Throw it away! (1950)

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Throw it away!

The old slogan was “Wear it out, use it up, make it do” — but nowadays, it’s “Toss it out, burn it up, get rid of it”

An ever-increasing array of products is being manufactured these days with only one end in view — use them once, then throw them away. When archaeologists start probing the earth’s crust about a thousand years from now to find the fossil records of modern civilization, they will unearth the remains of razor blades, paper plates, wooden forks and spoons, plastic beer bottles, slivers of guest soap and an endless list of products which were discarded during the 20th century.

Whereas our grandparents would have turned livid with rage at an article of merchandise which wouldn’t last for at least ten years, we become suspicious of anything that will stay together for more than ten minutes. We don’t really want a fountain pen that will write for three years without refilling, we want one that we can toss on the ash heap after it’s written one letter, and, if the present trend continues, we’ll soon have it.

With paper fast supplanting cotton and linen, it wont be long before we use a set of sheets and pillowcases just once before crumpling them up and throwing them into the scrapbasket. It’s a short step from there to disposable quilts, blankets, pillows and mattresses. “More sanitary,” the ads will say.

The dining room, too, is falling prey to our modern castaway era. At present, we toss out tablecloth, napkins, doilies, plates, cups, spoons and forks. The next to go will be salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowl, cream pitcher, steak platter, gravy boat, soup tureen and mustard pot.

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