I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I have a fairly large collection of random vintage things – buttons, handbags, cookbooks, postcards, fabric, jewelry, knitting patterns. I used to wile away many hours strolling the aisles of antique shops looking for fun, old stuff and I’ve amassed an impressive little collection.
Part of my collection consists of old magazines from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. I love to thumb through them mostly to look at the ads. I actually used to get a lot of inspiration from vintage ads.
Recently, while reading blogs, I discovered the Vintage Ad Browser (or, in my case, Massive Time Sucker). This site has page after page after page of vintage ads for pretty much everything under the sun. There’s even a special section devoted solely to ads for SPAM – arguably, the most vile substance on earth (although, the local ‘delicacy’ Scrapple could probably give SPAM a run for it’s money)!
There’s a lot to be learned about history and society from ads of the past. Did you know that Coca-Cola was once marketed as a ‘healthful beverage’? Or that, at one time, a person could fly from New York to Atlanta for less than $30? Or that, during World War II, chocolate was marketed as a ‘fighting food’? Or that Frank Gifford used to shill for a sherry called *ahem* Dry Sack?
It’s all true.
There’s also a lot to be learned about design, photography, and illustration. I’ve discovered a lot of really nice art work in some of the ads on the site.
I particularly like the mid-50’s Jell-O ad campaign using animal illustrations. I also like the style of the ads for the Douglas Amphibion.
And then there’s Poochie…never thought you’d see that again, eh?
When you emerge from the Wayback Machine, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
photos : vintage ads courtesy of Vintage Ad Browser
More cool stuff: