National Geographic Revisited

1 Oct

A few years ago, I received a copy of National Geographic for my birthday. Not a subscription, which I have since received, but one copy of a National Geographic. Specifically, it is the edition from November 1968, the month I was born.

No, it does not record the birth of a very important person.

I think that I am supposed to preserve it, but it is too interesting to place in a plastic covering. Reading old copies of National Geographic, and other publications, is like taking a ride in Mr. Peabody’s WABAC Machine. The articles are interesting because they provide a view from the past that can be compared to the view of the present.

One article is about Queensland, “Young Titan of Australia’s Tropic North”. I wonder if Queensland became what they thought it would become.

Another article follows the Natchez Trace, a protected parkway from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi. I have driven it several times and can report that the speed limit has not increased in the past 40-something years. It also contains some cool pictures of Nashville from that time. The Municipal Auditorium, once the city’s premiere concert venue, is shown in all of its glory. Now, it can be rented by almost anyone for any event. It is a shell of its former self.

There is also a picture from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, the radio show that turned Nashville into Music City. At the time, the show aired from the Ryman Auditorium. The importance of the Opry has faded, but the Ryman has been refurbished and holds some awesome concerts.

The world of Queen Elizabeth I is explored in the next article. I can’t figure out if it is about her or her surroundings.

The last article is called “Our Friend From the Sea” and is about a family in New Jersey that semi-adopts a seal. It’s a different version of Jersey Shore.

All of those things are interesting but in no way compare to the advertisements. I find it interesting to look at products of the past because they are remnants of my childhood. However, many of them are also extinct.

The back cover urges us to “Fly the Friendly Skies of United”.

There is an automatic Polaroid that costs $160. Wait, $160 in 1968? The thing should take the photographs itself.

The Zenith 9-Band Trans-Oceanic Radio is one of my favorites. It is “powered to tune in the world, and FM, too.”

Oldsmobile advertises itself as Youngmobile.

There is a Toshiba transistor radio. I find this interesting because Toshiba made televisions in my town for years. Like most industry in my town, it is gone.

And, my family had a Honeywell movie projector to show “home movies in a new light”.

Another ad tells us to keep Kodak film around the house. Does Kodak still exist?

Magnavox televisions were like pieces of furniture with small screens.

The Dodge Polara was a popular car. It had standard foam-padded seats, carpeting and concealed windshield wipers. Dodge also sponsored the American Football League.

The best advertisement celebrates the 200th anniversary of Encyclopedia Britannica. Remember when we actually looked through encyclopedias to find out stuff?

Now, we blog about encyclopedias and other things that used to be.

10 Responses to “National Geographic Revisited”

  1. Smaktakula October 1, 2012 at 04:41 #

    I have a LIFE Magazine from the month I was born, although it’s framed–I haven’t looked through it. Back in school I had to do a series of historical analyses of the New York Times on my birthday in various years dating back to the 19th Century. However, I was born during interesting times (just a few days before the Attica Riots kicked off). The headline of the Times on the day I was born reads :”Nikita Kruschev is Dead.”

    • surroundedbyimbeciles October 1, 2012 at 12:39 #

      That’s a cool assignment. I may use that one in the future. I’m also going to look at the headlines for the day I was born.

  2. Manu Kurup October 1, 2012 at 08:39 #

    i completely agree that reading National Geographic from decades ago is a very pleasure giving experience for those who like to take a look at the past. I have a small collection myself, of about 60-70 magazines. I am interested, after reading your blog, to see what must have happened in the magazine which came out in January 1986, the month I was born. Thanks for giving me an idea… I have something to look for now…
    nice post. 😀

    • surroundedbyimbeciles October 1, 2012 at 12:40 #

      You’re welcome. Let me know what you find out.

  3. paintlater October 1, 2012 at 11:12 #

    I love National Geographic. My family originated from Nth Queensland and it is a very different place. I remember snorkelling the reef as a youngster with very few tourists around. It then got to the stage where they closed Green Island down because of the damage by being over run. It was a lovely gift. I’ve got a few years on you though.cheers

    • surroundedbyimbeciles October 1, 2012 at 12:41 #

      It’s cool that there is a Queensland connection. You should read the article and see what you think.

  4. John October 1, 2012 at 13:24 #

    This is pretty cool!

    • surroundedbyimbeciles October 1, 2012 at 14:53 #

      Thanks. I wish I could upload the entire magazine. It’s interesting to look at.

  5. javaj240 October 1, 2012 at 13:30 #

    I was a big fan of “Hector Heathcote”.

    • surroundedbyimbeciles October 1, 2012 at 14:54 #

      I never watched him, but I am going to check YouTube to see if he made it to the future.

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