Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vintage Streetcar Ads

Awhile back, Grenville posted about our anniversary road trip visit to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. While he focused his attention (and camera) on the trolley cars, I was interested in the vintage ads displayed along both top sides in the streetcars. I'm not sure of the years, but believe that some of these ads date from the early 1900s through the World War II mid 1940s era. Along with taking photos of the ads, I looked up information online.
Here are some prominent ads from World War II for women's recruitment and products. The Granger tobacco ad says in small print that the man shown is a naval aviator.  Burma-Shave was an American brushless shaving cream, well known for its humorous rhyming poems on small, sequential, highway billboard signs.  The first ones appeared in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1925 and remained a major marketing tool until 1963. Its estimated there were over 600 such signs.
Trolley WWII ads
Founded by Vincent Bendix in South Bend, Indiana, the Bendix Corporation was an American manufacturing and engineering company, which at various times in its 60-year history from 1924-1983, made auto brake shoes and systems, aircraft brakes, aeronautical hydraulics and electric power systems, radios and TVs. But,while it was well known for the Bendix name on home clothes washing machines, the company NEVER actually made these common home appliances. In 1936, the company licensed its name to Bendix Home Appliances (also in South Bend) for a 25 percent stake in the company and Bendix Home Appliances, founded by Judson Sayre was started and later sold to Avco Manufacturing.
Lux started as Sunlight Flakes laundry soap in 1899. Lux was a successful brand by the early 1920s, when in 1924, Lever Brothers conducted a contest that led them to an interesting discovery: woman were using Lux as toilet soap. In 1925, Lux toilet soap was launched in the U.S. Since then, it has been marketed in various forms including hand wash, shower gel, and cream bath soap.The B.T. Babbitt's 1776 soap powder dates from the 1920s to advertise Benjamin T. Babbitt's detergent which had factories in Chicago, Illinois and NJ. Babbitt's soap was one of the first nationally advertised products and was sold from brightly colored street cars. He was one of the first manufacturers to offer tours of his factories and one of the first to also give away free samples. Writer Sinclair Lewis used the Babbitt name for the title character of his 1922 best selling novel of the same name.
Trolley ads laundry
Many ads were directed to the use of home remedies. BC headache remedy is still available after its 1907 start at the Five Points Drug Company in Durham, NC. The product name comes  from the initials of its creators, Germain Bernard and C.T. Council. The company was later sold to GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and then to Prestige Brands. Sloan's liniment was the product of Earl Sloan and in the 1870s, it started as a horse liniment, then someone discovered it also relieved back pain. Soon afterwards, early advertising stated "good for man and beast." The liniment was popularly marketed in the early 1900s. Iodent toothpaste was manufactured by the Iodent Chemical Company in Detroit, MI in the mid 1940s. Today, Iodent fluoride toothpaste is still marketed towards smokers.
Trolley ads remedies
Most of these products are still available for use today. The lone exception is Burnett's Vanilla, which was produced by the Joseph Burnett Company of Boston, MA. The company started in 1847 when chemist/druggist Burnett developed a vanilla extract for flavoring foods. The Burnett name continued in use until the 1960s, after that time it was no longer used.
Trolley ads food
Cloverland is a Baltimore dairy started by the Kemp family in 1919 and is still in operation today. Nucoa is made by Best Foods and appears to be available today in some areas according to online searches. The Supreme Margarine ad dates from the 1920s; the company is no longer in business. 
Trolley ads dairy
This circa 1910 trolley ad was for Fyr-Pruf Stove and Nickel Polish made by the American Ammone Co. In the 1900s, most stoves were made of cast iron, so women may have needed to polish them, but I can't imagine men polishing their furnaces. Can you?
fyr-pruf ad 
Arrow still makes shirts, however, the price of men's dress shirts has increased considerably from the $1.50 (and up) price listed here.The company has been around for over 150 years. Part of the Arrow collar popularity was the creation by artist J.C. Leyendecker of the Arrow Collar Man. The stylish man in these ads always dressed in the latest Arrow items and made it one of the most recognizable brand names.
arrow shirt
SORRY, but photos are NOT clickable to enlarge because this post was composed on a MacBook using the MarsEdit blog program which does not provide the same features as Microsoft Live Writer does for PC blogging. There is NO similar SW for Mac users (sadly) . . . yet.


Daisy said...

Lots of interesting facts here. It's neat to see all those old ads.

Ludwig Keck said...

Absolutely delightful!
Thank you for this well-researched glimpse of advertising and manufacturing history!

Lois Evensen said...

Love the ads! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Love these old ads! Interesting facts about them as well.
But I only recognized Heinz and Lux, both very big over here.

Have a great day!

possum said...

Well, at least you know what the ad is about! Sometimes I watch a commercial and wonder what it was trying to say. Often the message I see is not what they meant, I am sure. Many ads today turn me off rather than encourage me to buy something.

Montanagirl said...

Love all those old Ads.

Elaine said...

I love reading old ads, and this is a fun collection. I have to laugh at the Bendix ad. "It washes, rinses, damp-drys, all automatically!" How much we take for granted today. I'll bet every woman who got a new automatic and could retire her wringer washer felt like she was in heaven.

Maki said...

Hi Beatrice! So glad you stopped by my blog.
Just popped over to check your's out.
What a great post!! I just love seeing all those old Ads! I remember
those Burma-Shave signs along the highways. Such fun to read them as we drove along (when I was a kid.)
Old ads really sold the product, now
on T.V. I just "mute" the ads. Most
of the time I don't even know what they are "getting at"!lol
Have a good week.

Debbie said...

some old but very cool ads!! thanks for sharing!!

Butterbean Row said...

Dorothy, a wonderful and informative post! Thank you! And I love seeing the old posters. A good walk down memory lane.


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