Monday, February 18, 2013

Drunken Helots

In ancient Sparta, members of a subjugated people called the Helots were sometimes made drunk so that Spartan youth could see firsthand the dangers of  the bottle.  Nice work if you could get it.  Anyway, the idea is that they served as object lessons about activities to avoid.

In a similar vein, old technical textbooks tended to have cartoon characters with moronic features and alliterative names representing foolish people doing the wrong thing with tools.

In 1943, Disney copyrighted "Primitive Pete" who appeared in various books and videos (such as the illustrations below from  ABC's of Hand Tools.  Their Correct Usage and Care.  General Motors Corporation, Detroit.  Reprinted in "What Makes It Tick."  Elementary Information for Automotive TechniciansOshawa, Ontario: General Motors Products of Canada, 1940's):



Popular Science used "Gremlin Gooch":

Mister G sent me a pic he found of "Simple Sam":

I doubt if you could get away with this today.

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