Working In the Twilight Zone

If you are “mechanically inclined and can hold tools” – well, just turn the page. Don’t send away for the amazing electronic kit. But once you begin to look at the ad, you cannot turn away! You must write to the so-called Christy Trades School and get a “free BIG book.”

Soon you will have a free BIG head. After that, there will be a free BIG trip to another dimension.

So it doesn’t matter how much money you’re going to be making. Because soon, you will be traveling to the planet Zircon, where all the other part-time electrical technicians have been taken, their heads now programmed to work for Zirconic domination of the galaxy.

That is, in fact, why they say there is a need for electricians on planet Earth. Didn’t it occur to you to wonder why? Too late now. Sci-fi Charlie Brown wants you to join him in rigging up that – electrical thing he has on the table. I don’t know what it is, but I am worried.

This startling ad is from Startling Detective magazine (1964).

About these ads

16 thoughts on “Working In the Twilight Zone

  1. What’s with that head? I’m trying to remember (I was a baby) what the heck was going on in 1964 that would lead to this big head phenomenon. Obsession with outer space? I wonder how many people ended up in mental hospitals who tried to go into business using the amazing electronic kit.

  2. Margo – I guess they were trying to evoke some sort of modern/sci-fi vibe but really, it is just bizarre in this ad. I can’t imagine why they thought it would work!David – It certainly is.Tori – That’s true, there is an Wizard of Oz thing going on too. Catherine – Maybe he’s wearing some sort of bizarre safety goggles?Dan – You know, you’re right. I may have to send for this.Hairball – It sure is.

  3. Nothing odd about that head. Not in 1964 where $5 an hour was $50 an hour in our puny money. But I see a pattern here: that era must have been the golden age of selling correspondence courses for high school dropouts hoping for a better future, yet unable to grasp the concept of returning to a free school. The ads seemed to be everywhere, especially on the inside back cover of comic books and in Real Detective magazines.What kind of person reads Real Detective (or Startling Detective, or even Zircon Detective?) Apparently, the kind of person who is dissatisfied with their lot in life. This phenomenon of the past bears further study, Lidian. But today Yahoo has replaced True Detective and the comic books, and the University of Phoenix has replaced Christy Trades School and Foley Belsaw. Or whatever their name was. The more we change, the more we stay the same. Why IS online college so cool? says the permanent advert on Yahoo’s home page. Why indeed.

  4. Lin and ettarose – I agree wit you both!Max – Indeed, it is as you say. I intend to continue to study True Detective and whichever of its sordid little friends I can rescue from secondhand stores. I wish I’d saved the 60s comic books which were available to me only when I was ill enough to be in bed and presumably unable to digest anything more difficult than Junket and the adventures of the eternally immature Archie Andrews.

  5. Heh. Archie with the strange cross hatch lines on his temples. And the crown-cap of jughead with all the button things on it. I had the hots for Betty. Sigh.

  6. Was there really a magazine called Startling Detective? How enchanting!Would Columbo be a startling detective? Or Adrian Monk? Brains Benton, perhaps?

  7. Max – I always liked Jughead the best. He is actually quite intriguing in his way.Bill – Yes, there certainly was and it is a riot. There were plenty of ads telling guys how they could be detectives too, the idea of whih is also rather startling.

  8. I must have seen thousands of these ads, but I never saw anything quite like that head. Remember, it was the 60′s. Even the squares were seriously odd. BTW, most of this sort of advertising was aimed at children and teenagers who rarely had disposable income and were always devouring any magazine they could find.

  9. Jeffrey – I never saw anything like it either, and I loved those little ads in the 60s. Never sent for anything, though. I also liked weird catalogues, though not enough to save them, unfortunately.

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