This Valentine’s Day we want to send a giant Valentine to the Pikes Peak Library District’s Special Collections not only because books and libraries are the greatest, but also because the PPLD also has such fantastic online resources such as free access to, a service (which costs money for folks without a library card) that provides access to scads of old newspapers, including many from Colorado Springs, archived in PDF format for easy viewing.

Today we started poking around in old issues of the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph and decided to see what happened 50 years ago today. More than the headlines (Adolph Coors had been kidnapped, Horace Mann Jr. High School was getting an addition of four new classrooms) we noticed how many ads there were! Sadly, gone are the days. But 50 years ago: page after page of ads for May D&F and Fashion Bar and Hibbard’s and on and on and on. Many of the ads—wonderfully simple black and white art department drawings and paste-ups—were, of course, for Valentine’s Day.

After going through the week’s issues, we managed to come away with this lovely little, er, “Book of Love” — a selection of local ads for amour’s biggest shopping day of the year 50 years ago. Enjoy!

You can download Darren Hanlon’s cover of The Magnetic Field’s “The Book of Love” for FREE HERE.

(Thanks for your comments and feedback, TBS fans! You make it all worth it.


7 Responses to A Book of Love, er… Ads from 1960

  1. Nancy Wilsted says:

    Oh,no. It’s too early in the day to yearn for Hibbard’s…the creaky floors, the gorgeous elevator, the dated window displays, the prim and often indifferent clerks, and the pneumatic money tube which made it possible for any and every transaction to occur at the pace of grass growing. I loved and miss her.

  2. Susan says:

    What a deal — pocket radio for only $24.95!

  3. Mary H says:

    Hard to believe this is 1960. Doesn’t seem that long ago. The most amazing thing are the prices. In 50 years, looks like prices are 7-10 times those. The food (candy) around 7, the clothes closer to 10… Wow. How long does that go on before it gets “reset”?
    The presents have changed a little – candy for all, perfume & clothes. Do guys get ties any more? Seems like fewer are wearing them – if you’ve got a couple in the closet you’ve got it all. What do guys get for valentines now? Watches? Special dinner is still right up there, but I’ll bet more guys are making them than in 1960.

    Thanks guys, this is interesting.

  4. Betty Jo Cardona says:

    My father was a commercial artist and worked for a small newspaper in Silver City, New Mexico in the 60’s and 70’s. The “Ads of the 60’s” brings back wonderful memories of the ads he would turn out for local merchants every week. The grocery ads were the biggest and he would go all over town to each grocery store with the “tear sheets” making sure the prices were correct before going to press. Graphic artists of today have no idea! Thanks for the memories!



  6. Nancy Atherton says:

    Thanks for the song, Darren! The whole piece is wonderful. I wish I could give a Valentine’s Day toothbrush to all of you at TBS!

  7. tOkKa says:

    –>> My ma .. before i was born :: as a young lady worked at “Perkins-Shearer” as clerk and model. She also clerked at Hibbard’s.

    Hibbard’s was still a department store in the 1980s when i was small so we would go to visit and ride the elevators.

    Um older lady that worked at the neighborhood Chelton Wal-mart over here off Platte remembered my Ma. I always talked to that lady when i’d go in as she was all over the front of the store rotating between a greeter and a cashier. I was surprised one day when she mentioned Hibbards when i was checking out one time. But yeh she recalled my mother at the store and our visits there long after my mom stopped working there.

    My old friend Jenni Rico died roughly in 1999;2000 ..she’d lived off Cascade the better part of her life and until her passing in her 90s. Always telling me about the old ROSWELL AREA and her job at WOOLWORTHS ( Right where Rum Bay is ) in the 1930s or something and all the Mickey Mouse toys she’d sell at the toy counter. My mom recalled to me the other week when she was very small an “S.S. Kresge’s” store somewhere in the vicinity of the Hibbards building.

    “S.S. Kresge’s” was the precursor to Kmart.

    So from a certain point of view and technicality .. there was kinda a Kmart downtown – – long ago.

    Long ago my grandfather stated that the screwy old; abandoned like “Schooners” restaurant building.. down the way from the INDEPENDENT heading south..

    he stated that was the first KFC restaurant at one time.

    Hmmm- – –


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