All of these vintage ads were taken from a June 1956 issue of Woman’s Day. (As always, click the images to see larger scans.)
We’ll begin our look — as many people start their day — with muffins. No ordinary muffins, but rather pampered muffins who get their way despite their informal, nearly uneducated speech. “Us muffins love nuffin’ but Allsweet …so will you!”
This ad for Woodbury shampoo boasts, “A famous laboratory proves: Hair washed with new Woodbury Shampoo holds curl better, keeps set longer,” and claims this special “curl-keeping” ingredient also means your hair “can’t dry out”. I suspect this special ingredient is wax.
I do believe James Lees & Sons Company was slightly mad in the 50s and this isn’t the first ad of theirs I’ve seen. This one has you thinking ‘magic carpet ride’ as her legs are hanging over the edge as the couple feasts, but instead, they go for “How to have your cake — and… those heavenly carpets by Lees.” (Where’s the “too”?) Then they say that the heavenly floating carpet is “just 3 dimes a day” — but neglects to say for how long… But overall this ad wins for it’s sweet illustration style.
The amazing thing about this ad for Breeze detergent is the promise of the free, full size Cannon kitchen towel. A twenty-five cent towel is mind-blowing (that’s nearly one day’s carpet payment!) but it reminds me of all those similar TV commercials for floral towels that I saw as a kid — during As The World Turns, no less!
This next ad I found a little strange for it’s placement in Woman’s Day. With a presumably female readership, it seems odd to find an advertisement pushing meat thermometers for bridal shower gifts as “A gift to please the groom”. Then I read more closely and it all makes sense: “This Taylor Dial Roast Meat Thermometer tells even the newest homemaker when any roast is done the way HE likes it.”
You can’t pick up a magazine from the 50s and not find cigarette ads, like this one on the back cover which has Phil Silvers (as Sgt. Bilko) inviting you to, “Have a Camel — It’s a pleasure!”
Dennis The Menace wasn’t new in 1956 (he debuted in 1951), but Woman’s Day was sure excited that he would be appearing in the July issue. There were several ads for Dennis in this issue, but this was the largest. Most boasted “My son Dennis the Menace” as opposed to just “Dennis the Menace” — or stating who was making the claim. Anyway, it’s cool to see the mag so excited.
This old Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum ad disguised itself as magazine content by offering both a recipe for punch and another for Tasty Meltaway Cookies. Given a choice between Mom’s homemade cookies and gum I’d go for the cookies, but the ad isn’t for me — it’s for Mom who can refresh her hot-in-the-kitchen-baking self with the lively flavor of Wrigley’s. (Go ahead, Mom; take a pack and make me some cookies!)
There are few color pages in this vintage magazine — fewer yet, slick or glossy pages — but the Glass Container Manufacturers Institute was willing to go on an advertising spree to promote glass bottles. It seemed weird enough to see glass bottles pushed like plastic is today, but the corny “This is what makes the party, soft drinks bottled in glass!” was over-the-top adorable. Mom, grab a stick of gum, make me some cookies, and bring on the bottled soft drinks ’cause we’re gonna paaarrrty!
Quick Elastic… A laundry starch? Sure, ‘elastic’ sounds more comfortable; but starch is supposed to be stiff — stiff enough to be “dirt-resisting”. Now doesn’t that sound grand?
Soft-Weve, by Scott, fancied itself a real luxury. Not only was it showing off their lovely color palette as a fashion accessory (shown here in another color — go see it, it’s a hoot!), but it never once called itself a toilet tissue. Instead it repeats its mantra that Soft-Weve is of the finest “facial tissue” quality.
Here the lovely Metropolitan Opera singer Risë Stevens, who pimped lots of products, shows us how she uses Murine eye drops for tired eyes… Hmm, she drops little drops of the product in her eyes… Interesting…
Enjoy Jane Parker Bread — or the A&P will disembody you, just like they did this little girl!