It was an era when pinup models and flyboys made America great.
Sandra Wilson thinks so, anyway. The 52-year-old Wilson, a former model and professed "old movie junkie," is the unlikely publisher of Dames, Planes and Automobiles , a Richmond-based online and print magazine that pays homage to the golden age of the 1940s and 1950s.
The quarterly magazine's pages are heavy on visual appeal and nostalgia. Female models in 1940s garb sprawl across the wings of World War II fighter planes or perch fetchingly on the bumper of a Ford Coupe Roadster.
Aside from moonlighting as a publisher, Wilson teaches English full time at Elko Middle School in Sandston. She launched the magazine on a lark with two other models in 2012, urged on by organizers of a classic car show in Fredericksburg.
Circulation is up to 350 subscribers, a sevenfold jump in less than two years. "I'm almost at the point where I can hire a promotional specialist," Wilson says.
She hopes the magazine encourages parents and their children to learn about the prewar industrial boom that shaped America. Fittingly, 10 percent of ad revenue from each issue is donated to nonprofits that serve military vets.