Tag Archives: advertising

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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The Cheerful Granny Keeps Cool, 1956

Since the weather is still hot, it’s a good time to share this ad for the Frigidaire “full house” air conditioning system featuring a cheerful granny. The text sells the central forced air system as a boon for family life, … Continue reading

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A Cheerful Granny on the Phone, 1958

It has been a long time since I have written about the Cheerful Granny, a staple of American advertising in the mid-twentieth century. I knew it was time for an update when Jen Orsini of the blog Pintucks sent me … Continue reading

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The Gracious Woman from Sears, 1971

According to the Sears catalog offerings available on Ancestry.com, the Gracious Lady line of clothing that had been sold since 1936 died a quiet death in 1967. What happened to bring about this demise? Did the youth cult of the … Continue reading

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