in question doesn't actually use real catgut). As of this run (October 1957), some three-quarters of a million copies had been printed. The photos are by Walter Chandoha; most of the captions "were written by our friends in the nursing profession." So this is largely nurses LOLing at doctors, residents, interns, administrators and each other.

Most professions probably have a variation of the one shown here: I've asked everyone, doctor, but we just don't seem to have any Fallopian tubes! (A newspaper version from about the same time involved sending the new guy to fetch a pneumatic slug line.) Readers are encouraged to send in examples, anecdotes, or anything else that crosses their minds.

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Anonymous raYb said...

Carpenters have long been fond of sending helpers to look for board stretchers. My brother-in-law got sent to a lumber yard for one, they sent him to another and, I believe, they sent him to another before someone took pity on the poor guy.

3:57 PM, December 29, 2010  
Anonymous Ed Latham said...

When I did work experience at a garage, I was sent to the famously grouchy-in-the-morning parts manager for a 'long weight'. I was there several nervous minutes before the (mercifully caffeinated and mollified) manager explained that I had, in fact, been sent for a 'long wait'.

5:44 PM, December 29, 2010  

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