Category Archives: Ad Campaign

Ad Campaign – Cutex, 1960

Which to try first? You’ll run out of fingers and toes before you decide! Because Cutex has loads of gay new polish colors you’ve never worn before. And summer is the time to try them. The time to experiment with all the mad, marvelous shades like “Coral Sand” and “Capri Blue.” The time to tip your toes with Pearls and be a lovely sea siren.  You are just not in the fashion swim unless you are wearing the latest fun shades by Cutex.

I’m pretty sure that in 1960 nobody would take this ad literally and paint every nail a different color.  But in today’s world this ad would be pinned to a thousand Pinterest boards titled “Nail Inspiration.”

I actually don’t remember blue, purple, and green polish from the early Sixties, but then I was not exactly living in a fashion forward community.  Even though I was only five years old in 1960, I had an older cousin and a group of teenage girls at church who were my style idols.  I’d have noticed blue nails.  This is another good example of how our memories do not always reflect the over-all reality of what was happening.

For some time I’ve realized that if I could go back in time and shop any era for my wardrobe, it would be the early Sixties.   It was an era that I remember, but I never really got to wear the styles associated with the time.  I loved the clothes the older girls wore: Jackie Kennedy suits, Audrey Hepburn slacks and boatneck tops, sophisticated sheath dresses.  But by the time I was dressing as a teen and not a little girl, the mod age was in full swing and sophistication was O-U-T.

I’m not sure if I love the looks of the early Sixties so much because I have such fond memories of the clothes, or if my own preferences for un-fussy clothing attracts me to the styles of that era.  It’s probably a bit of both.  At any rate, a quick look through my pattern collection tells the tale.  At least fifty percent of my patterns date from 1958 through 1965.  I either know what I like, or I have a real problem!

 

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Ad Campaign – Howland Swim Caps, 1952

Soft, Lovely, Dry Hair Thanks to 

U.S. Howland Hair-Dry Swim Caps

1 Incurving V-Ribs keep water out!

2 Watertight suction band seals hair in!

3  Small, medium, and large sizes assure perfect fit.  Special size for children.

Swim and dive all you like, Howland protection stays with you.  Buy U.S. Howland Swim Caps wherever bathing accessories are sold – in Chartreuse, Red, Yellow, Blue, and White.

Note that the “in-curving ribs” are patented.  Whether or not the ribs actually worked is another matter, but  patents are good because patent numbers are often found inside swim caps  and are a useful tool in dating an otherwise tricky item.  Just remember that the date is not necessarily the date the item was made; it is the earliest possible date of manufacture.

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Ad Campaign – Revlon, 1946

Watch Revlon’s new “Tortoise Shell”

Another new color point-of-view originated by Revlon!  It will be seen here (with formal dress in town) and there (punctuating a suntan at Palm springs) this winter.  Watch “Tortoise Shell” … russet with luminous high-lights… special-occasion color for matching lips and fingertips.  By the 4th of July, it will be another smart Americanism!

Despite the name, it just looks like red to me.  Maybe the strategy was to call it something very un-red, and see if women bought it. It’s an interesting concept.

The sunglasses, which were also a Revlon product, are an odd combination of tortoise and bling.  I guess they were designed to blind your beach companions.  The scarf is by Tina Leser, and appears to be one of her wonderful hand-painted creations.

The photographer was Constantin Joffé , and if you didn’t know better, this could pass for a modern instagram photo.  There has to be an app that will put your photo in the sunglass lense!

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Ad Campaign – Premier Nylon Thread, 1949

Naturally 

Nylon Sewing Thread

for

Nylon Garments.

Naturally

Premier S.S. Neophil

…Nothing Finer!

The FIRST Successful Nylon Sewing Thread

This is a seriously odd ad, from the poem-like copy to the naked women worshiping(?) the nylon garments hanging from trees.  Naturally!

But beyond that, this is actually a useful ad as it helps establish when nylon thread was first used.  Nylon was first marketed in 1938 as stockings, but due to WWII, nylon garments were not really available until after 1945.   After the war there was a great deal of experimentation with the fiber, and new uses, especially lingerie and blouses, were developed.

I don’t know when nylon thread became available to the home sewer, but I can remember people being really excited about it in the mid to late 1960s.  Perhaps this is one of those cases where my experiences do not firmly mesh with the historical facts.

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Ad Campaign – Aileen, 1957 UPDATE

The best suggestion of all? – Aileen’s mix-or-match cotton knit coordinates for career or campus…

In 1957 Aileen was the new brand in town.  The company was formed in 1956 as Aileen Knitwear.  In the early Sixties the company branched out with Aileen Girl and Aileen Teen, but my recollection of the brand starts with their junior line, The Red Eye.  It was my favorite brand in my high school years, and I spent my entire first paycheck at age sixteen on three matching knit pieces.

I think the best advice I ever gave my ten and eleven year old students was to never put to paper anything that they would not want the whole world (meaning their parents and friends) to know. I’m afraid these two young career women didn’t get such good advice!

I’ve been thinking a lot about communication over the past few days.  If I were to give the same advice to students today, I’d have to go beyond passing notes to include emails and texts and facebook posts.  For better or for worse, the way we communicate has changed.

One of the joys of writing The Vintage Traveler is all the communication I have with readers.  Whether it is comments here on the blog, emails, or comments on twitter or instagram, I’m always learning from the smart people who check in here.  And I’m appreciative of all the great ideas and suggestions I’ve received over the years. I consider The Vintage Traveler to truly be a group project.

I do need to remind readers that I do have a posting policy.  It is very rarely that I feel the need to remove a comment, but I will do so to maintain the positive atmosphere of The Vintage Traveler.  Most of the few comments that I’ve removed are on an old post about the American Pickers television program.   I understand people hating that show, but I still can’t allow comments that might be slanderous.

I get several emails a day from people wanting help with this or that label, or asking about something they have in their collection or for sale.  I welcome these questions, especially when a dialogue about the object results.

But lately I’m getting lots of question emails, and after I take the time to answer, I never hear another word from the questioner.  This is usually from an emailer who has stumbled on The Vintage Traveler through a google search of their item.  If a person can’t be bothered to take ten minutes to explore the site and try to figure who the human being behind it is, then that’s a pretty good indication that my answer to them will not be acknowledged.  

But then, there are those of you who have emailed me out of the blue, a conversation ensued, and I now count you among my true friends.  It’s all about the conversation.

UPDATE

In a world where so many clothing and textile businesses have closed, it’s nice that there are a few older businesses that are still alive and well.  Many of these have extensive archives can pretty much identify any of their vintage products.  Unfortunately, in the past year I’ve gotten emails from two of them, asking me not to publicize the existence of their archives due to excessive requests for information.

I’m sure that most of this is due to the fact that many of these archive departments are understaffed, and they simply don’t have the time to do the research.  But I can’t help but wonder if they are just tired of taking the time to answer questions for which they get no return acknowledgment.  I can’t say that I blame them.

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Ad Campaign – Ship ‘n Shore, 1957

Ship ‘n Shore fashion talks embroidery behind your back

Since we all loved the Ship ‘n Shore blouses from 1953, I thought I might share some from a few years later – 1957.   Like the earlier blouses, these all have a small detail that makes each special, whether it is a line of embroidery down the back or a pocket stitched up like a maze, or a notch cut out of a sleeve.  I can see why the products from this company were so popular.  They were nicely designed and sold for a reasonable price ($3.98 equals $32.49 today).

I’ve now got plans to make that blue blouse.  That is my favorite collar, and I just can’t resist those sleeves.

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Ad Campaign – Ship ‘n Shore, 1953

More here than meets the eye…

Ship ‘n Shore tailoring is so kind to the curve of an armhole… so generous where a shirt-sleeve meets a shoulder… no wonder it brings out the best in fine fabrics! 

Ship ‘n Shore is another of those brands from the mid twentieth century that despite being a big deal then, is all but forgotten today.  At $2.98 ($26.60) today, the line was affordable, but even from a photo one can tell this was a quality product.

One of my very favorite fashion details is a mitered collar in a stripe.  That collar took expert precision in cutting and in sewing.  And I also love the contrast of the horizontal placket against the vertical stripe.  And even though we can’t see it, we are assured by the ad that the curve of the armhole is properly cut.  Today you can easily find a sleeveless blouse for less than $26.60, but not with this quality.

Ship ‘n Shore was founded in 1916 as the Susquehanna Waist Company in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, by Samuel Netzky.  You might know that a waist was what we would today call a blouse, and even though the company ventured into making other women’s garments, the blouse was their mainstay.  According to an article that quoted a great-grandson of Netzky, the company changed its name to Ship ‘n Shore in 1954, though it is apparent from this ad that they were using the name before that date.  The US Trademark site gives 1939 as the first use of the Ship ‘n Shore name by the company.

The Netzky family sold the business in 1977, and it was eventually bought by Montgomery Ward.  In 2002 some of the Netzky family purchased the rights to the name from Montgomery Ward.  They formed a corporation, SWC Enterprises, Incorporated, and began plans to revive the label.  In the article I found I thought this bit was very interesting:

To understand what customers want today, SWC conducted market research with two groups of women, ages 35 to 49 and ages 50 and up, and found a desire for moderately priced clothing that looks youthful but not dowdy and fits women’s bodies better as they age, he said.

“There was a sea of complaints about styles of clothing for the age 35-plus woman,” Schwartz said.

Unfortunately, it looks as if the plan did not materialize, as today the trademark status is dead, and I could find nothing about SWC after 2003.  Now that is a real loss opportunity for the plus 35 set.

I have a few more great Ship ‘n Shore ads I’ll be sharing in the next few weeks.

Information from Philly.com, accessed April 16, 2014.

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