Archive for the Advertising Category

Never Halloween Without a Witch, 1911

Posted in 10s, Advertising, chromolithograph, Costumes, Halloween, Magazine, SFW on 2 April 2011 by redwitch1

The October 1911 issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal contains a colour spread under the title “The Halloween Masquerade” with eight designs by Adrienne Brugard and drawings by M. E. Musselman.

The eight designs are: Yankee Doodle Boy, A Very Demure Goose Girl, Up-to-Date Aeroplane Girl, a Witch, Bo-Peep Hunting her Sheep, Pumpkin and Lettuce Girls, A Calico Clown. The spread is promoted in these words:

For a jolly time on Hallowe’en give a masquerade party. How shall I dress? is always the first thought on receiving an invitation to such a party. The girls and boys will look well in these fanciful costumes, some of which suggest others which would be just as quaint and humorous. Ghosts and goblins might accompany the Witch, and Little Boy Blue and other nursery-rhyme characters might go along with Bo-Peep. If the dominos do not sufficiently conceal the features suitable masks may be obtained for a number of these costumes. The more one’s identity is concealed the greater will be the fun.

The attenuated broom carried by the witch suggests that M. E. Musselman was not familiar with the object itself, but the costume is cute. Note the short cape, which turns up in some graphics from the 40s and 50s (here and here). BTW: I love the Lettuce Girl (below)—I can’t understand why this costume has waned in popularity since 1911!

At the foot of the page are two paragraphs (which I have transcribed) that explain you could buy the pattern to three of the costumes. For women, the witch costume was the only one available, men, could choose between the Yankee Doodle Boy and the Clown outfit. It would be nice to think that this meant that the witch costume reigned supreme at Halloween, for women of all sizes (i.e., with bust measurements from 32 to 44 inches). But contemporary photos suggest that the Calico Clown was more popular with women than the witch outfit. And many of the witch outfit people actually wore were hybrids with the clown outfit. After all, it was easy to make!

I haven’t given up hope of finding a surviving pattern for this design, or a costume based on it, or—better still—a contemporary photo of someone wearing this Adrienne Brugard’s creation. Until I do, Musselman’s artwork will have to suffice.

* * * * *

Patterns (including Guide-Chart) for the numbered designs shown on this page can be supplied at fifteen cents for each number, post-free. Pattern No. 4112 [Calico Clown] comes in four sizes: 26, 30, 34 and 38 inches; No. 6409 [Yankee Doodle Boy] in six sizes: 24, 26, 32, 36, 40 and 44 inches chest measure; and No. 6407 [Witch] in seven sizes: 32 to 44 inches bust measure. Order from your nearest dealer in patterns; and by mail, giving number of pattern and bust measure, and inclosing the price to the Pattern Department, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Philiadelphia.

Note—If you want any further information about the costumes shown on this page send an addressed, stamped envelope to the Fashion Editors, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Philiadelphia, who will tell you how to make these costumes, suggesting substitute patterns for any of the unnumbered designs shown on this page. Several of the costumes may be made from discarded dresses, with only a small expenditure for accessories.

31 Days of Halloween – Day 13 – Shiny Shoes

Posted in 50s, Advertising, Halloween Countdown, Magazine on 13 October 2009 by redwitch1

I think I have saved the best of my series of witchy advertisements to last. This naughty witch from 1957 is showing a lot of skin considering that she is advertising boot polish. Apparently, the “neatest ‘Trick or treat'” is “a Microsheen Shine!” Personally, I think shoe-horning this near-naked witch into a boot polish advertisement is the “neatest Trick” of all. Don’t you agree? (Then again, we have already seen adverts for witchy engine oil, so maybe not).

If you can drag your eyes from the above, here is the advertising copy:

The goblins will get you if your shoes are dull and dingy. So be some pumpkin. Always step out with a Microsheen shine and all your friends will notice and compliment the big difference. That’s because Griffin Microsheen is so different from ordinary polishes … Treat your shoes to the slickest treat of all—start sparkling with Griffin Microsheen today!

31 Days of Halloween – Day 12 – Not a Witch’s Hat

Posted in 50s, Advertising, Halloween Countdown, Magazine, SFW on 12 October 2009 by redwitch1

Even though this is self-evidently not a witch’s hat being advertised for $10, this advertisement for Mallory Hats of New York uses a witch flying on a broomstick as a hook to catch your attention. Does this advertisement mention witch’s hats? No. Does it start with a rhetorical question? Yes!

Black magic? No, it’s Mallory magic … the special silk that brings cloud-soft lightness and finest craftsmanship together in one $10 hat. We call this hat, of course, the “Magic.” You’ll agree, when you see how it combines all these luxury features: …

The advert then lists seven mundane features. I think it would be a lot more interesting if someone were to suggest some changes to these mundane features to make the advert more appropriate for a witches hat. Suggestions anyone?

And can someone explain how a hat can give you that “riding on air feeling”?

As for the witch though, she is very cute, and a bit racy, especially when you consider that this advert is from 1953.

31 Days of Halloween – Day 11 – Wear This

Posted in 40s, Advertising, Halloween Countdown, Magazine, SFW on 11 October 2009 by redwitch1

There is no question about whether this woman is a witch, just look at the peak on that hat! And in this case, it is obviously a “bewitching” witch (as it ought to be), not a genie.

Apparently the advertisement is from an October 1946 issue of Ladies Home Journal or Woman’s Home Companion (the vendor wasn’t sure which), and it is for Pacific Mills Worsted Woolens. So now you have a waist-whittling skirt to wear while you drink beer and change your engine oil!

Here is the advertising copy:

Cast a spell of you own in this smooth little skirt. It whittles the waist and gives fashionable fullness to the hips. The secret of its soft draping? A 100% wool Pacific fabric with a worsted warp to combat mussing and sagging! Look for it in your favorite store.

31 Days of Halloween – Day 9 – Don’t Drink This

Posted in 40s, Advertising, Halloween Countdown, Pin-up, SFW on 9 October 2009 by redwitch1

It is amazing how many completely unrelated things you an use Halloween—and witches—to sell. Beer almost makes sense, it being kind-of festive but, um, engine oil! Why of course, why didn’t I think of that! (Perhaps because I don’t work for Sinclair Oil.)

Here we have an advertisement, from The Saturday Evening Post of 25 October 1947 featuring Lynn Bari riding Opaline’s Magic Broomstick. The magic consists partly of a comfortable seat for the “curvaceous, dark-haired WWII pin-up beauty.” No doubt Ms. Bari was very grateful.

Here is the whole advert.

31 Days of Halloween – Day 7 – have a Bud.

Posted in 50s, Advertising, Halloween Countdown, Magazine on 7 October 2009 by redwitch1

And now for something a bit more Halloweenish. This 1953 Budweiser Beer advertisement is from Life Magazine.

The mask is there to let you know this beer-drinking broad doesn’t normally wear a pointed hat, and is actually dressed up as a witch. For Halloween. Amazing, eh?

Of course, she also has a ruffled collar and cuffs, which is part of a clown costume … so maybe she has drunk so many Buds that she got a little confused while she was getting dressed: half-clown, half-witch, and half-cut.

Or, perhaps, she is just really indecisive. Anyone like to guess what else she might be wearing (out of frame): a Wonder Woman costume perhaps?

Gay Witch in her Underthings, 1950

Posted in 50s, Advertising, PSFW on 1 February 2009 by redwitch1

This 1950 advertisement is for Spun-lo Rayon underwear, or “underthings” as Spun-lo like to call them: Grin, Grin, Grin at budget troubles with Underthings of Spun-lo Rayon Fabric. The advertisement continues in verse (of course):

Undies made of Spun-lo rayon,
Give you savings to get gay on!
Always sure to make a hit
Are their famous wear and fit!

I hope you are all paying attention to this useful piece of advice for us all in tough economic times: [1] grin; [2] save money; [2] get gay (in your underthings perhaps)

Of course, we should be careful about ridiculing this very pretty Spun-lo witch, she has a knife after all, and is clearly not afraid of using it!

* * * * *

Speaking of attacking thick-heads with a carving knife, I have more-or-less decided to move this blog to a new domain. I’ve had enough of Blogger. So I have bought a few domain-names (because I am a little undecided about which one I want) and am now trying to find a host who is not too squeamish about content but who is large enough to offer me free templates etc (’cause I am still a bit of a novice when it comes to coding HTML and I need things to be simple). I think GoDaddy might be the one.

I hope to have something set up next weekend. In fact I’d hoped to have something done this weekend, but we have had the worst heat-wave ever recorded in Melbourne (the three worst days last week were 43°C, 44°C, 45°C [109°F, 111°F, 113°F]) and it was too hot to do anything useful.

To all the people who left feedback on my last post: thank you, thank you, thank you! For your advice, your kind offers, and for your support. Traffic to this site dropped thirty percent as soon as the blogger Content Warning went up, and has stayed that way since. It is quite likely there will be a similar, possibly larger, fall when I start moving the content to a new domain, but your comments have convinced me that I should keep going, and that I shouldn’t compromise on content because someone who is unmoved by the death and destruction that greets us every night on the 6 o’clock news is sent into an apoplectic rage by skin and hair. Or possibly it is just witches they hate. We’ll never know and soon—hopefully—it won’t matter!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 325 other followers