Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The earliest peek-a-boo glasses feature a cartoonish woman with a freakishly big head and eyes, like Betty Boop.
It’s hard to feel scandalized today by these so-called “girlie glasses,” which had their heyday in the 1940s and ’50s. Compared with the explicit images now accessible with the click of a mouse, these tumblers with pin-up decals seem downright quaint. Long before the Internet and cable TV, though, they offered a tantalizing thrill.
Other “nudie glasses” were known as “mystics” because the white chemical used for the lady’s clothing would seem to disappear when touched by condensation; when a beverage was poured into a glass, the naked woman underneath would be revealed.
Such glasses were produced and sold as early as the 1920s, but it wasn’t until the ’40s that they really took off. “During World War II, they literally exploded because men were going out to war. The home folks thought that they needed a morale boost, so they sent them girlie glasses.
At home, Rosie the Riveters donned dungarees and sensible shoes, as they stepped into traditional male roles, like building fighter planes in factories. But overseas, the soldiers escaped the horrors of war with the help of men’s magazines and pin-ups sent from home. These uber-feminine fantasy women with their wasp waists and perky breasts, wearing little more than stiletto heels and dainty lingerie, quite literally became objects, like girlie glasses, lighters, and novelty pens.
So-called victory glasses featured a big “V” and patriotic color schemes, as well as images of pin-ups or soldiers kissing their girls—scantily clad or flashing their panties. these were usually sold on the homefront to encourage patriotism and raise funds.
Following photos show later versions of these popular glasses before the fad died out including what are called KeyHole Views.