c.1950s: ‘It’s Great to Be Alive!’ Safety Manual

42 Responses

  1. joanne ciccone

    My husband has one or two of these manual. They weren’t instructive but sure scared the bejesus out of you!

  2. Mairzy Doats

    @Jennifer–you and me both! I had no idea how dangerous hiding in a pile of leaves can be! Whew, we’re lucky to be alive.

  3. Yamara

    They keep placing those big tempting piles of leaves right in the middle of the street! And what’s with all the plastic bags with printed instructions on how to suffocate babies?

  4. alan

    Funny, but it looks like the friendly police officer is also the overly friendly guy in the movie theater. D’oh!

  5. Shannon LC Cate

    My first grade teacher (1975) used to tell us this story about a kid sledding down a hill in a big cardboard box and into the street where a truck ran over it. Then she would tell us about how her daughter had a terrible car accident when a blanket blew off of another car and covered her windshield.

    I got the “don’t sled in a cardboard box” message, but I’m not sure what first graders were supposed to do about blankets blowing onto car windshields.

  6. Elysabeth

    That is scary but funny too – I agree that the police officer looks like the stranger in the theater – so maybe police officers aren’t our friends – lol.

    And what about the train one – although I’ve known a few accidents to happen on tracks – probably wouldn’t be walking that close to the tracks and not hear or fell the train –

    The message seems to not be on a bicycle pretty much anywhere you go – Thanks for sharing with us.

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery (coming soon)

  7. Alex

    Great stuff, man. The creep in the movie theatre is a complete pedobear. Loved the gore when the kid tried to hide in the leaves. :)

  8. Kaitlyn

    I was a mite disturbed at the kids sticking out from under the truck and train…. I guess that was the point, huh?

    Perhaps the title of this should be “watch the hell where you’re going!” as most of these accidents could have been prevented by doing just that…

    ….And I agree, you never know WHERE that leaf pile is gonna end up…. :-D

  9. Alan

    I think the real evil ones are the bicycles hurling children to their deaths. It must be a global plan the bicycles have to replace people as the dominant species on the planet.

    Fortunately image number 13 shows us that if we spill red Gatoraid it will give us superpowers.

  10. Brian Gonigal

    Who exactly is the intended audience for this booklet? If it’s the sort of kids that need to be told not to hide in a pile of leaves in the middle of the street, then is it really appropriate to suggest one panel earlier that it’s OK for them to go ahead and build bonfires themselves, just to be careful about it?

  11. Mike Nash

    My two brothers and I convinced my mom to drive us go to Norma Jean Carter’s house for the 4th in 1961. Her parents owned a bar somewhere in Austin with a refirgerator graveyard where we made out with Norma and her two sisters. Thank god the doors had been removed.

  12. JimV

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
    All the Kings horses,
    And all the Kings men,
    Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

    “Don’t sit on a wall, if you’re an egg…”

    • Xene

      They’re gangstas. Actually, I think they’re little kids playing cobs and robbers or cowboys.

  13. Pat Hand

    When I was a kid in the 1960s, we got books in schools telling us not to accept candy from strangers. But I don’t they told us the real reason we shouldn’t. I think one book said the candy might be an explosive of some sort.

  14. Mimzy Bannon

    Don’t ride your bike through a leaf pile, unless you wanna kill us all. ;-)

  15. John W Kennedy

    Actually, there was a fatal case of a girl killed by a truck while hiding in a pile of leaves as recently as 2004.

    And the clear intent of the artist is that the pile of leaves is not “in the middle of the street” but on the curb; the truck is a leaf-pickup truck.

  16. TR

    So remember kiddies, that playing around ‘parked’ cars can be fatal. Don’t worry about the moving ones? I guess moving cars have drivers in them and thats what makes them safer to be around.

    And don’t ever twist the handlebars of your bike or Mike will have to go to the hospital.

    Some kinda “Faces of Death” for kids here…

  17. Pistachio

    I’m a bit disturbed that the Policeman in panel 2, also features in panel 12 as the over friendly “stranger”.

  18. Aristocrat

    I’m confused. They tell us not to play in abandoned iceboxes, but that’s how Indiana Jones survived an A-Bomb blast. Shouldn’t they be telling kids TO hide in iceboxes for safety?

  19. Penina

    Hey, Kids!! For MORE Tasteless fun… Google the phrase “Chrante deti”

    No-one actually knows what “Chrante Deti” MEANS, but it’s a series of either gum or tobacco card images ALSO showing the dangers of growing up! Around our house we use the term whenever we read or hear of some horrid accident or some Darwinbait offing himself for the genetic good of society. “Did you read about that guy who ended up dead, in a ghillie suit being hit by two cars while trying to imitate Bigfoot?” “No, but… chrante deti!” (usually the punchline is said in unison! LOL)

  20. Zerdav

    ‘Chrante deti’ means, Keep kids safe. It’s a message to parents, not kids.


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