Atta Boy Flashlight Crackers – Fire Crackers. As you can see from the label these mini explosives are “super charged” to ensure the kids of San Francisco blow all of their hand off – and not just their fingers. This artwork is from before 1950 and the young man’s hair cut shows the fashion of the time.
A few things i can see wrong with this one. For a start, using dear old “Santy Claus” to sell fireworks to children is a bit of a no-no. Also, correct me if I’m wrong but the 4th of July is….. in July. Bit out of season but never mind. Also note how these firecrackers have been “extra selected” presumably meaning they were chosen at least twice. Now that is serious selection!
Ok, no prizes for spotting what is wrong with this fire cracker packet from before 1950. Yes, you guessed it, babies playing with fireworks! As if the title itself was not bad enough the artist has taken lengths to portray what a couple of babies with rockets might look like. It could be that we live in a world of health and safety gone mad today but I’m not sure if this is the only alternative. A happy middle ground between a “nanny state” and an “irresponsible nanny” can be found i am sure, in fact i think it was probably found in the 70’s, we just forgot to stop.
This is surely the favourite here. As if baby rockets weren’t bad enough, these are “children brand” firecrackers. While the warning on the packet clearly says ‘do not hold in hand after lighting’, no mention is made of attaching several firecrackers to a piece of string and swirling it dangerously in circles while facing off another child.
Just think for a moment. In the UK, a school banned the playing of conkers (a game involving smashing seeds from a horse-chestnut tree into one another) as it was seen as too dangerous. What this school would make of this scene I am not sure but I have a feeling the word ‘banned’ would pop up again.
Ok so you thought 2 underage miscreants swirling firecrackers in each others general direction was a bit risky, pah, that was nothing.
This ‘China Boy’ has evolved the skill into something reminiscent of scenes from the cutting room floor of the directors cut of “Karate Kid”.
“Plenty big noise” is assured and as you can see from the text, ‘China Boy’ only uses the “very best flashlight crackers”… to singe the barely formed hairs betwixt his toes.
I think it is a good job that the citizens of mid fifties America had a sense of humour and realised that pictures weren’t instructions.
Something I think may have been lost today. I can imagine if such artwork were to be used nowadays a string of lawsuits would surely follow and there would be many a cry of “well little Jonny obviously frazzled his eyebrows off in imitation of the kid on the packet, give me a million dollars please” or words to that effect. In short, we cannot have artwork like this nowadays because as responsible, modern, civilized and cultured people, we cannot be trusted to think for ourselves.
I hope you have enjoyed this trip down insane memory lane, comments and questions are welcomed as always.