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1970s Dept Store Catalogs
December 1, 2006 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Since April of this year, the blogger over at PlaidStallions has been dutifully scanning the most interesting/unique pages from 1970's department store catalogs (among other things) and posting the images online with commentary.
posted by jonson (24 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Definitely needs more underwear.
posted by loquacious at 5:00 PM on December 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is an outstanding find. Thank you jonson.
posted by tomharpel at 5:02 PM on December 1, 2006


Awesome. Somewhere there are pictures of of me in 1977 wearing a powder blue leisure suit from Sears for my Junior High Graduation. The seventies were just an amazingly ugly decade.
posted by octothorpe at 7:19 PM on December 1, 2006


Awesome. I totally had both Beauty Secrets Barbie and Sport & Shave Ken back in the day. Boy, does this bring back memories!
posted by SisterHavana at 7:25 PM on December 1, 2006


very nice. thank you. and for those of you who will visit, be sure to try some of his links to other 70's kind of sites
posted by altman at 7:46 PM on December 1, 2006


God it was hell to grow up in the 70s. Hippy parents, ugly clothing, bad taste all around.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 PM on December 1, 2006


It really annoys me when people scan stuff still under copyright (or even out of copyright) and then plaster their website name on the images. If you're gonna "share" don't act like your shitty scans are priceless treasures.
posted by D.C. at 11:05 PM on December 1, 2006


I'm grumpy, but I'll share from that decade: Christmas of 78 with a prized new toy. Also, though you can't tell from the pic, I've got on a red LED Star Wars watch.
posted by D.C. at 11:15 PM on December 1, 2006


That's pretty awesome, D.C. - and from the looks of it, you & I are about the same age.
posted by jonson at 11:16 PM on December 1, 2006


God it was hell to grow up in the 70s. Hippy parents, ugly clothing, bad taste all around.

Heh heh. When I hear people complain about their hippy parents, it always makes me feel a little sorry for them: they didn't really have anything to rebel against. Poor kids.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:33 AM on December 2, 2006


Brian is also curator of The Mego Museum. Part of the reason he puts watermarks on his scans by default is because of his experience at the Museum where countless people have stolen images and used them to build their own really bad imitations. Some have even used the Mego Museum's toy pictures to try to defraud people on eBay.

Running a site like Plaid Stallions takes a lot of time to track down those catalogs and scan them, as well as money to buy them. D.C., if you're going to be a giant asshole and whine about him taking such a minimal measure to try to keep people from stealing that work, then build a site like it yourself and see how you feel when someone rips it off.

What he's doing is the equivalent of a library stamping their name on the inside front cover of their books.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:41 AM on December 2, 2006


The only way to rebel was to get good grades and stay away from drugs. Sigh.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:55 AM on December 2, 2006


Holy crap. I had this batmobile as a little kid, and rode up and down our driveway for hours on end. I haven't thought about that thing in 25 years.
posted by Gamblor at 9:19 AM on December 2, 2006


Heh heh. When I hear people complain about their hippy parents, it always makes me feel a little sorry for them: they didn't really have anything to rebel against. Poor kids.

Come on, where do you think California got its punk rockers from??
posted by scratch at 9:51 AM on December 2, 2006


Gamblor that Batmobile was slick, but nothing compared to the Green Machine from Marx. Huffy has even re-released it! Gotta get one for the kids.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:10 AM on December 2, 2006


Oh man, HyperBlue, you are spot on. I must confess that I'm guilty of coveting my neighbor's snaking Green Machine action. Between all this, and Star Wars being on constant play on Cinemax, I feel like I'm six years old again.
posted by Gamblor at 12:14 PM on December 2, 2006


only the bad-ass kids in my neighborhood had Green Machines. all the future frat boys had Big Wheels. wonder what that's about?
posted by RedEmma at 2:14 PM on December 2, 2006


What he's doing is the equivalent of a library stamping their name on the inside front cover of their books.

I'd say it's more like ripping an LP to mp3 and overdubbing some sort of claim to ownership somewhere in the middle of each track. Libraries stamp books in innocuous places to prove ownership if the book is lost or stolen – it's not about keeping people from photocopying pages. Also, libraries are not breaking any laws by buying and lending books.

I was well aware of the problem of people copying images when I wrote my previous post. I have some sympathy, but not much. There's a big difference between a photographer feeling they need to mark their creations and someone scanning stuff they don't have clear rights to in the first place.

In some cases I'd agree the scans are fair use (in spirit if not in letter of the law), but you'll sometimes see entire publications (or large chunks way beyond fair use) scanned without permission and put online with a stamp of ownership by the offending website.

I believe that there should be a lot of slack in the non-commercial duplication of out-of-print works. Your friend's website is nifty. He's added value by making editorial choices and writing original commentary. If someone copies his original content they [the infringing website] should be taken down. But if you're going to take an information-should-be-free approach to images you did not create and did not get permission to use you shouldn't be re-branding them and whining if they end up on other places on the net.
posted by D.C. at 6:15 PM on December 2, 2006


Sorry, who's whining? The site owner, or you?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:33 PM on December 2, 2006


As for the propriety of slapping watermarks on old shit you scan in and put up on your internet website, our own Jason Scott has made the definitive argument. He is the archivist, and I agree with him totally.
posted by blasdelf at 7:24 PM on December 2, 2006


As someone who doesn't give a shit whether scans of old magazine ads have a watermark, I think I can say this without bias: our own Jason Scott comes across as a complete asshole in his dealings with the kid who was doing the scanning.

You will attract more flies with honey than vinegar, Jason. I suggest that instead of being so abrasive right from the very start, as documented by yourself in blasdelf's link, you try rein in your youthful feistiness and treat people nicely when trying to change their mind about watermarking.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:50 PM on December 2, 2006


Like I said, if your position is such that you feel watermarking is wrong, then I'd suggest you put your money where your mouth is and take the time and energy to make your own non-watermarked site.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:09 PM on December 2, 2006


Excellent post
posted by MichaelWhyley at 12:24 PM on December 3, 2006


P.S. Don't watermark your scans.
posted by jscott at 1:47 AM on January 1, 2007


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