Beer In Ads #2166: Viscountess Furness For Pabst

Tuesday’s ad is for Pabst Blue Ribbon, from 1948. In the later 1940s, Pabst embarked on a series of ads with celebrity endorsements, photographing star actors, athletes, musicians and other famous people in their homes, enjoying Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. This one features Thelma Furness, Viscountess Furness. She “was a mistress of King Edward VIII while he was still the Prince of Wales; she preceded Wallis Simpson (for whose sake Edward abdicated and became the Duke of Windsor) in his affections.

During most of her relationship with the Prince, she was married to a British nobleman, Marmaduke Furness, 1st Viscount Furness. That marriage ended the year before her relationship with the Prince ended.

Her first name was pronounced in Spanish fashion as “TEL-ma.” Her identical twin sister was Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt who was married to Reginald Vanderbilt and had a daughter, Gloria Vanderbilt.”

In the ad, Thelma, I mean the Viscountess, is being served in “the Drawing Room of her Beverly Hills Home.” Typical of this series of ads, there’s a silver tray with two bottles of beer and two glasses. Although I think this is the only time the glasses look like they’re made of cut crystal. That can’t be a coincidence.


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