In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we pay tribute to the Irish — specifically the Fighting Irish of the University Of Notre Dame.
After a long and fruitless search for vintage images, I finally found a few in the campus magazine called The Scholastic, where there were some ads for Arrow buttondowns, “natural” tuxedo rentals (with natural in quotation marks), cigarettes and No-Doz. Some of the clothing was very Main Street, with one ad imploring students at the Indiana school to take Pat Boone as their style icon. (Continue)
While researching the Harvard dorm rooms post for Masculine Interiors last week, I came across some student shots from the late ’40s up to 1960 or so. Note filthy sneakers in top image. — CC (Continue)
In my junior year of college my dorm room was decorated in a retro manner. One day a salesman hocking fake Polo and other fragrances popped his head through my open doorway. He took a look at two pictures on the wall and said, trying to break the ice, “Are those your folks?”
Slightly annoyed by the intrusion, I glanced over to see that the salesman was referring to a pair of Chesterfield cigarette ads depicting Perry Como and Joe Stafford.
Thirty-five years before I even set foot on campus, brands such as Chesterfield, Lucky Strike, Philip Morris and Camel were already locked in struggle to win the hearts, minds and lung tissue of the college crowd. Recent discussion of smoking on the site got me looking at the advertising directed at the college and university students. Most of the images presented here are from 1950-54. They break down into celebrity endorsements, with college and university class affiliation noted, student taste-test endorsements, popularity via sales volume at the co-op or college tobacconist, and student survey and humor.
The Lucky Strike jingle-writing contest ran during this period also. College students got to be junior “Mad Men” with a $25 prize for winners. Princeton winner Richard Boeth, class of 1954, when asked by the Daily Princtonian how he planned to spend his prize money, said, “I’ve drunk it up already,” indicating cigarettes weren’t his only vice. The ads became a combination of cornball jingles and exploitive sweater girl drawings, which is probably why I like them.
Every time we visit this theme we get our fair share of abuse. Seems there is little empathy anymore for what fashion writer Paul Keers called “a generation who believed that a drink before and a cigarette afterwards, were the three best things in life.” — CHRISTOPHER SHARP
At a party you never want to be the first to arrive nor the last to leave, though someone inevitably must be. Dorm life (which is kind of like an endless party) is no different. This young chap is either an eager beaver at the start of the year, or a sentimental sap waxing contemplative after everyone else is long gone. From the Brown Alumni Magazine, 1953.
Chris Sharp found the photo. Maybe next he’ll find the guy and ask him whether he was coming or going. — CC
This ad from a 1959 issue of Sports Illustrated is interesting for a number of reasons. Most obvious is the ad’s premise of dressing young. From our perspective 55 years later, the men in the ad could hardly look more mature. Yet such were the small distinctions of suit-wearing at the time.
Then, in the box on the right, is the apparent trademarking of this “authentic IVY LEAGUE Model.”
And finally there’s the italicized line in the lower left about being “sanitized linings for hygieneic freshness,” with exclamation point.
I recall Paul Fussell’s having a fitting remark about champagne in his book “Class” (DCG, please return my copy.) Something about how the middle class always saves the unused portion by putting aluminum foil over the top, thereby satisfying its dual yet competing desires for luxury (pronounced “lugzhury”) and thrift.
Or, in this case, an authentically prestigious Ivy League model priced “regardless of budget” and sanitized for freshness. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD
Tomorrow is the first day of summer, which means today is the last day of spring. Wish we could say you can scoop up these spring items at 1950 prices, but hey, at least there are sales going on right now at Brooks and Press. — CC