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
Elegance Week and Halloween collide in this last-minute costume idea courtesy of this ad from a 1936 edition of The Daily Princetonian.
Just dust off your old tux, head off to that Halloween party, and say you’re dressed as an elite college kid from the thirties. Since no student dresses this way today, it qualifies as costume.
Don’t fall asleep without brushing your sugar-soaked teeth tonight. We’ll conclude our series on elegance tomorrow with a little show and tell from me. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD
On Tuesday The Chicago Tribune ran a feature on Brooks Brothers and its historic archive based in Chantilly, VA. Entitled “The Hidden Story Of Brooks Brothers,” you can check it out here. — CC
Last Friday I had the pleasure of sitting next to man-of-the-moment Jack Carlson (author of “Rowing Blazers” and fresh off his packed party at Polo) at the National Arts Club. We were watching slideshow presentations on preppy and Seven Sisters style from Jeffrey Banks and Rebecca Tuite.
Meanwhile, unassuming in a corner of the hall, was a display of collegiate memorabilia from Enrique Crame III of Fine & Dandy Shop. I took a few quick shots, then stopped by the shop over the weekend for a few more. Enrique’s been collecting for a long time and the shop boasts only a fraction of what he has, so expect to see more in subsequent posts.
Stop by the store if you’re in New York, or shop online if you’re not. They’ve got a great assortment of accessories, and, after all, the devil (who’s a dandy) is in the details. — CC (Continue)
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
We continue our back-to-school celebrations with another gallery of vintage advertisements from college papers.
Most interesting are those from Harvey Ltd. (seen above and below), which catered to the Brown community. “There is a certain style of clothing,” reads the copy in one ad, “which distinguishes the Ivy Leaguer from all other college men.” And in the other, “This may be quite different from the style you are used to wearing.”
In other words, egghead meritocrats were encouraged to follow the lead of the Old Money, gentleman’s C types. — CC & CS (Continue)