The aftermath of World War II brought unprecedented pride and prosperity to the American people. From Western Electric communication tools (for “the modern battle”) to Seagram’s whiskey (for “Men Who Plan Beyond Tomorrow”) to the Hoover vacuum (“For every woman who is proud of her home”), the postwar era represented a flood of products and services for every occasion.
Combining social, corporate, and graphic history, this new hardcover edition of 1940s ads follows America’s development through the anxieties of war to the buying-frenzy of peace. These colorful signs of the times feature both blasts from the past and many brand names still going strong today. It’s hard to believe that the company who made your ultra-compact mobile phone was once advertising portable radios with “Motorola: More radio pleasure for less money,” or that Electrolux didn’t have any qualms about using Mandy, the portly black maid, to promote their new silent refrigerators: “Lor-dy, it sure is quiet!”
Through motorcars, cigarettes, lipsticks, and cans of Campbell’s soup, this is an at once entertaining and eye-opening survey of the fears, fads, and dreams that characterized a decisive decade.