Thos 1950's "Do It Yourself" Magazines

I found a link to a copy of a 1950’s issue of “Mechanics Illustrated”:
http://books.google.com/books?id=GtkDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA142&dq=popular+mechanics+July+1932+airplane&hl=en&ei=IoAZTePWB-DRnAe63OjPDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDgQ6AEwBjg8#v=onepage&q&f=true
What amused me were the ads for various home schooling programs-you could leard meatcutting, watch repair, radio/TV…even become a lawyer at home!
Did these “schools” actually give quality training? Or were they mostly scams to extract money from credulous victims?:mad:

I’m not sure how much trust I’d put in the ones in the back of a magazine, but there were (and are) legitimate correspondence schools out there. Back before there were community colleges in every little town, your educational options beyond high school but short of a full-blown four year school were pretty limited. It’s not like you’d be able to open your own shop after sending away for a course, but it could very well be your foot in the door to start learning a trade at someone else’s shop.

As for the lawyer thing, again the back of the magazine school is probably pretty iffy, but in the 50’s there were still some states where you could challenge the bar without going to law school. There was actually just a thing in my wife’s bar association newsletter that said the last lawyer without a law degree in our state recently retired. I suppose theoretically the back-of-the-magazine lawyerin’ course could have given you a very rough outline of what you needed to study at the law library to have a whisper of a chance of passing the bar exam.

My dad took a correspondence course in drafting in the early 1960’s, probably from the back of a Popular Science magazine. It led to his career as a building inspector.