Escape to Tracy Island

“Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.” —Alex Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company, quoted in the New York Times, June 10, 1955 The 1950s was a time unbridled technological optimism.  Technology was not only self-evidently A Good Thing, it was going to give us a crime free,…

Saving Private Brian

Memories of World War Two permeated every aspect of life in 1960s Britain like the lingering smell of boiled cabbage in a tenement stairwell.  You couldn’t pick up a boy’s comic, switch on the television or go to the movies without being assailed by nasty Nazis, stiff upper lips and clipped English accents. Cover from…

The Last Action (Man) Hero

Action Man was, frankly, a bit of a disappointment.  Like so many toys in the 1960s the reality didn’t live up to the intense anticipation and hype.  Not that you would have guessed that when Palitoy launched their new “moveable fighting man” in the UK in 1966 to a fanfare of publicity. Action Sailor.  C’mon now,…