Sunday, January 15, 2012

Plato, Socrates and an old brassiere advertisement

Sometimes, the items that are found tucked away inside books make perfect sense. For example, when I discovered a card promoting an event with a labor activist inside a biography of Karl Marx.

And sometimes the juxtaposition between the book and the piece of paper inside makes no sense at all.

Tucked away inside the 1971 Penguin paperback "The Last Days of Socrates" by Plato, I discovered a folded advertisement for the Private Life bra by Tru Balance.

So, perhaps, the person who once owned this book didn't much care about what Socrates asked Crito, with his dying words, to offer up to Asclepius.1

The advertisement for the Private Life bra, which cost $3.95, states, in part: "The bra to feel you're-not-wearing-a-bra in! Helanca2 stretch lace and very pretty. ... Wear it for the new fashion silhouette. For sleeping. For loafing. Or whatever. How can you resist feeling naughty so nicely? White, pink, blue, black."

It does not appear that Tru Balance Corsets Inc., maker of the Private Life bra, is around any more. The Private Life trademark is expired. Tru Balance's other trademarks, also expired, included Just-A-Nuff, Like Nothing On and Softpower.

I don't have any further details about the demise of Tru Balance Corsets. It would have been helpful if Plato had written a book about the company's last days.

1. A rooster.
2. Some history of Helanca fabric is described on the virtual German Hosiery Museum, which some day hopes to have a physical museum:
"In 1931, the American Rudolph H. Kägi presented the result of months of research to the manager of the American subsidiary of the Swiss company Heberlein & Co. - a new yarn. Mr. Kägi was a specialist for twine production, and he developed a new method of achieving the characteristics of wool in flat artificial silk fibers. In his method, he spun the acetate fibers into a springy spiral, then wove it with wool to produce the first stretch fabric.

"The company Heberlein & Co. in Wattwil acquired this process and patented it. This new yarn, which no longer possessed the gloss and smoothness of synthetic silk, was soft and warm just like wool, and was trademarked under the name 'Helanca.'"
Read much more on the German Hosiery Museum's in-depth website.

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