Some 1950s spankabillia


to spank or not to spankThis was clipping was sent in by a gentleman called RalphG. He is not sure what magazine it is from, but thinks it is from the mid-1950s, which matches the US population of that time. It is a bit illegible on this scan but he was kind enough to provide the text. He says he has had it for years tucked in the back of some old spanking books he bought at a market in Pimlico.

I haven’t been able to trace any more details about the case, although there are some other references to the Wives of Spanking Husbands Club mentioned in the article.

To Spank or Not to Spank?

The dilemma facing 160 million Americans

Following the conviction last week of a high school teacher for smoking marijuana, the inevitable calls for a crackdown on delinquency among America’s young has already begun. While summing up at 24-year-old Mary Gutteridge’s trial, the judge commented that instead of a custodial sentence, he wished he could have given her a “good sound spanking where it would do the most good.”

These comments, coming as they do, hot on the heels of the Kansas City debate last month on the issue of spanking over 21-year-old girls, suggest that there are a great many people in America who share the judges sentiment.

Twenty years ago this issue would not have been such a hot potato as just about every girl in America was still subject to regular spankings for as long as they lived under the parental roof. This correspondent’s own sister was spanked right through college up until the time she left home aged 23, just a year short of the unfortunate Miss Gutteridge. She would be the first to tell you that it did not do her any harm. So is there a shift in support for a return to more traditional punishments in America today?

Mrs Edwina Hart, the school principal in the case, said that 21 was too late to start with discipline, although, she added, “it certainly does (not) hurt to continue it beyond the teenage years where a young woman is accustomed to being spanked. A good spanking can keep many an older girl on the straight and narrow.”

And it seems it is not just the older generation that feels this way. Last week in this magazine’s own letters page 19-year-old Catherine Parker of Denver Colorado wrote to say: “I think it is just awful that these girls carry on so. Whatever must their families think? If I ever behaved in such a way I would expect be spanked on the bare and sent to bed and rightly so.”

“I am in my second year at college and still subject to my parents’ rules. I have twice been spanked this semester, once at home for cussing and once in my room at college for overspending my allowance. It is certainly embarrassing for a girl my age, but I know that if obey the rules then I will not be punished.”

Nor is she alone. The pages of magazines are full of such views coming from the youth of America. So should we get back to old-fashioned values and start spanking our teenaged and even our 24-year-old daughters? If this really would solve the countries ills then why stop at unmarried girls? After all isn’t a wife of 24 just as likely to become a delinquent as a high school teacher?

The Wives of Spanking Husbands Club advocates just this. They are an organization based in Sioux Falls Iowa that is dedicated the spanking of errant wives. They were formed way back in 1937 under the banner “Spare the hairbrush and spoil the wife.”

Mrs Rita Dayton, the club’s president, admits that there are not as many members as there used to be, but says “the values of their organization are just as needed today as they have always been.”

“If I get out of line then my husband spanks me on my bare bottom,” she says, adding “there are good many wives and daughters of all ages who are not too old to go over their husbands or father’s knee.”

There may be a lot of husbands out there open to persuasion on this, but my wife for one would have something to say.

10 Responses to “Some 1950s spankabillia”

  1. 1 Svetlana

    From today’s perspective, this looks like a spoof. In fact, the name and motto of that Iowa club makes me wonder whether is was a spoof even at the time.

    Anyway, I love “… it does hurt to continue it beyond the teenage years”. There’s probably a “not” missing there (in the original as well), but it still makes sense!

    • 2 DJ

      Thanks Svetlana,

      You could be right – although I thought the whole thing was a bit tongue in cheek – as if it was an article that was taking the piss anyway. The typo is not that unusual and presumably it was typed up faithfully – but who knows? I just ran it as was. You can decide.

      DJ 😉

  2. 3 Old Tom

    I am informed that there is an article just put up on the Library of Spanking Fiction supposedly dating from this period in Iowa that legalises spanking for young wives. I haven’t seen it but it links in suspciously well with this

  3. 4 Retired Professor

    Anyone familiar with literature is aware that, throughout history, humor has been a vehicle for communicating controversial truths.

    • 5 cindy

      People are more willing to accept what appears not to be serious, but often it is serious.

      And by extension, I think it was Stephen King who said that fiction is the truth within the lie.


  4. 6 Retired Professor

    For what it’s worth, when rounded to the nearest million, the population of the United States would have been 160 million on April 1, 1950. In other words, that would be a rough estimate of the number of people officially recorded by the 1950 Census.

  5. 7 DJ

    All valid points – and given what cindy and RP have recently said about modern America and spanking – this artcile is more than believable.

    However, it looks to me like just a colour piece or a bit of editorial puff. I don’t get the sense that the writer has any conviction or is make a manifesto, but who knows. It is difficult to judge without knowing more about the ‘Kansas City debate’ referred to in the article.

    maybe it is connected to the one Old Tom suggests.

    A nice conversation piece anyway. 🙂

  6. 8 Redendmaker

    This link is to a page from the Lewiston (Maine) Daily Sun from June 26,1937. so the article you have from the Times is likely validated by it.
    And just remember a good spanking never permanently harms anything but a woman’s pride and they get over even that once they can sit comfortably again. hehehe.,6903210

  7. 9 Svetlana

    Amazing find! I was almost certain the first article was spoof, but this really fits, even if its funny in itself:
    Page 1: “Eden says Britain seeks to maintain peace in Europe”
    Page 2: “Advises hairbrush treatment for wife”
    (It cracks me up to see it’s placed right under the article about the 35 divorces, the last one for Mrs Whitehouse of Clinton after cruel and abusive treatment.)

  8. 10 DJ

    Redendmaker (is that a German name?) 😉

    I have seen clippings of the Wives of Spanking Husbands Club before – but this is actually a new version of that story – which strengthens the idea that it is not a hoax. Of course it doesn’t prove that the cutting in this post is not – but assuming for one minute that it isn’t I think it is interesting that the WSHC survived for at least 15+ years after its founding. 🙂

    Svetlana – well spotted – I hadn’t seen the cruel divorce story – I wonder if the juxtaposition was intentional and if so what the layout editor was trying to say – ie would spanking would help or hinder divorce rates? We’ll never know.

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