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Image tells some about the times

I do believe that I am at the moment a visually oriented person.  One evidence of that is I have posted regularly to Flickr for over three years, while my blogs die from neglect.  So today while thinking of something to post I got to thinking about the image below and how I could post it and make some probably obvious comments about it.

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The image is from a 1919 ad for a Fountain Pen being marketed to college students.  The first thing that strikes me is how well-dressed and groomed these students are.  The only place that I have occasionally seen students close to this well-dressed in my time was in a law library.  Judging from photos that I have seen from those days it probably is true that students did attempt to dress like this.  For all I know it may have been a requirement.

Maybe the most obvious thing is that the woman is holding an open book, however her attention is on the man and his pen.  That the pen could be seen as a phallic symbol probably wasn’t an intention of the ad.   I don’t think that Freud became widely read here until the 1920’s. Although it does seem like large pen. Anyway, even up until my youth many believed that the best reason for a woman to go to college was to find a good husband.  So the young woman giving the young man an appraising look while neglecting her studies is what would be expected at the times.  She definitely wouldn’t be shown being the one holding the phallic symbol  Instead she is the one impressed by it and the industrious male.  I imagine some more messages could be found here, however it does do a good job of appealing to the likely buyer of this fountain pen.

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