This time, my daughter made the find and presented it to me as a gift. She found a 1946 edition of Popular Mechanics Magazine with a great cover picture of harness horses trotting behind a starting gate. She knew I would be thrilled with anything with a harness horse on it but she didn’t realize that I would remember the magazine from when my father had it back in 1946. He also couldn’t pass up anything about a harness horse.
My father came from a family of harness horse people and had been caring for horses since he was a child. As a teenager, he was already a respected driver on the county fair circuit, but gave up the horse business when he married my mother in 1932. He knew what a hard life it was for a child and was determined his own two daughters would have things better.
In September of 1946, I was a freshman in high school and by 1950 when I graduated, my father had bought a horse and was back in the business for the rest of his life.
The magazine included a nice article about harness horses and especially about the starting gate on the car which had first been used that year at the old Roosevelt Raceway in New York. Up until this time, races were started by an announcer trying to get all of the horses away at the same time, resulting in a lot of false starts, restarts, etc.
There were some other articles and ads about repairing a radio (just before the debut of TV), and various handyman projects.
I was intrigued by the ads, noticing several for getting into the plastics business which was booming after World War II.
I wear a tiny hearing aid that is barely visible, so I was interested in an ad about a hearing aid the size of a deck of playing cards with the ear plug attached by a cord. I remember my grandfather carrying this kind of hearing aid in his shirt pocket.
I love old magazines and ads, and the cover is worthy of copying and framing, so this was a very good find at the antique mall.