Yesterday we looked at The Literary Digest from 1911 in all its affluent glory. Today we look at Smart Set Magazine from the 20s. The two audiences couldn’t possibly more different. Smart Set is just the sort of magazine that one of our 20s Flappers would sit down to read between flaps. Most of the content is vacuous romance drivel and the ads seem to focus fairly firm on makeup.
Usually I don’t bother with the covers since they’re not really advertising but this one struck me very firmly about the eyeballs. She makes quite a fitting icon for the times.
The majority of ads were for makeup and various accessories related to it. On the back of the front cover we find Norida powder cases. Who would have thought such a thing existed and deserved such a prominent spot in the zine?
There are a few familiar names. Irene Rich (yes, THAT Irene Rich) uses Maybelline. Never heard of that Maybelline stuff but Irene Rich… WOW!
Tangee Beauty Aids offered a wide range of women’s make-up goop stuff. You can tell how attuned I am to this particular line of marketing.
And Kissproof seems fairly suggestive of potential not-really-related-to-makeup activities though the woman in the picture looks like she might just be wielding a knife.
When our flapper friends weren’t making themselves up for a night out, they were having a smoke behind the barn. They’re better because they’re toasted! We haven’t yet gotten to the Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco era.
I do notice too that retailers are practically jumping out of their skins to hand out credit to customers. Send only $1! Take a year to pay whether you want fine jewelry…
…or a Buxkin Velour Mandell Fur coat!
Lastly, we know that any Flapper worth her salt can dance up a small storm. Since you can’t dance without music, we bring you the Mello-Phonic Console Phonograph. You’ll have to draw lots though to see who gets stuck with the job of winding it up.
If you prefer your grinding without the winding, check out the All-Electric Radio. This beasty would cost you the equivalent of $700 back in the day.
Oh, but wait. I found this last little advert just hanging tenaciously on by a thread. Even flappers, it seems, suffered at times from irregularity. Luckily though there’s Feen-a-Mint.