Ad for Oregon tourism.
Oregon! It’s a real place!
Ad for Nantucket tourism.
Five Septembers. Could be worse.
Ad for Greyhound buses.
That’s a nice looking bus.
Ad for the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.
I don’t know how well you can see it here, but on the page, this illustration almost looks like a tilt-shifted Instagram. It’s like a hipster went back in time to do this illustration. (“Oh, yeah, I came here through interdimensional travel. No, I’m not surprised you’ve never heard of it.”)
the Biltmore is crazy beautiful, I highly recommend, if you have the means, checking that out.
Ad for Remington electric razors.
Or, encourage him to grow a beard. It’s the gift that keeps giving, to everyone.
Ad for Spartan Aircraft Company trailer homes.
Yes. Yes, I do want to live in a house built by an aircraft company, and you cannot convince me otherwise. I could tell everyone I lived inside a jet. The front door has a porthole. The walls are convex. I just don’t know what’s not to love.
I just don’t know what’s not to love.
Ads for Trailways Thru-Liners tour buses, March and September, 1953.
Knitting AND vintage buses? This is way worse than porn.
Speak up, Auto Nerds, what make and model is this?
Ad for the Home Insurance Company.
A two-page spread that is simply irresistible. Don’t fret, close-ups on the historical thumb-nails are coming in the next two posts. For now, let’s examine the piece as a whole.
Before we get distracted by his fabulous mutton chops, I just want to add/clarify that Levi P. Morton was the Vice-President under President Benjamin Harrison. And if you look him up on Wikipedia (as you should) you’ll see his facial hair only grew more magnificent through the years. I will leave it to you all to extemporize on the proclivity to seat Big Business in the Government.
I really cannot account for the clip-art-esque floating head on the right-hand page. My only theory is that the contemporary Director of the Home Insurance Company strongly opposed having his name and likeness published. Fair enough.
Boy, this is a change from the sheer terror brought to you by The Hartford, isn’t it? Of course there is disaster, but there is also, in the words of the copy text, “triumph, joy, and excitement.” Or bald-faced patriotism, but sometimes we can let that slide.
What I find really appealing, and fascinating, is how this ad functions as a time capsule of which episodes in American history must have stood out as truly monumental to a 1950s audience. It isn’t so much the moments themselves, but how they come together as a portrait of a cultural mindset. These are the things 1950s Americans were really proud of or nostalgic about or still respectfully grave about. That’s important to remember: What might feel like ancient history to us was still the vital, immediate present to our parents and grandparents.
You have every right to be proud, Iowans.
Are eggs or embroidery the only choices?
Ad campaign for Bell Telephone System, 1952 and 1953.
These ads really emphasize the human touch, and I can’t help feeling like things have changed a bit in that regard. I don’t know anyone called “Mr. Telephone.” I don’t even know the last time I spoke to an actual human being regarding my phone services.
My favorite bits in these are the pride and speculation regarding technological advances. Call by number! It’s amazing!
The Husband and I recently watched 2001: A Space Odyssey and both felt compelled to remark on what a relief it was to know that Bell will still offer payphones on the moon. Most people will probably just Skype, though, don’t you think?
Treva, I love these posts SO MUCH!