A Few Old Ads


Images are clickable.

Images are clickable.

I wonder if, decades from now, people will enjoy looking at those Internet ads that annoyingly cover the screen. Will they feel the tug of nostalgia when they come across personalized target advertising for weight-loss remedies?  Now, we have a strange yearning for vintage advertising. Its strange how often we fall for the most banal things in our culture. I’m just as guilty of this escape as the next person.

My excuse is that I become fascinated by vintage advertising in the process of research for my blog or simple curiosity. I don’t really go for the old Coca Cola or similar popular advertising because it has been reproduced and remarketed as popular merchandise so much. This factor has diminished its arcane, anthropological value greatly.

Instead of the most popular advertisements of the past, I like to read and analyze the most common, run-of-the-mill ads that people would have encountered in their daily ad11-1949breading material.  These are the type of ads that give me a feel for the social conditions of the period.  Looking at them gives me the impression that I have gone back in time, for a little while.

I have a modest stack of vintage “National Geographic” magazines that I keep by my bedside for pre-sleep reading. I frequently get “stuck” in the ads before nodding off. The major railroad companies purchased some of Madison Avenue’s most asthetically pleasing full-page advertising.  The most socially revealing ads are those that target Christmas shoppers. It appears that amusing, kitschy socks were quite popular in 1949.ad07

I decided to bring out more advertising from 1949, because that is one of the unsung years that most folks rarely think about.  However, people still had domestic chores and some sort of private lives.  I have an entire newspaper insert from the area Firestone store.  In that era, Firestone and its main competitor “Western Auto”, were variety stores and not just tire retailers. Go ahead and zoom into these ads, so you can investigate the prices and descriptions of these domestic goods that were necessities in 1949.


As I cleaned up dad’s basement, recently, I stumbled across one section of the June 1, 1922 weekly newspaper printed in Wayne, Nebraska. It was saved because of a very short mention of a high school graduation.  What is just as interesting is the ad01-1922aMildredAndersonadvertising on the pages.

I’m sure the women of Wayne County enjoyed studying the advertisement from one of the clothing stores. Perhaps they also hoped someone would treat them to the latest movie downtown, at the Crystal Theatre.


Motorists probably did some mental arithmetic as they daydreamed about the latest car they might buy from the Wayne Motor Company.  They would probably have to settle for a new battery from Coryell & Brock for the tractor.


Back in 1922, Nebraska’s Primary Election took place in July.  There was a double-page spread of candidates hoping to win in State and Local races.  I did a double-take when I noticed the ad for County Treasurer.  Apparently, his most noteworthy accomplishment was his gig as water carrier for the circus elephant. Ironically, Mr. Scace was the Democratic hopeful that year.

1984aThe Blue Jay of Happiness keeps a quip by Lord Northcliffe in mind. “News is something somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, History, Hometown, Meanderings, Vintage Collectables and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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