Irish has said that she was was earning 82
cents an hour working night shift at the McDonnell Douglas factory
(Femme Fatales). This translates to about $30.00 a week.
It isn't surprising, therefore, that she embraced her new career,
which was paying her $100 a month for not working, with a certain
amount of disbelief. She was still, after all, a pragmatic 18-year-old
girl from the Midwest. She cautiously held on to her McDonnell
Douglas job believing that this recent turn of events wouldn't last.
The American male, however, could not get enough of her. She
became a regular fixture in Night and Day, appearing in spreads
mostly set in outdoor locations to highlight her athleticism - Irish
goes sand skiing, Irish goes surfing, Irish goes climbing, etc - (see
the collection of images at the bottom of this page).
In October 1950, only two months after her national debut, Night
and Day launched a new magazine, Eve (left), that used
Irish as its symbolic central image. That publication was not
long-lived, but by early 1951 Irish had become so popular that Night
and Day was using her imposing physique in virtually every issue.
She maintained this appeal for the next three years and it is
estimated that over 200 different photos of her appeared in that publication
(Glamour Girls). Steve
Sullivan, publisher of Glamour Girls: Then and Now, writes
that during the 1950s, "perhaps no other magazine was as mammary-oriented
as Night and Day." The magazine never neglected
to feature the first and most vital of Irish's statistics. He
also stresses that Irish and Bettie
Page "...were perhaps the first figure models to become "stars"'
simply by displaying their curves for the camera, without benefit
of a movie to promote." Irish's work wasn't restricted
to only one magazine, however. She was a regular in all of the
major men's magazines of the era - Beauties, Frolic, Scoop, Big
Time, Modern Man, Scene, Celebrity, Pageant, Eye, Focus, People Today,
etc, etc. See link below for examples of Irish's 1950s magazines.
Femme Fatales magazine, Jan 99
Glamour Girls: Then and Now magazine, Premiere issue Mar-Apr
Prevue Pinup Special 2 magazine
The photo of the cover of the first
issue of Eve magazine (Oct 50) was kindly donated by Frank Bonilla
The collage of images at the bottom of the page are from the following
magazines in my personal collection (L to R): Night and Day, Oct 53;
Gaze, Feb 67; Night and Day, Feb 53; Taboo, Apr 50; and
Night and Day, Feb 53;
The collage of magazine images was created from magazines in my