A Collection of Vintage Adult Book Cover Art

This particular posting will be something of a departure for me, though I suppose it does have some connection to "Social History".

In the process of dealing with the estate of a deceased relative, I came upon several stashes of "vintage" adult literature - perhaps 600 volumes in total. Much is cheaply produced and, well, just porn; but about half of it dates from the late '50s through the late '60s, when "adult" literature often had cover art that ranged from crude but enthusiastic to expertly executed - clearly produced by the same talented artists who were doing cover art for more "respectable" paperback books.

Alas, much of it was too water damaged to even scan, so this collection is the survivors.

So, here they are, posted to Flickr in no particular order. They are an interesting snapshot of a moment in our history, at the cusp of the "Sexual Revolution", when euphemisms abound and the word "Shame" figures prominently in the cover text of many of them; but many others aren't ashamed at all.

Note: there's one exception to the timeline. You will see a few that date from the '30s and '40s, but mostly it's the late '50s and '60s.

Since a big part of what I do for a living is digitizing stuff (I'm really fast) and the collection was about to be broken up forever in an estate sale, I decided to capture it while I could in all its infinite strangeness. There are over 460 items in the collection.

PS: I also included the scan of the back cover of one of the books, containing a note that apologizes for not being able to use the mail. I suspect that is related to the draconian laws then in effect relating to sending pornography through the mails.

You can view them one at a time by clicking on the book cover on the right (there's an ">" arrow on the image when you mouse over it)

Or you can go directly to the album on Flickr

Classic Smut

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