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Vintage Issues of Sunset Magazine

The free table at the library held some super scores for me this week. I managed to haul off with a big stack of vintage issues of Sunset magazine from the 1960s through the 1980s. (Confession: I have an unhealthy magazine addiction and Sunset is one of my favorites.) The ads in these old issues are entertaining and reading through the old recipes appeals to my kitschy side. (And raises questions like why were people in the 50s so crazy about gelatin and foods crafted in molds?) Each magazine issue cost 35 cents in the 1950s, increasing in price to $1.50 by the time the 1980s rolled around. Most of the photos in the magazine are in black and white, with a few color ads. There are home projects in the pages that are still appealing even to the modern reader, like making a cute sewing nook out of an extra closet space. The front pages of the magazines from the 50s and 60s issues read like travel brochures, with feature ads for exotic locals like Japan, Australia, and Hawaii. Much of the gardening advice still seems sound, although their focus in these old issues leans more toward flowers and landscape rather than on food growth.  I walked away with about 40 magazines all together, so thumbing through them should keep me occupied for a while.


3 responses »

  1. Hello! I came across your post while searching for a way to obtain old issues of Sunset. My father, who recently passed away, was on the cover of the magazine in the late ’60’s (I think sometime between 1965 and 1969). The cover shot was taken on the beach in Malibu and features my father and 2 of his friends with their surfboards. Do you by chance have this issue?? If so, would you be willing to part with it? If not, do you know how I could obtain a copy? Thank you!

  2. Hi Danielle,
    Unfortunately I parted with this collection recently, but the photo of your dad doesn’t ring a bell. Have you tried contacting Sunset magazine directly? They may have an archive of all their old issues, or be able to direct you to where you can find it. Best of luck, what a great keepsake to have!

  3. Thank you for getting back to me!


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