One of the many things I noticed in this issue was the significantly larger portion of the magazine dedicated to adspace. While the earlier issues I’d read had a few ads in them, your typical Charles Atlas plugs, build your own radio kits, and some various household gadgets, the issue I finished had several pages worth of advertisement sandwiched into the sidebar of the final story and the letters section.
So what was being pushed in the direction of late 40s consumers of Planet Stories? What was the mark of a SF reader? Loneliness, for one thing.
Many of the ads were for lonely hearts (“Lonesome? Marry Rich!”, “Are you Lonesome?”, “Why Be Lonely?” and many more) offering chances to join clubs, meet singles in your area or purchase ‘face books’ which for a mere 10 cents, you could see some nice eligible folks, and why for only 40 cents more, they’d send you the version with their addresses!
Or for those with no hope at all, feel free to sign up to be a Merchant Marine!
Also there were lots of “let us put your poems to music” scams, but it’s hard to top the pamphlet on how to get rich quick raising Hamsters, “The new wonder animals from Syria”.
There are a handful of ads for comic and gagbooks, including this little number promising naughty fun for men and women alike.
Which may or may not include this thing:
Perhaps the most intriguing of these ads is that for the mysterious Secret Museum of Mankind, which promises to be a lurid and titillating collection of foreign and exotic beauty.
Apparently part of someone’s get rich quick scam, The Secret Museum of Mankind is a collection of stolen anthropological photographs that had been previously published in several other more serious and respectable works on ethnography and given strange, hyperbolic and sometimes wholly inaccurate captions. For those curious, the whole thing has been scanned and uploaded here.
Interestingly, the version of the later advertisement in Planet Stories has been slightly censored compared to this version from around 1942.