The Real Truth About Babies, Voila!

From the Lester Beall–esque cover (no, he did not design it) to the simple vector-like illustrations, this 1953 brochure issued by New York State is a pretty modern look at “The Gift of Life.” It goes into vivid diagrammatic detail and takes the immaculate out of conception. Although there is a subtle religious connotation on the cover graphic, the book itself gives “the facts and nothing but the facts, ma’am.” Even the genitalia is there, albeit in a modern-icon/symbolic simplicity.

In fact, as these decidedly controversial and toughly vetted booklets go, this contains a level of enlightened sophistication that is rare in terms of text and visuals, from that rather uptight, couples-sleep-in-separate-beds period of American history.

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