The Cheerful Granny Takes Flight, 1953

Ad Access, Duke University. Click to enlarge

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 end radios and refrigerators, it’s no surprise to find her on a commercial airline flight in the fifties.   “They’re having a wonderful time, these folks” the copy reads. “taking life and travel easy.  And why not? Nowadays young and old alike find it’s so easy to go places via TWA.”

Granny is styled in the most conservative way, complete with a crocheted shawl and a cameo pin.  No hair dye for her, and no stylish glasses. Isn’t it nice that grandpa has survived to go along on the trip?  In pre-World War Two ads, granny was often alone or living together with one of her children.  I wonder if this reflects higher life expectancy figures for men.

And no wonder she’s cheerful.  “It’s such a pleasure to lean back in the spacious reclining seat…to nap, read, or enjoy a delicious meal in that exact same cozy spot…”

Those were the days.

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1 Response to The Cheerful Granny Takes Flight, 1953

  1. She looks old enough to be *his* father–isn’t it interesting that the woman is dressed/shown so much older than her supposed husband?

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