Part I – Advertising From The Century Magazine October 1904
Companies That Have Survived
Whitman’s chocolate as it was advertised in 1904. The company was started in Philadelphia in 1842 by Stephen Whitman. In 1877 he began to box chocolates. Russell Stover Candies is the current owner.
While browsing through The Century Magazine issue for October 1904 I couldn’t help but notice the advertisements.
While a great many of the firms are out of business, a surprising number are still around today. For part one we will look at the ads of the companies that are still here in 2021. They’ve survived different owners, mergers and changing public tastes. It’s interesting to see how these enduring products once portrayed themselves with strong images or many words or a combination of the two.
Let’s have a look.
We may not have servants drawing baths for us now, but you can still buy a bar of Pears’ Soap and give yourself a bath. Founded in 1807, the worldwide company is now run by Unilever. Continue reading →
At Over 800 Pounds Baby Ruth Pontico Wanted To Be The First Woman To Weigh Half A Ton
She Didn’t Make It
Baby Ruth Pontico Ringling Bros Circus Fat Lady 1941 photo AP
A Big Baby
Weighing 16 pounds at birth does not necessarily mean you will become the Fat Lady of the circus. But during a time in history when people enjoyed staring at human oddities, its better to be paid for having people gawk at you.
Ruth Smith was born on February 8, 1902 in Kempton, Indiana. At age one her weight was fifty pounds. By age ten she was 300 pounds. Continue reading →
Hotel Victoria’s 1934 Three Day All Expense Tour Booklet Of New York City
Accommodations, Fancy Dining, Night Clubs, Museums, A Bus Tour, Ellis Island, Top Of The Rock & More – All For $11
In the midst of the Great Depression visitors still came to New York to see the sites. If you were staying at the Hotel Victoria (7th Avenue and 51st Street) you could purchase this booklet with prepaid tickets for accommodations, entertainment and various attractions around the city.
When I acquired this booklet the most valuable tickets had been used by the previous owner. Though there is no date on the booklet. The directors of each attraction are listed, and based on that information I was able narrow the date of the booklet to 1934.
Bad Timing, Just a Few Months Before the The Crash Of 1929
This ad appeared in the 1929 World Almanac
Here is the snappy, convincing text form the ad.
I used to know him when he was a kid—we went to grammar school together. Then his father died and he had to go to work, Got a job with Brooks & Co., but couldn’t seem to get ahead. Then something seemed to wake him up. We could all see that he was doing better work.
“Then Old Man Brooks became interested—wanted to know how Ned happened to know so much about the business, Ned told him he’d been studying through the International Correspondence Schools. ‘H’m,’ said Mr. Brooks, ‘I’ll remember that.’ .
“We did too. Put Ned out on the road as a salesman for a year or so and then brought him into the main office as sales manager.
“He’s getting $6500 a year now and everybody calls him ‘the new Ned Tyson.’ I’ve never seen such a change in a man in my life.”
An International Correspondence Schools course will help you just as it helped Ned Tyson. It will help you to have the happy home—the bigger salary—the comforts you’d like to have.
At least find out how before the priceless years go by and it is too late.
Mail the coupon for the free booklet.
In 1929 it was a grand salary.
This advertisement is similar to what online colleges do today. Just take courses through a correspondence school. The inference is that you too could be making $6,500 per year. That may not sound like a lot of money now. Adjusted for inflation by the consumer price index that’s the equivalent of $97,464 in 2019 dollars.
The problem with Ned’s job and millions like it, is the stock market crash would occur just months after this ad ran. Continue reading →
Cary Grant and Queenie Smith Attend The Emanuel Cohen Banquet Screen Folk Fete Studio Head
Hollywood, Calif.: When a testimonial dinner honoring Emanuel Cohen, studio head, was given last night, all of filmdom turned out in their finest. Among the many stars present at the gala affair, were Queenie Smith, motion picture actress, accompanied by Cary Grant, handsome screen lover and estranged husband of Virginia Cherrill, beautiful motion picture actress. Hollywood wonders if this is a new romance. Credit photo: Wide World Photos 10/13/1934
For Cary Grant and Queenie Smith there was no romance. The publicity agents at Paramount made sure Grant escorted women to various Hollywood events. At the time Grant lived with actor Randolph Scott, an arrangement that lasted until the early 1940s. Cary wed heiress Barbara Hutton in 1942.
But, who was Emanuel Cohen?
Paramount Pictures, Emanuel Cohen on the set of a film
Cohen is one of the forgotten behind the scene power brokers of the 1930s film world. As vice president in charge of production at Paramount Studios, Emanuel Cohen (1892-1977) was largely responsible for keeping Paramount afloat during the Great Depression. In the early 1930s the studio was essentially bankrupt. Continue reading →
Actor Bruce Cabot with 17-year-old Gloria Vanderbilt at the Music Box Theater in Hollywood for the premiere of “They Can’t Get You Down” October 27, 1941 photo: Acme
Being a rich child with a large trust fund did not define Gloria Vanderbilt. Neither did a sensational tug of war child custody battle between her mother Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt and her aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. When Gloria Vanderbilt died of stomach cancer in New York on June 17, 2019 at the age of 95, she had achieved prominence in many facets of life. Continue reading →
December 5, 1933, Congress Repealed Prohibition But Beer Had Been Available Since Spring
First Loads of Beer Arrive
Abe Kaufman, distributor for Wayne County, for Edelweiss in Detroit, lowering a case. Part of shipment of 5,400 cases. – April 1933 credit: Milton Brooks, Detroit News
As hard as it is to imagine, the sale and consumption of alcohol was illegal for 13 years in the United States. Though Congress repealed Prohibition on December 5, 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act passed on March 22, 1933 allowed the resumption of production of (3.2%) low alcohol content beer and wine.
Ad, the return of beer- 1933
It only took a little while for manufacturers to begin brewing and bottling beer. Americans anxiously awaited being able to buy the beverage legally. By April 9 beer was available in many major cities like San Francisco, New York, Louisville and Chicago.
The effect on the Depression economy was immediate, 50,000 jobs were instantly created. Continue reading →
This is an ordinary view of an ordinary street, East 69th Street taken on April 4, 1931 from the northeast corner of First Avenue. But even though it is ordinary, there is a lot to notice.
Still under construction at the end of 69th Street and York Avenue are the art deco inspired buildings of New York Hospital-Cornell Medical College. The hospital began construction in 1929 and was opened in September 1932. What had previously been the site of the Central Brewing Company and some row houses, became the home of buildings that housed New York Hospital, Cornell University Medical College, New York Hospital School of Nursing, and the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.
On the right side of 69th street is the Roman Catholic Church of St. Catherine of Siena. The church had been located there since 1897 and was soon to be demolished. The congregation moved to a new building on East 68th Street in 1932.
Even with the paucity of pedestrians and traffic on 69th Street, there is activity near the church. Continue reading →