Blast from the Past: July, 1960

50 years ago this month, Outdoor Life's July 1960 issue hit newsstands. To put things into perspective, that same month, the first 50-star American flag was flown over Philadelphia to celebrate the addition of Hawaii to the union a year earlier. Also, Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird, and the Republican National Convention nominated Vice-President Richard Nixon as its candidate for the Presidency--he would not actually become President until nine years later.
One of the most interesting articles in the July issue was a profile by Earl Fleming about trapping live Kodiak bears.
A basic bait-and-net system was used to trap the bears, which is something you don't see every day in the 21st century.
One of the more amusing advertisements was this cigar ad. Somehow, the notion of being sawed in half by a devious woman was supposed to sell cigars. Go figure.
Author G. Howard Gillelan wrote a 2-page piece on what to look for when buying a bow. Funny thing, the bows were all traditional bows. _Outdoor Life'_s most recent bow test, in the May, 2010 issue, profiled 10 bows, all compounds.
Place your cigarette in the "Solar Cigarette Lighter" and use sunlight to light your next cig! ...or, you could just use a tiny match, which is about 1/100 the size of this bulky, awkward (and presumably unreliable) thing.
Canoe paddles float. Backpacks float. People float (sort of). A floating rifle actually seems like a brilliant idea. Too bad the concept never caught on.
A portable hot water shower, "for inside -trailer -boat -tent -cottage." Tent, really? Just how big were the tents back in 1960? ...Also, who knew Audrey Hepburn liked to shower in the outdoors?
A full-scale model Browning automatic pistol that's actually a cigarette lighter! Just make sure you know which gun is which, or else you might accidentally be offering your next home intruder a smoke instead of protecting yourself.
Whatever happened to cuckoo clocks?
Look at all of the bulky camera equipment that was required to take a good outdoor photo in 1960.
Yes, you read correctly--there was an Outdoor Life Book Club in 1960, about 45 years before Oprah made millions off the concept.
It's a gun...that unclogs your toilet. What's not to love?
A classic Eddie Bauer ad, showcasing the company's famous Down jacket.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Here's a down jacket currently being sold by Eddie Bauer--nearly indistinguishable from its 1960 counterpart.
Anyone who has ever been around Orlando--possibly en route to fishing at the Keys--knows that the area isn't exactly miles and miles of vacant acreage now...
...there's been a tad bit of development in Florida since that 1960 advertisement.
The This Happened to Me from July, 1960 was by Alice G. Geagen, from Bangor, Maine. Click ahead to read the story.
"One July day my husband Bill, guide Junior Wilson, and I were fishing Maine's Moosehead Lake. The men went off in the canoe."
"Left on the cruiser with Junior's dog, Rinty, I took two salmon. Then the sky began to darken ominously."
"Suddenly a fierce thunderstorm struck; rain and hail came down in sheets."
"Towering waves smashed against the boat, sending the dog and me sprawling."
"Terrified, I realized the boat was adrift. I shouted wildly for help."
"As we drifted nearer the jagged rocks, I saw the men paddling furiously toward us."
"Miraculously, they were able to board the tossing boat, letting the canoe go."
"Junior started the motor, and we headed into the blow--just in the nick of time."
Let us know what you think about the July, 1960 issue, and my umbrella. Leave comments below!