Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, May 6, 2011

'College Girls - If They Could Only Cook': Amazing '50s Quick Magazine Covers

Posted By on Fri, May 6, 2011 at 8:55 AM

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_quick_college_girls096.jpg

Each Friday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets.

A stack of Quick magazines

Date: early 1950s

Publisher: Cowles Magazines, Des Moines, Iowa

Discovered at: The amazing Kayo Books, 814 Post Street

The Cover Promises: Between classes, pearl-clad college girls pose for the paintings that end up on the noses of military planes.

Representative Quotes:

"Too many college girls nowadays," one Eastern educator told Quick, "want to have their cake and eat it, too - providing they don't have to bake it." (page 23)

"For Women Only: Be Quick to watch your grocery store for a new corn flakes package with pictures of Ike and Adlai." (page 45)

Back before USA Today and the internet, this is perhaps the first magazine to look on every page like the front pages of other magazines.

Wide as a postcard, thin as a wet-nap, but packed as densely with nonsense and news blurbs as a bouillon cube is with chicken guts, Quick might be where contemporary periodical publishing began. With its breezy fact dumps, its chipper opining, and its dedication to celebrity fluff and pet pix, it's pretty much the first handheld device to carry the AOL homepage.

Speaking of pet pix:

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_quick_inside_pets099.jpg

It's the Sept. 8, 1952, issue that complains that college girls should know how to cook. That cover text is no joke -- instead, it's the impetus for a four-page article, which is remarkably long-winded for a magazine that dispenses with most news stories in single paragraphs.

From the article:

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_quick_inside_college_girls105.jpg

Like most trend pieces even today, there's lots of hedging:

"Statistically, a high proportion seem likely to have broken marriages and nervous breakdowns."

(No statistics appear in the article.)

Interestingly, everyone Quick quotes talks like Quick cutline writers:

'I pity her future husband,' remarked one mother of a senior girl, 'if he likes food more than Freud.'

We'll get to a Quick cover gallery in a moment. First, though, here's more highlights from this and some other 1952 issues:

Quick moves too fast to sugarcoat things:

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_quick_inside_depressing_captions102.jpg

That's true in the ads, too!

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_quick_inside_plump101.jpg

Pets could turn up anywhere, even on the fashion pages:

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_quick_inside_fashion098.jpg

Just the shoes for steppin' out with the hounds of Hell!

Here's a cheerier sight:

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_quick_inside_animals_2103.jpg

Kitty refugee!

And here's an important free-expression breakthrough:

click to enlarge studies_in_crap_quick_inside_robe100.jpg

Quick is the first magazine to dare show a dad saying to his kid, "Hey, I'm busy in here. Shut the goddamn door."

NEXT: Quick covers banal and bizarre -- you'll swear we just cold 'Shopped 'em.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Alan Scherstuhl


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"