Male erotica wasn't just found in publications hidden away from the general public. The 1947 April issue of Popular Mechanics included on page 84 this advertisement (below and above) in the top left corner of the page, selling "Inspiring Photographs for your Training Course!!" Such "coded" advertising was a reality of life in the 1940's when gay men had few mainstream media options to sexually identify with. The photographer for this ad was Al Urban, who also invites readers to (printed within the ad itself), whenever in Chicago, phone Kildare 3402 for an appointment to view his work directly at his studio.
Al was a pioneering photographer in the fields of male physique and nudes. It's important to keep in mind that male nudes were risky business in the 1940's and could easily land guys (posing, behind the camera, and/or viewing the images) in jail. His first studio was in New York and it became one of the earliest and most successful producers of such photography. "Strapped" images by Mr. Urban were published in physique magazines and also sold through mail-order systems (via ads such as this one in Popular Mechanics) during the 1940's and 1950's.
Below: Examples of male nude photography (not the stuff found in the Popular Mechanics ad) by Al Urban. Thanks to JD for sharing a part of his personal collection!
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