Tag Archives: advertising

The Cheerful Granny Takes Flight, 1953

The cheerful granny, an enduring image in American advertising, gets to take a trip on an airplane in the Saturday Evening Post in June 1953.  Since she was often used to introduce technological innovations to the middle class, like high … Continue reading

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Harford Frocks and the Older Woman

The 1947 packet for a Harford Frocks saleswoman contained something for almost everyone in the family, from young children upwards. There were school clothes for girls and boys, outfits designed for teenagers, and even a few things for the man … Continue reading

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Harford Frocks, 1947

When I opened up the 1947 sales kit for a Harford Frocks representative, I was astonished. The cards, housed at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University, looked exactly like those for Fashion Frocks, a much better known company.  After some … Continue reading

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Considering the Matron

You don’t see the word matron much anymore, but it was an important term of reference in fashion writing in the early twentieth century.  Since I’m fascinated by synonyms (and euphemisms) for “old,” I used the search engines for women’s … Continue reading

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The Cheerful Granny of 1925

“’Shhh, here’s the bedtime story,’” the ad copy reads. “As easily as she finds the page in her book, Grandmother sets the dial of the Kennedy. Riotous fun stops.  The familiar voice of a friend whom the children love but … Continue reading

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“Ageless”

Do you look ageless?  I do not. In fact, I look every one of my sixty-seven years. That is not for lack of trying, as I am very susceptible to the siren song of skin care companies.  But upon seeing … Continue reading

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The War on Pants for Women, 1972

When women began wearing pants in public, they faced ferocious criticism.  I am used to biting comments well into the 1960s. “There are fortunate girls (usually under the age of fifteen) who look well in tight trousers; but I have … Continue reading

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Half Sizes Part 5: The Record in Montgomery Ward Catalogs

I’ve long been fascinated by the category of “half-sizes,” a term now associated with clothing for shorter and wider women.  But until the US government issued standardized sizing guidelines in the 1950s, the term “half size” could mean just about … Continue reading

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Elderly, Matronly, or Mature? Montgomery Ward Experiments with Names

In 1912, the Montgomery Ward catalog went through a major revision that favored women clothing buyers.  Before that year, women’s clothing was scattered throughout the catalog; you had to look through the index to find everything offered to female consumers.  … Continue reading

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“Stout” Sizes at Montgomery Ward

In 1912, the Montgomery Ward catalog launched a new size range for larger women.  Originally called “stout” sizes, the company expanded its standard size range from a 32 inch waist and a 42 inch bust in 1900 to a 40 … Continue reading

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