Intolerance Of The Shoddy And Second-Rate


Today makers of luxury goods, especially autombiles, like to evoke some imagined ideal consumer. He has impeccable, uncompromising taste, they tell you, and you the viewer of the televised or printed message are meant to aspire to be like him.

But this 1948 ad for Atkinsons is from another era, and the ad copy is more austere. It’s also a rallying cry for all those who identify with the word “trad.” Just look at the first two lines: “In an age when change is often sought for its own sake, he is a symbol of stability. To him the values which lie at the foundation of gracious living are still unchanged and unchanging.”

And so on this St. Patrick’s Day we present this inspiring bit of vintage advertising for Irish poplin ties, and its call for “delight in what is really worthwhile.”

Keep that in mind tonight when it’s time to order beer. — CC

22 Comments on "Intolerance Of The Shoddy And Second-Rate"

  1. Intolerance of the shoddy and the second-rate is exactly what we need, whether choosing a necktie, a pipe tobacco, or a Presidential candidate

  2. Had to do it, didn’t you, OS? Just couldn’t resist. You know, some of us come here for respite…but you just had to do it. GFY.

  3. I’ve worn the Atkinson wool/silk ties – some bought during a sojourn in Dublin circa 1978-79 – ties for many years. The less shiny finish, attributable to the wool content, is IMO a great look and my experience is that this fabric is more stain and wear resistant then pure silk.

    O’Connell’s carries a large assortment of Atkinson ties which are actually made in the UK (Northern Ireland), of course. Some great old photos at Atkinson’s web site:

    This ad dates from the year of my birth, a more civilized era when, BMAWGS* – pronounced “b-mawgs” – still got the respect they (we) deserve. 🙂

    *Bald Middle Aged White Guys

  4. Dutch Uncle | March 17, 2016 at 12:12 pm |

    Good For You, Old School!

  5. Respite from what, George?

  6. People get very touchy about their pipe tobacco around here….

  7. In the Heyday Squeeze featured Elliot Irish Poplin when the competition Chipp, Langrock,et al did Atkinson.

  8. @RVP

    I saw that when searching the web today. An unworn heyday-era Elliot tie for JP sold for $140 on eBay last year!

    I still don’t know which candidate Old School was referring to.

  9. Even though it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll most likely order a Stella after work.

    Unfortunately, we might have a bit more individual control over the purchase of a beer and/or tie than who ends up on the ballot running for President. For some, apparently politics must be a constant… just can’t ever let it go. As George writes above, please give it a rest today and go enjoy the beer of your choice.

  10. Bags' Groove | March 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm |

    On this St. Patrick’s Day I’d just like to say there’s nothing in this whole wide drinking world to compare with that very first pint of Guinness lovingly pulled in one of Dublin’s famous bars. “O’Donoghue’s” was where I drank mine, followed by four or five more of the rascals, purely by way of research, you understand, to establish that the first one was indeed the best.

  11. Mazama – bmawgs, excellent.

  12. Old School | March 17, 2016 at 1:13 pm |

    That was a rule-of-thumb, not a reference to any particular candidate. How could one possibly think otherwise, considering the abundance of first-rate, top-notch candidates available: a veritable embarras de richesses!

  13. Charlottesville | March 17, 2016 at 1:44 pm |

    George — I can only assume that GFY stands for Good For You. A very gentlemanly response. Happy S.P. Day to all. Meaning no disrespect, and as much as I enjoy Guinness, Jameson and the rest, I think my wife and I I will enjoy a more sedate dinner at an Italian, French or Thai place. The “shoddy,” “second-rate” and “synthetic” version of Irish bonhomie can be a bit much to take in a college town.

  14. @ Bags Groove

    Spot on!!! Been contemplating the Guinness all day!

  15. This ad…

    …is wonderful.

  16. @S.E.

    Hear! Hear!

    Probably the best ever!

  17. Anyone know if there’s still an Atkinson’s store in Belfast? I never saw one, but I wasn’t really looking.

  18. A cigarette holder?!?

  19. I have older Elliot’s and Atkinson’s Irish Poplin ties.

    The former have a sheen (a finer merino wool yarn used) than the latter, so I prefer the latter. Also, the Elliot’s-for-Press ties (I have) are really short.

    Irish Poplin is like a heavy Shetland tweed and beefy oxford–separates the boy trads from the grown-ups. Some serious sh/t.

  20. “…imagined ideal consumer. He has impeccable, uncompromising taste…”

    Thing is, they’re not entirely “imagined.” They’re out there. A picky lot. God bless them and thank God for them.

    As a species, we’re definitely on the downward slope–a slow, painful demise that culminates in a desperate, return-to-animalism end to a story that nobody will remember. The world will fry and freeze over.

    That said, there are, along the way, reasons to delight–in setting suns, the silhouettes of lovely women, good whiskey, and tweed. And Irish Poplin.

  21. “God bless them and thank God for them.” correction. How about, “we’re damned lucky to keep company with them.”

  22. Henry Contestwinner | March 20, 2016 at 1:49 am |

    I love my Irish poplin ties, all of which are Atkinsons. They are the ideal tie for autumn and winter. I had no idea that other brands existed, but if they have more sheen than Atkinsons ties—and, as S.E. alluded to, the matte quality of their poplin is a large part of what makes them so appealing—then I’ll stick with Atkinsons.

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