I came across this magazine from the 1950s which is a great snapshot of fashions, advertisements and what was in Women’s magazines at that time. It is The New Idea for Women dated June 19, 1957 and cost 7d (pence).
The back page is a full page advertisement for learning the piano in just 6 weeks with the Latest Home Study Lessons saying you will start to play in 30 minutes and soon you’ll be an accomplished Pianist, popular, sought after and be able to earn up to 8 pound weekly spare time playing and teaching. The course was just a few pence weekly ( it does not mention the exact cost) and it’s free if you don’t succeed (limited offer) to those who write for particulars withing the next 30 days.
The inside front cover has an advertisement for New Idea Pattern Service with a coupon at the bottom to complete with the size required and your name and address. All you need to do was fill in the coupon and enclose a 2/6 Postal Note or money order for each pattern ordered. The picture on the right is a pattern for an Enid Gilchrist party dress which you had to draft and make up the pattern yourself using the measurements in the magazine, not as easy as just buying a pattern from a shop. The home dressmakers of this time had some skill to be able to do this and I wonder how many people today could do it.
The page on the left is tips on how to look after your hair with details of The New Page-Boy look hairstyle at the bottom of the page.
The first page in the magazine lists the contents as well as an advertisement to reduce weight without drugs, very strenuous exercise or starvation diets. I read all through the ad but could not find out how you lost the weight as it was not mentioned in the ad or testimonials just that you COULD DO IT SECRETLY IN YOUR OWN ROOM and watch the bulging hips disappearing.
The magazine had a romance story ( the picture below), a serial (continuing story), recipes, a page where you could write in with a problem, handy woman page with lots of household tip and lots more.
I was surprised to see The Mere Male page (the picture below on the right) as I remember reading this in the 1970s and 80s when I bought the New Idea and did not know it had been in the magazine in the 1950s. It was a page where you could write in and share funny things a male, often your husband or son had done.
A couple of the Mere Males in this magazine read…
Suggested to my young Mere Male that he come home a little earlier at night, as I lie awake worrying until I hear him come in. “What on earth do you lie awake for Mum?” The police would let you know if I was in an accident?”
Mere Male had a bilious attack on night and woke me saying, “Make me a cuppa. I’ve been awfully sick.” So I did. Several months later I had a bilious attack. Did he make me a cuppa? No. But he did suggest I make one for myself.
The winning Mere Male which won 1 pound 1 shilling for the contributor was…
Returning from an outing, I went into the kitchen to find parts of my Mixmaster strewn about. On asking Mere Male what he had been baking (knowing his love of food), I was completely floored when he replied, “No-thing. I’ve been mixing the paint with the Mixmaster, as it should make the paint nice and smooth.”
I hope you enjoy looking at this 1957 magazine as I found it lots of fun and an interesting look at life in the 1950s .