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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • HIS MASK KEEPS HIM ON THE JOB
 

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Ennis the Menace: 1942

Ennis the Menace: 1942

September 1942. "Civilian defense. Fire prevention. The careless smoker causes more fires each year than any other person in the country. He is to blame for 87,000 separate 1941 fires, which resulted in the loss of many lives and the destruction of 14 million dollars of property. Whether he falls asleep with a lighted smoke or is careless in the disposal of burning cigars, cigarettes, or matches, he is always a menace." Office of War Information. View full size.

 

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Thin, delicate movements

and watches were very much a trend back then. Have a look at Hamilton or Gruen watch ads back in this era: Hamilton had Thinomatic, Gruen had Veri-Thin, and the physical size across the bezel was quite small by today's standards. Light and thin were "in". I personally hate the nearly alarm clock sized watches that are the thing today. Oh, and get off my lawn.

[For instance (click to enlarge). -tterrace]

Pinky Ring

What? Comments on the watch, but no comments on the pinky ring on his right hand?

Probably an ID Bracelet

I suspect what we're seeing is the once-popular ID bracelet that was popular into the early 50's. It was a flat bar (much thicker than a Medic-Alert bracelet and would have your name or initials engraved on it.

[It's a watch. -tterrace]

Get it together!

He needs to wake up, put that cigarette out, put on a man's watch, and go to bed!

Multiple Offender

Not only is this guy a careless smoker but he has also stolen some old lady's watch!

Mom, can I borrow your watch?

Such a delicate men's wrist watch! Was this style common among men in the 1940s?

The pendulum has swung to the other extreme, with very large watches now popular.

Happiness, it seems to me, lies in the middle.

Not a familiar face on the page

The three comic strips I can make out are (top to bottom):

  • Stony Craig, a Steve Canyon-esque strip (although, as noted, it predated SC by a decade.)
  • Draftie, a "morale-boosting WWII strip".
  • Reg'lar Fellers, a strip about a group of kids.

All of them were gone well over a decade before I was born.

His wife

She is looking everywhere for her watch.

Not to worry,

he has a newspaper under that cigarette.

Why is he wearing his mom's watch?

Looks pretty tight around his wrist.

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