Tag Archives: 1950s

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1951 – Rice Krispies and Tide Detergent

Rice Krispies, 1951

Pop, Crackle and Snap have been around a long time, since 1933 as it turns out. Notable bits about this particular advert include the fixed-width font that today would make us think of a primitive computer printout. Given that it’s 1951 though, they’re doubtless going for a typewriter but I fail to see how that businesslike formality will help them sell cereal.

As in all breakfast ads the milk is stone white but in 1951 it might well have been whole milk (or cream) which really is fairly white. Lastly note that the inner bag design seems to be of wax paper. I wish the bags of my cereal boxes opened up so tidily.

From Classic Ads – Food And Drink

Tide Detergent, 1951

She wears the cleanest clothes in town … her “Mom” swears by tide.

Who is this “Mom” person and why is she in quotes like that? The text is straightforward and forceful and the reaction of the gents at the water cooler seems proof that the horrid yellow dress she’s wearing really is attention-grabbing. Note how the guy in the brown coat is just letting the whole jug splash into the drain. This stuff must be good.

Further, the detergent is so magical that you don’t even have to rinse anything. Just wash, wring out and hang up! How easy is that? I’d hate to see the rash you get from wearing soapy clothes all day.

From Classic Ads – Household Misc

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1951 Stereo Realist Cameras – w/ Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy

From Classic Ads – Photography

It seems somewhat apropos that such a strange little duo would be found selling such a strange-looking device. The camera was simple in that it simply took two pictures at the same time from two viewpoints. When you looked at the photos through the viewer, which just made sure that your left eye got one picture and your right eye the other, then you saw the result as three-dimensional. This concept was almost as old as photography itself but during the 50s entered wider use with cameras like this one costing only(!) $182. Adjusting for inflation this is a $1,500 camera, folks.

Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy are hawking this little device and as I’m sure you ALL remember from the 30s through the mid 50s they were a hilariously popular radio ventriloquist duo. Let me just allow that to sink in a bit. They were ventriloquists… and they were primarily known for “appearing” on the… radio… yes, yes indeed, that ancient device in which you can hear the people doing the show but can’t actually see them so you would never be able to TELL that one half of the conversation was held up by a wooden dummy. It never ceases to amaze me how creepy they both look in print advertising and how redundantly they use jokes of the form “Charlie’s no dummy he uses product X!” But if it worked then so be it.

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1954 Motorola Portable Radios

The most notable thing about this ad is that its focus is clearly on the colors in which they’re available: dove Gray, Leaf Green, Cherry Red, Mocha, Clover Pink, Azure Blue, Black, Grass Green, Middy Blue, Flame, Hot Chocolate and Maroon.

Digging deep into the fine print we find technical features but on the surface, it’s all about exterior aesthetics.

From Classic Ads – Music Equipment

Looking past the rainbow, these units boast “instant warm-up” (when’s the last time you waited for any electrical appliance to “warm up”?) and instant switch from AC to DC. Two things that have passed entirely from our collective consumer consciousness.

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Sports Illustrated – September 27, 1954

Greetings! As a possibly permanent change of pace, I’ve decided to take a single issue of a periodical of the dim and misty past and have at it all in one go. Today’s lucky target of nostalgia is the September 27th 1954 edition of Sports Illustrated. That was the first year for this noble magazine veteran and this was lucky issue #7. Let’s dive in and look at the interesting part, the adverts, and ignore all that pesky content about sports!

It’s easy in today’s bare-headed culture to forget that 50 years ago hats were pretty damn important and a part of every smart-looking young man’s wardrobe. This smart green Black Forest hat has a band as wide as a weasel’s face. No doubt that was the height of fashion at the time. These suckers top out at $20 in 1954. Accounting for inflation that’s a $150 hat! That’s one salty weasel-band hat!

From Classic Ads – Clothing

This ad admonishes us to ask for genuine G.E. tubes the next time we have our televisions repaired. Do they even HAVE TV repairmen anymore? Regardless, if they do then I hope they use G.E. tubes. They really put a wallop in your tired TV picture. When’s the last time you walloped something?

From Classic Ads – Communications

These people are obviously of the monied class so of course they arrived at this fancy dinner in a Cadillac. You’d have to have a lot of money to drive a car the size of a commercial fishing vessel. Bubba-Gump’s shrimpin’ boat was smaller than this car. Her jewels by Van Cleef and Arpela. Wrap by Anthony Biotta. Car by Cadillac. All 22 feet of it.

From Classic Ads – Automotive

Old Spice – For Men. As if you had to make THAT clear. Any woman who would consider wearing Old Spice probably drives a shrimpin’ boat and gives not a whit of a care about how she smells.

From Classic Ads – Personal Grooming

Ending on a supremely manly note, Early Times is every ounce a Man’s Whisky. These people know about horses so they must know about good whisky, right? Though one must admit that with that rather pallid yellow color one can’t help but wonder if the whisky doesn’t start out as a byproduct of the horse…

From Classic Ads – Food And Drink

And that’s what advertising was like in 1954. Anybody wanting a 1954 copy of SI can have it at cost now that I’m done with it.

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Be Really Refreshed… Coca Cola 1959

One would get the idea, perusing Coke ads over the years, that we’re supposed to get the idea that this product is just tooth-chatteringly cold.  I suppose that’s generally the case but the marketing here would seem to indicate that the Coca-Cola bottling company invented the concept.

Coca-Cola 1959

Ad Text:

Reach for Coca-Cola… and be really refreshed! Only Coke gives you the cheerful lift that’s bright and lively… the cold crisp taste that deeply satisfies! Pause often… and always drink Coke!

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Cola-Cola 1959

You can tell a lot about how a society wants to see itself by its advertising. Clearly, in 1959 we were all just idiotically happy eating our sandwiches and drinking our sodas. I’d be absolutely astonished if the girl in this picture actually finished that huge meal though and the drive-in is very trusting to be handing out glass salt and pepper shakers to every car.

Coca-Cola 1959

Ad Text:

Brighten every bite with Coke! Only Coca-Cola gives you that cheerful lift… that cold crisp taste! No wonder it’s the real refreshment… anytime… anywhere you’re driving! Pause… for Coke!

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