“What To Do on a Date?”: a fascinating glimpse at the way we were

From The Irish Times: 

Vintage Values – this is the title given to the just-published collection of 100 striking covers from a series of pamphlets published by the Catholic Truth Society (CTS) between the 1920s and 1970s.

They really don’t make them like this any more, but then again, it is unlikely there’s much of a market for parents seeking pamphlets called Shall My Daughter Be a Nun?or for the general public, wondering Does Communism Threaten Christianity?

The CTS (now Veritas), which published some 5,000 of these pamphlets between 1922 and 1972, was founded in 1899.

Its core mission was to “make God known and loved”. The society urged those who bought a pamphlet to “place it in the hands of somebody who needs it.

“Don’t neglect to do so if you can. If you can’t, leave it behind you on a park seat, in a bus, in a theatre and Providence will guide it right.”

Their print runs were astonishing: in 1951 alone, a truly staggering 1.25 million CTS pamphlets were published.

Many of the illustrated covers in this collection have a distinctly modern style, with some covers so arresting they could double as film posters of the era.

One of the illustrators, George Altendorf, was a colleague of Harry Clarke, and later became art editor at the Irish Press.

Other illustrators (all men) include Alfred MonahanGeorge MonksJohn Henry andKarl Uhlemann.

Part of the joy of the pamphlet covers is their extraordinary titles, which read like headlines from tabloid newspapers.

Read more at the link, which also has a video overview of the exhibition.  Interested in more? You can order prints and postcards of the pamphlet covers, along with a book on the collection, at the Vintage Values website. 


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