By Dorri Partain
Primetime television viewers were invited to, “Meet George Jetson, Jane his wife, daughter Judy, his boy Elroy,” as Hanna-Barbera debuted its second cartoon program aimed at adult audiences.
Following the moderate success of “The Flintstones,” William Hanna (1911-2006) and Joseph Barbera (1910-2001) looked to the future to create “The Jetsons,” a space-age family that lived in Orbit City. While “The Flintstones” had been inspired by an earlier television program, “The Honeymooners,” “The Jetsons” took its creative cue from “The Flintstones,” featuring storylines that would appeal to adults.
The first 24 episodes aired on the ABC network, competing against Walt Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color” on NBC, and “Dennis the Menace” on CBS, from September 1962 to September 1963. “The Jetsons” was the first new color program to air on the ABC network.
The remaining 51 episodes that were created would be aired on Saturday mornings as children’s programming. Hanna-Barbera created new episodes for television in 1987, then in 1990, released “Jetsons: The Movie,” an 82-minute cartoon shown in theaters, which spawned a wide variety of new Jetsons merchandise.
The McCalls Pattern Company took on the challenge of creating cartoon-like costumes for the home sewing market, available from children’s sizes 2/4 to adult size Large. Curiously enough, the Jetsons’ adult characters could be crafted in children’s sizes, and the children characters in adult sizes.
James McCall (1823-1884) began offering ladies’ dress patterns in 1870; to promote his patterns, he began publishing a four-page fashion journal, “The Queen: Illustrating McCall’s Bazaar Glove-fitting Patterns,” in 1873. Following McCall’s death, James Henry Ottley purchased the pattern company and magazine, but kept the established name. Later, the journal name would be shortened to McCall’s and was published monthly until 2002.
Located at 11 Penn Plaza, New York, N.Y., the McCall’s Pattern Company creates 700 new styles every year for home sewers. This 1991 pattern contains 31 tissue pieces to craft all four costumes shown. Priced at $7.25, the pattern has never been used.