My wife knows me pretty well. At a recent garage sale, Kris picked up the November 1939 issue of American Cookery magazine. She wanted it for the recipes. But after she was finished, she handed it off to me. “You’ll want to look at the ads,” she said. She was right.

Fun trivia: American Cookery magazine was originally called The Boston Cooking-School Magazine. The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book was first published in 1896 and written by Fannie Merritt Farmer. When I was a boy, my mother regularly used a modern edition of this cookbook, which we knew as “the Fannie Farmer cookbook“.

Some of the ads from this issue of American Cookery are for products that are still familiar to us seventy years later:

Baking soda ad   Salt ad

But many of the ads seem quaint or outdated:

Cake ad

Fowl lacer ad

Table-setting ad

Cheese ad

Trash can ad

Stove Oil ad

Kornlet ad

I was particularly pleased to see that there were so many ads for home-based businesses. I wasn’t aware that there were so many female entrepreneurs in the late thirties. This was at the end of the Great Depression, of course, and it may be that economic necessity had made this sort of thing more acceptable.

Hotel ad

Tearoom ad

Tip: Click any image in this post to go to its Flickr page, where you can view the ad in more detail.

Candy ad   Cookery ad

Of all the ads, though, one especially caught my eye:

Family Budgeting ad

A 1939 book on budgeting? Yes, please! Remember: I have a small (but growing) collection of old finance and success manuals. It’s tough to find new ones. It’s especially tough to find new budgeting books, or books written by women. Naturally, I tracked down a copy and sent away for it. And soon, my friends, I’ll have a review for you…

Note: I love the ads in old magazines. I’ve shared some of my favorites here at Get Rich Slowly before.