December 21, 2010

Some interesting ads

A commenter with the memorable ID of Pants-Happy recently asked to see a certain full-page Packard ad that I had referred to earlier. I find quite a few of the ads I come across from the 1930's to be noteworthy either for content or graphic design, which is why I put small images of some of them along the right side of the blog page. However, considering Pants-Happy's request, I thought it might be worthwhile to show larger images of some of the more interesting ads I've come across. To start, here's the requested Packard ad:

A DOLLAR FOR DOLE - OR AN HOUR OF WORK? Which do you prefer to give? Which do you think Labor would prefer to have? ... Why not put the unemployed dollar to work? It will, in turn, put men to work ... I do not counsel you to buy a Packard, or any other car, before you buy anything else. Ours is not that selfish attitude. I do believe that the motor car dollar will go more places, more quickly, and affect more people for quick relief than any other dollar and that it can well become the “self starter for better business and greater prosperity.

And an editorial cartoon that also mentions the strangely familiar “unemployed dollar” phenomenon:

A couple of ads giving some strangely familiar level-headed advice about how history shows prosperity will return, it's futile to try and time the market, etc.:

In 1907, shortly after the headlines above had appeared, the security market had started a long steady upswing. “History Repeats Itself” These 30 Super-Corporations are prepared for prosperity ...

Buy The Best near the Bottom ... Unquestionably the foundations of the great fortunes of tomorrow are being laid today. The shrewd evaluators of America are buying the best common stocks now - at prices which a few years hence will seem incredible ... The older Rothschild crystallized his experience in a single sentence when he said: “I made my money by never trying to sell at the exact top or buy at the exact bottom.”

An interesting ad about Chicago - I think this one could be subtitled “never mind about that whole Al Capone thing.” The ad is quite striking visually, though this reproduction doesn't do it full justice.

Dazzling lights accentuate their shadows. Too long and too well has the black side of Chicago been advertised. Far from offering excuses, Chicago is at death grips with these forces. But there is Another Side ...

Another nice graphic in this ad for United Engineers & Constructors, presenting the work done by the company in 1930 as an imaginary city:

Of course, no collection of ads from 1931 would be complete without an Empire State Building one:

As Freud observed, sometimes a building is just a building. And, another of my favorite building ads:

No word on whether the plane does a rooftop airmail delivery ... this building is still there, by the way, close to the main NY Public Library branch on 42nd Street.

Finally, a couple of ads in the Just Plain Weird department. No matter how many times I look at this next one, I just can't wrap my head around the concept of selecting Edgar Allan Poe to endorse your hospitality business:

And finally, the one and only Radiumator - 'nuff said: