Monday, July 18th, 2005
I was in a junk store in Black Mountain, NC this weekend and stumbled on a stack of old Life magazine ads, circa World War II. Many of the ads used a patriotic theme and often weren’t peddling a specific product or service.
An ad for Greyhound buses noted how a Greyhound movie travelogue was touring the world and entertaining GIs and Russian privates and Eskimos.
Royal Crown Cola’s ad headline was “How to get your second wind for 5 cents” and included photos with these captions: “If you are a Sub Machine Gunner” … “If you are a Parachute Maker”… “If you are a Airraid Warden” … “If you are Jeep Driver”…”
There was an ad for Western Electric, showing a submariner talking on a headset. “Every branch of the Armed Servcies uses the Telephone.”
And there was a Chrysler ad with a brutish cartoon of a bespectacled Japanese naval officer grimmacing in a flood of light. “It was dark, it was black as Tojo’s heart”… the searchlight came on and “we could see those Japs plain as day scurrying around like rats in a ship.” As it turns out, the spotlight mirror was polished by the same machinery used to make Chrysler engines.