They don't make 'em .... 2
Sort of parallel to this entry
with its picture of 1947 college girls, but mainly inspired by the clock.
If you've been watching TV at all in recent months, you remember Miss South Carolina's strongly stupid
performance on a quiz question about education. "We the USA Americans have to help the Eye-Raq and the South Africa" and so on.This clip (about 4 minutes)
is from a 1947 radio special in which a quiz-show host asks questions about American history and geography, and a subset of the 1947 Miss America contestants try to answer. The host was obnoxious and boorish just like modern quiz hosts, but the girls were non-modern. Not necessarily smarter, but more civilized, more adept at using their feminine talents. Note how they hold their own against the obnoxious host without ever insulting him or descending into virago territory. (The only modern public example of this old-fashioned style is Peggy Noonan.)
I'm mainly enchanted by the voices. It's not just the pitch ... some modern women have equally low fundamental frequencies ... but there's a real difference in the shaping of mouth and throat. I've noticed this for a while, both in actresses and in ordinary women as heard in quiz or man-in-the-street shows. The 1930-1940 voice is centered at the back of the tongue, with an open pharynx and relatively pursed lips, perhaps more like a Turkish or Slavic mouth-set. Modern women tend more toward a tense and high tongue with flat lips, centering the voice just behind the teeth as in German or Chinese.
The old style is easy on the ears. The new style is grating and whiny.
The old voices remind me of this gently humming Westclox, or a low-revving '47 Dodge with Fluid Drive. The new ones remind me of a modem, or the cat-in-heat transmission noise of a Honda.