“It’s Swell To Get Camels Again”

You’ve probably never heard the name, Jerry Ambler. As you can see in this 1947 ad, he was a bronc-riding star, winning the North American Saddle Bronc title in 1941 and 1946. Born in Alberta, Canada, Ambler became the best of the best. The Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Jerry’s asserts that his greatest achievement came in 1946 when he was declared the World’s Champion Saddle Bronc Rider. Though the ad seems to imply his experience with off brand smokes was during service in WWII, I find no record of military service, only rodeo competitions. Perhaps simply the rationing of cigarettes was enough to make him long for Camels.

As often happens with spokespersons in these post-war Camel ads, they pass from cancer. Ambler did not. A car accident took his life at the age of 47. Let’s hope that during those years, the Camels pleased his T-Zone and took the edge of a long day in the saddle. As the years pass by, fewer and fewer of us remember how important the T-Zone was back in the day.

Our collective perception of cigarettes has changed so much since this ad was published, when doctors both smoked and endorsed cigarettes.

Cigarette sales peaked in 1981, and have been falling ever since. In a world of manufactured viruses and death by Grand Canyon selfies, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death, and these ads remain an interesting testimony of the world that was.

Simian Takeover

LIFE September 1, 1947
By 1947, George Vierheller had already been director of the Saint Louis Zoo for nearly 20 years and felt at ease with his wards. As you can see, he had a certain laissez-faire approach to monkey business. Here, we find Tommy and Cookie taking issue with who really is who at the zoo, while George takes a cigar break. The zoo's website quotes Vierheller as such: Shortly after I became a zoo man, a friend of mine advised me: "George, don't merely sit in the chair and listen to it squeak." 

So George became a hands-on boss. 

You’ll note that he went ape over gorillas as well.

Even in the last year of his position at the zoo in 1962, Vierheller was still making friends and sharing vices.

LIFE by Francis Miller

A bronze statue of him was commissioned that same year, representing the love he shared with the animals.

racstl.org

Prince Ali, Fabulous He

LIFE, July 22, 1946

Okay, let’s unpack this post-war ad for White Rock. We’ve got a trio of businessmen in straw boater hats and a Middle Eastern prince whose head has turned toward the topless fairy/cocktail waitress. Remember, somebody had to pitch this idea to White Rock, and White Rock said, “Absolutely, it’s a go.”

Then somebody said, “Let’s use ‘by the beard of the prophet‘ because that’s what Muslims say.” And they did. And it’s wonderful. Here’s some context.

And doesn’t Psyche looks smug? She knows she’s all that and a bag of chips–and a barrel of oil. Plus, she has the courage to use terms like “bracing alkaline tang.” Yum! That’s how I like my water.

Though she may have been coy, suddenly she’s (how you say) riding high with Ali. The artwork makes you wonder if she’s wearing a sheer halter or going completely topless. All we know is no matter how many gang signs he flashes, she most certainly will not share his throne.

And stay on the label, she did. In fact, White Rock purchased the rights to a painting titled “Psyche at Nature’s Mirror” by Paul Thumann at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and it’s now the longest running beverage logo. Cheers!

Terrier Tends To Terrain

1943 Arbutus

No doubt about it, those ads in the back of vintage college yearbooks are odd. But who can ignore this dandied-up pooch? Not me.

Some ads have state embodiments to catch your eye like Old Man Texas here.

1938

Texas Power & Light does them one better with its intricate artwork.

1943

Some ads are so simple, that they’re barely there.

1938
1943

Some hardly make a lick of sense.

1937
1943

And some conjure up the devil himself!

1950

Pleased As Punch

1947 Cactus

It’s party time again, and the gang loves it when Alan’s punchmaster for the night. He might only be 20, but he knows where to score the Everclear and kick the night into high gear. Some have claimed that after two glasses, that wallpaper becomes 3D. They advise against a third.

Someone should have told Peggy.

Carving Out New Friends

Mr. and Mrs. J. Watson Webb

I realize that most of us had to stem our woodcarving budgets to almost nothing under this economy. But back in 1946, when James Watson Webb and his fantastically-named wife, Electra (which is more fun to say than Alexa) sat down in their posh residence on the North Shore of Long Island, only the most desirable location at the time, trees were plenty, and money was no object.

JW was no commoner, no basic blogger like you or I. Nay, he was born into greatness. His mother was a Vanderbilt, his grandfather an ambassador to Brazil under Lincoln. So he did things neither you nor I could do: graduate from Yale, found a brokerage firm, play on the American polo team, serve in the House of Representatives. Do you feel like a loser yet?

Electra herself was the daughter of a sugar tycoon, and she spent her days on buying sprees, snatching up bits of Americana and brilliant craftsmanship (like those above) to add to her collections. Everything from paintings to quilts to New England furniture. At the tender age of 18, she bought a wooden cigar store Indian for $25 and named it Mary O’Connor after one of her favorite family servants. What others at the time would have called tobacco store junk was art in the eyes of Electra.

The year after the above shot was taken, she established the Shelburne Museum, a home for her treasures, and became a pioneer in preserving remnants of early Americana. It houses the SS Ticonderoga, a passenger steamship, an 1890s rail car, a light house, and various sleighs and carriages. Aren’t the grounds lovely? They even have an apothecary shop!

shelburnemuseum. org

Mary O’Connor eventually wound up on the other side of the country, in the California home of her son, J. Watson Webb, Jr. As he had no children of his own, one wonders where Mary is now. The museum?

Mary O’Connor herself https://www.vermontwoman.com/

Degree’s New Aloha Fresh Deodorant Kills With Undergrads

UT 1947

Here you see Horace offering his armpit to Shirley, who tries her best to look unimpressed, though the combination of pineapple pulp, hibiscus, and Polynesian breeze are an intoxicating aphrodisiac indeed. Phillip, downwind of him, seems overcome by the pheromones.

Don’t look now, but the fumes of anti-perspirant have attracted the coeds from down the hall! Everyone’s up for Aloha Fresh.

While tiki torches burn, Raynard and Viv spark it up. Aloha Fresh neutralizes that irritating side smoke, and even the stench of cheap domestic beer.

The truth is, no one wants to believe he or she has an issue with odor. But we’ve all been in cabs. It’s real. Better safe than sorry. Shouldn’t you be Aloha Fresh today?

Post-War Pig Insecurities

What could be sadder than Prolon-induced pig anxiety? Perhaps hooves clutching a wishbone of a fellow creature? Who cares? Hitler is dead!

All of today’s ads come to us from the summer of 1946, when the country was just beginning to get back on her feet. The war was in the past, and so was hog bristle. In this new age, science was the winner, and pigs vs prophylactic Prolon made good copy.

But not as good as a head of youthful, vibrant, slick hair that caught a young lady’s eye. Watch as his locks emanate vitality.

Good night, nurse! He could inspect my rigging any day.

And speaking of crushes, why not try Orange Crush, filled with the juice of tree-ripened Valencia oranges? Yes, that’s right. Actual juice in the bottle, as well as pulp!

Not a fan of orange? Then pause to refresh with Hires. Cheers to silly puns! Now let me dig, woman.

Not a soda person? Maybe a Bloody Mary is in your future. Make it sing with A-1, the dash that makes the dish!

After all that imbibing, it’s time to wind down, head to the parlor, and listen to some Big Band on the Crosley radio. Perhaps make room for a cooling after-dinner mint. Everyone’s heard of Richardson’s mints. U-All-No!