"A Good Idea At The Time" Ads

These are ads that I find interesting because what they advertise, what they contain or what they show was acceptable or relevant at the time. Most of these can be seen in other areas of my site, grouped under the product name, but I wanted to also show them as a group of suprising examples of what was acceptable in a time that was far simpler and much less likely to bring about litigation. Relieving the world of some of the ingredients that were proudly advertised in these ads has become, in many cases, very lucrative businesses. Yet, once upon a time, to contain them was a source of pride.

HOME
PAGE
AD
PAGE
MAGAZINE
PAGE
HOW TO ORDER
PAGE
NEW LISTING
PAGE
 
e-mail Vic with questions

BRAND
AD DESCRIPTION
SOURCE
QTY.
PRICE
VIEW AD
PAYPAL

Black and white 9 1/2" x 14" photo of a woman, identified as Evelyn McHale in the photo, who has plummeted from the Empire State building or a building next to it and landed on top of a parked car. The picture, taken from feet away from her head, shows it and her outstretched body and the damage done to the car as well as the curious heads of people gawking from the sidewalk. I find this picture interesting enough to place here due to the fact that it would offend countless groups now yet, in 1947, it was just interesting.
May 12, 1947
Life magazine
1
$8.00
View A Good Idea 1


Black and white 9 1/2" x 11 1/2" photo on page 31 of Life magazine that eventually influenced our culture in a surprising way. As the caption with the photo explains the Fourth of July weekend in Hollister, CA careened out of control as "4,000 members of a motorcycle club roared" into town. It details their exploits and the damage done by these frightening individuals. It claims that while some "hardly paused" there were others that "rested awhile by the curb" like the man featured sitting bleery eyed on a parked motorcycle holding a bottle up while others litter the ground around his front wheel. It tells us that relief only came when "after two days, the cyclists left". The image created by this picture and the stories that grew out of the incident fostered the entire "biker" culture and was the impetus behind the 1953 movie The Wild Ones with Marlon Brando. How many other young men, like myself, stumbled upon this movie on late night television in the 1960s and felt a bond with "non-conformity". But what is the truth behind this picture? I have long heard rumors that indicated that this picture was, in actuality, a fine example that "Not every lead turns into a story, if you insist on using the facts". What seems to have really happened, with specific information provided by the book The Original Wild Ones. Tales of The Boozefighters Motorcycle Club by Bill Hayes , is that there was some activity in Hollister that was not even big enough for everyone in town to be aware that something was happening. It did seem to be enough for the State Police to be called but they were able to quickly put things under control. A story got out about trouble and reporters got interested. Remember that 1947 was before Eisenhower had been elected President and was able to create the Interstate highway system, a trip from the offices of Life magazine on the East coast to California by auto might take a week. When the reporter arrived, despite what the caption indicates, his interview with the Police Chief indicated little fear of having the bikers return for another get-together. A trip like that resulting in no story is not the way to further your career, or to sell magazines. Witnesses indicate that the reporter and photographer grabbed a drunk staggering out of a bar and placed him on a motorcycle they pushed into position by the curb. The assorted bottles by the front wheel were retrieved from various trash containers nearby. The man seen standing on the sidewalk with his hands in his pocket is identified in the book I mentioned as a man who had seen them corraling the drunk and wanted to be in the picture since he knew it was inaccurate.
July 21, 1947
Life magazine
1
$9.00
View A Good Idea 2


Black and white 8" x 13 1/2" photo in their "Pictures of the Week" page. This picture is of a brick office building where a woman, identified in the caption, climbed out on the ledge of one of the windows and sat thinking. Other windows opened up and faces tried to talk her into coming back in, trying to befriend her. The caption headline has her response which is "I don't want any friends". The information indicates that when she heard the siren of an approaching police car she completed her act of frustration and let gravity take her to the sidewalk where she died on the way to the hospital. The detailed information which included her name, age and job title is something that now not accompany a picture as graphic as this one.
May 22, 1950
Life magazine
1
$8.00
View A Good Idea 3

Ambler
Black and white 5" x 11" ad for their Asbestos Waltile wall covering. The ad has a picture of a kitchen of the 1930's with the sun shining in and the kitchen table packed with food ready to eat. The ad headline tells us that "Friends so often gather in the kitchen..." and the text claims that using this fireproof and eventually illegal wallcovering will make it more pleasant. The ad mentions that it was available in the colors of Newport Gray, Pearl Gray, Indian Red, Tuscan Red, Spanish Brown, Buff, Green and Blue-Black.
March 1930
Better Homes & Gardens
1
$9.00
View Walls / A Good Idea

Camel Cigarettes
Full color 9" x 13 1/2" ad that urges you to smoke Camel Cigarettes whenever you are having a busy day because it will Aid Your Digestion. The ad has several pictures of "The Varied Activities of Mrs. Louis Swift, Jr." and the text explains how she can go from being a Sportswoman to Formal Dining Out with no digestion problems. She, and other distinguished women who are listed in the ad, all feel that the benefits of Camel Cigarettes make this possible. It explains how, when she is giving a formal dinner, she will "always allow enough time between courses so that everyone may smoke a Camel through." It also claims that "Smoking Camels promotes the natural flow of the fluids necessary for good digestion. Alkalinity increases. Tension eases. A comforting 'lift' follows". With logic like this I can't see why elementary schools didn't have the lunch ladies passing Camel cigarettes out at lunch rather than just dropping their ashes into the stew.
February 1937
Town & Country
1
$9.00
View Camels 55

Camel Cigarettes
Full color 9 1/2" x 13" ad with the unfortunate information that "According to a recent nationwide survey: More Doctors smoke Camels than any other CIgarette". This late December ad has a picture of a snowy evening as a doctor arrives at a house making what we used to enjoy called a "House Call". The ad caption has a few lines of Twas the Night Before Christmas, specifically the "not a creature was stirring" part as it talks about the devotion that doctors of old had. The text talks about the extensive survey that was made covering 113, 597 doctors of all types from east to west, from north to south and the overwhelming winner to the question "What cigarette do you smoke, Doctor?" was Camel. It explains that, "Like anyone else, a doctor smokes for pleasure" and swoops in to talking about the T-Zone which is T for Taste and T for Throat. How right they were, the Taste came today and the loss of the Throat came tomorrow.
December 16, 1946
Life magazine
0
$8.00
View Camels / A Good Idea

Sold Out -
Looking for Replacement

Dutch Boy Paint
Full color 7 3/4" x 11 3/4" ad that illustrates the difference between Cheap Paints and their White Lead Exterior Paint. This ad, describing a product later deemed to be a hazard to our health, shows how the Cheap Paint will chip and flake-off causing you to have to scrape and burn what it is still left on before repainting you house. Dutch Boy, with that amazing Lead, "wears down by a slow gradual chalking". This will leave a smooth, unbroken surface which will make it easier to repaint. The ad also talks about the Dutch Boy Easy Payment Plan and mentions the various locations where the National Lead Company, the parent company, was located.
March 1937
Better Homes & Gardens
1
$9.50
View Paint / A Good Idea

Dutch Boy Paint
Full color 9 1/2" x 13 1/2" ad for their Wonsover Inside Oil Paint. There is a picture of a room that has been brightly done with this paint and the Dutch Boy bringing you "The Inside Story of 'Dutch Boy' Wonsover the once-over Inside Oil Paint". There are little hints around the page saying "To make rooms smile brightly", "Just Wonsover lightly!", "One Coat makes rooms new!" and claims that it is "Really Washable too!". At the bottom of the page is the name of the parent company which was the National Lead Company.
May 9, 1949
Life magazine
1
$9.00
View Paint / A Good Idea