If you were around in the 1950s and 60s then you probably are familiar with the Coppertone Suntan Lotion slogan, “Don’t Be A Paleface!” Billboards and magazine ads showed the little girl with her tan line being exposed by an enthusiastic spaniel. I recently ran across this beach bag, and immediately thought it was a Coppertone item, probably a premium of some type.
On closer examination though, the word “Coppertone” is nowhere to be seen, though there is a bit of a copyright symbol at the bottom of the girl’s right foot.
Weirder still is the image on the other side of the bag. It shows a woman in a rather modest bikini, and a very exuberant man in matching trunks. Still no Coppertone logo, though there is a little bottle of suntan lotion on the blanket.
It does look a lot like a Coppertone bottle.
To add to the mystery, there is another version of this bag that does have the word “Coppertone”, and that was somehow associated with the Olympics. The bag does not reveal the year, but I’m guessing 1964 or 1968.
Since I bought this, I’ve seen ones like it for sale online, and the listings all use the Coppertone connection. The ad and image were so well-known, that maybe the actual word “Coppertone” was thought to be unnecessary.
Note the squirrel photo-bombing my first photo.