The 1940s begins with America returning to affluence in the early 1940s and then after Pearl Harbor (1941) 4 years of War. This of course significantly affected advrtising. As the economy hifted to war proiduction, advertising as not as important as during an era of producing consumer goods. After the German and Japanese surrender (1945), the United States quickly returned to a peace-time economy and an exposion of advertising as the economy expanded. We have found a range of advertising from the 1940s. Knickers have obviously gone out of fashion. They show younger boys dressing up in Eton suits with actual Etoin collars. School scenes show most boys wearing long pants. "T"shits had become popular. Cun and Boy Scouts appear in a number if adverisements.
Print ads from the 1950s showed a lot of boys, generally up to about
ages 9/10 in shorts and often long-sleeved sweaters and knee socks. The quality of the art work varied quite a lot, from simple pen and ink or sketches to the well turned out photo-- such as the cigarette ad from 1946 which HBC has. I will link this image, as soon I can remember where it is.
The Ethyl Gasoline Corporaiton profuced a gasoline adittive--Tetraethyllead, The compound, better known as TEL was discovered by a German chemist (1854). At the time there was no coomercial use for the compound. After the the development of the internat combustion engine using gasoline, Thomas Midgley working under Charles Kettering at General Motors Research found that TEL was a useful antiknock agent (1921). General Motors then patented the use of TEL as an anti-knocking agent and created the marketing name Ethyl. The name was designed to down play the fact that it was a lead compound. Gasoline using TEL, however became known as leaded gas. The Standard Oil of New Jersey (ESSO--now Exxon) and General Motors founded the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation to produce and market TEL (1924). Geologist Clair Patterson by accident discovered the pollution being caused by the TEL in leaded gasoline. He was attempting to estimate the age of the earth. His method was to measure the lead content of very old rocks. Then using the time it took uranium to decay into lead, the age of the ricks could be derermined. His work was complicated by the lead that TEL was adding to the environment which complicated the rock samplers he was using. After growing realization of the hedalgth and environmental damage, the EPA began an effort to phase out leaded gasoline (1972). The Ethyl Corp, denied the growing body of scientific evidence and took EPA tgo court. EPA prevailed in court. The EPA phaseout program was initisted (1976) and completed (1986). The effort has proven a substantial success. A study reports that lead levels in Americans (based on blood samples) has fallen between 1976-91 nearly b80 percent (1994).
TEL is still being used because in some developing countries. Here we see a 1940 magazine advertisement by Ethyl Gasoline Corporaiton advertising the benefits of TEL. The ad was captioned, "Trouble is, we need more power." The boys pictured with the plane wear standard casual clothing at the time. Notice the striped "T"-shirt.
Oneida has one of the most fascinatinng corporate hostories of any American conmpany. I remember Oneida best as a manufacturer of silverwear, but the early Oneida Community did much more. It was one og the ealy socialist comminities established in America during the early 19thu century. This advertisement for Community Silverplate was published in 1942 during World War II. It hardly looks like a World War II ad. Along with bride and groom are the flower girl and ring bearer. The ting beare wears a black suit with an Eton collar. The Eton collar had virtually disappeared in America by the 1940s, but younger boys for formal occassions might still wear them.
Ipana toothpaste was manufactured by Bristol-Myers. It was a wintergreen flavored toothpaste with sodium fluoride as the active ingredient. Interesting given its early appearance. It was one of the most well-known brand merican detifrice products. Bristol-Myers introduced it (1901). Bristol-Myers made an early commitment to radio advertising when the broadcasting industry began to take off after World War I. The program was the 'The Ipana Troubadors' (1923). Columbia issued popular records with Ipana Troubadors title (1925-31). Sam Lanin led the studio group. The Lanin brothers became important band leaders--a Jewish family with 10 children that immigrated from Russia with its pogroms during the 1900s. Here we see a World War II era ad, evoking a pratiotic rther than a commercial theme. Ipana achieded its peak popularity during the 1950s. The company used a Disney-created mascot named Bucky Beaver during the 1950s. Of course beavers with their trae-mark teeth were a natural choice. Bristol made a big bet om magazine advertising focusing on women's magazines. Many adverising experts believe this was a mistake as men began to see it as a woman's/child product. Other reasons for the demise of Ipana was increasing competition from Procter & Gamble, Colgate, and others. Bristol's decision not to go big in color television. The company's decision to focus more on pharmaceuticals as Bristol moved to becone a drug powerhhouse. Poilitical attacks about gloride may have been another factor.
This ad for the Prudential Life Insurance Company appeared in a 1944 magazine. Insurance was one industry which was not affected by war-time shrtages. And workers in the booming war industries were now fully employed and able to afford life insurance. The image shows a father helping his son, a new Boy Scout, with his knot tying--a bowline knot. The ad copy stresses the relationshp between father and son. The Scout wants to know if his father was ever an Eagle Scout. The Scout is pictured in the new jniform. For years Scouts worn mostly knickers. The Boy Scout Association n 1942 discontinued knickers and gave Cubs and Scouts a choice of short or long pants. Prudential for the ad chose the short pants uniform, probably to emphasize the boy's youth and need for the security offered by life insurance. Ads with Cubs and Scouts were farly cmmon in the 1940s.
The Winchester Rifle is one of the most fmous brand names in America. The companies fire arms are associated with the Old West and American history. The winchester repeating rifle rivald the Colt 45 in the history of the West. The company roteinly sponsors advertisements in Scouting publication. Here is an advertisement from 1944 during World war II. Of course in 1944 there were not a lot of rifles being made for consumer sales. Presumably the company was looking forward to the end of the War.
Automobile manufacturers attempt to sell many cars as family cars and family status sysmbols, thus many car ads picture children. An ad for a Dodge in 1947 showed the car stopped by a school crossing full of children. This illustrated what American children were wearing to school in 1947, at least at the beginning of the school year when the weather was still nice. One boy wears a Cub Scout uniform. This was also when the new car models were unveiled for the coming year.
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