There are lots more goodies in the 1939 LIFE Magazine my father passed on to me, so I’m probably going to turn it into a bit of a running feature and parcel them out week by week so no one gets oversaturated with the awesomeness of this magazine. This week, I’ve got some vintage advertisements for you. You can click on the images to see enlarged sizes and read the text of the advertisements.
This public service announcement from the now-defunct House of Seagram reminds fathers to drink responsibly. I think it’s interesting to see the thurst of the announcement directed specifically at parents, rather than modern PSAs from alcohol producers, which tend to focus on images of young, clearly unattached people who are not parents. It’s also intriguing to compare it with the recently-released PSAs featuring President Obama talking about fatherhood.
Another thing that I find intriguing about this ad is the punctuation, but you will have to click through to see what I mean. When my father was showing me the magazine, one of the things I noticed immediately was that there were some significant spelling and punctuational deviations from modern norms, and I found it rather remarkable to see a physical illustration of the fact that English is a living language. 70 years ago, accepted style in English really was different. If one of my readers randomly happens to have any vintage style guides from magazines/newspapers/publishers/etc, I would LOVE to see them.
This advertisement from Oldsmobile touts the “revolutionary new Rhythmic Ride” and features a laundry list of fascinating vehicle features. It alerts readers to the fact that the 1939 Olds models are cheaper than those released in 1938, and tells them that the Oldsmobile is “the car that has everything.” Not so much anymore: Oldsmobile closed in 2004. For those who are curious, that $777 sticker price works out to a little under $12,000 in 2009.
The advertisement for Jantzen Swimwear (a company which is still in business), trumpets the figure-slimming features in the 1939 lineup of suits. It also stresses the “glamour” of the company’s fabrics, and reminds women and men alike that they are expected to have controlled figures and a trim athletic appearance in and out of the water. I do note that the woman’s suit looks like something you could actually swim in, which is more than I can say for most suits for ladies on the market today. The quoted prices for the suits range from around $44 in 2009 dollars to $120.