Friday’s ad is for the Stegmaier Brewing Company, the Home of Gold Medal Beer, from maybe the 1950s. It’s a postcard overview illustration of the brewery in Pennsylvania. I love these.
Wednesday’s ad is for Budweiser, from the 1960s. Part of their “Pick a Pair” ad campaign, showing that even a dainty woman can lift a six-pack, two even. This simple ad shows a woman in a purple dress holding up two six-packs of Bud cans. She’s looking at us with an expression that seems to say. “Yeah, I can lift these.”
Tuesday’s ad is for Guinness, from the 1930s. I’m not sure exactly when “Guinness Time Cried The Oysters,” was done, but in the 1930s Guinness, and John Gilroy, worked on several Alice in Wonderland-themed projects, including “The Guinness Alice” (1933), “Jaberwocky Re-Versed and Other Guinness Versions” (1935), “Alice Aforethought,” and “Guinness Carrolls for 1938” (1938). Surely, this illustration from The Walrus and the Carpenter was part of of one of those. Anyway, it seemed like a good ad for St. Patrick’s Day. Sláinte.
Monday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1962. It’ from A-B’s long-running “Where there’s life” series, in this case the “Special Lyrics” are the “101 words” on the Budweiser label. I’m at least pleased to see she’s holding the record on the edge. Back in the day when I managed record stores, there was nothing worse then people just pawing a record with their greasy fingers and leaving fingerprints all over it. But if he keeps pouring that beer it’s going to spill all over her and the album. Also, if you look at the album cover partially show in the background, that photo is from a previous Bud ad.
Sunday’s ad is for Rheingold Beer, from 1952. “‘Most of the Things I Like Best Begin with ‘B’ — beagles, bands, beer,’ says TV star Harry James. ‘Here’s my favorite beagle — Bugle. My favorite band instrument? You guessed it — the trumpet. As for beer …'” It seems odd they describe James as a “TV star,” when I always think of him as a trumpet player and a bandleader. Harry James’ birthday is today, born in Albany, Georgia in 1916. When I was younger, and a musician, I was a freak for big band music, and Harry James was one of the best of his time.
Saturday’s ad is another one for Budweiser, from 1958. By “Small Talk,” they really mean small print, which A-B claims “the tiny printing on the label tells you exactly what makes Budweiser so good.” But I can’t take my eyes off of the two long red nails poking out of her hair. I know she’s just running her fingers through her hair as she’s being poured a beer — I mean, I always do that, don’t you? — but they just look a bit creepy and wrong, for no particular reason. Are they two adjacent fingers or is there one in between the two visible ones? Are those nails fake? They sure look fake. They seem too long, and remind me of devil horns. Okay, I’ve clearly been staring at this ad for too long.
Friday’s ad is for Budweiser, from the 1950s. Ah, I remember when bowling night was something millions of people participated in. It used to be extremely popular, and my Aunt’s husband owned the Paramus Lanes in New Jersey, which is where they used to shoot a television show called “Make That Spare.” There was a time, believe it or not, when bowling was the most popular sport on television. I bowled a lot when I was a kid, played in leagues, entered tournaments and even had New Year’s Eve parties at the local lanes. For a short time in high school I dated a girl who was on the girl’s bowling team, and spent a lot of time bowling. Anyway, bowling seems to have really dropped off a cliff in popularity and was even used as a metaphor for the 2000 book “Bowling Alone,” about the collapse of community in America. I do so love the old bowling team shirts, though, and used to pick them up a thrift shops when I find cool ones in my size.
Thursday’s ad is for Anheuser-Busch’s “Faust Beer,” from 1915. While you may be familiar with the Faust that Anheuser-Busch put out in 1995, part of a trio of “American Originals” released that year, along with Muenchener and Black and Tan, the original Faust was first brewed in 1885. They were still brewing it at least thirty years later, when this ad is from. Despite the imagery of the Faust of German legend who made a deal with the devil, that’s not who the beer was named for, but for Tony Faust, the Oyster King of St. Louis, a restaurant owner and drinking buddy of Adolphus Busch.
Wednesday’s ad is still another one for Anheuser-Busch’s “Malt-Nutrine,” this one from 1911. This is another ad for A-B’s non-alcoholic health drink, marketed with snake-oil salesman enthusiasm. “Barley Brings Health and Vigor” continues that tradition but works only “when ably malted and fermented with the tonic properties of Saazer Hop as in Anheuser-Busch’s Malt-Nutrine.” But I especially love this testimonial. “Thousands of delicate women will testify to its food and tonic qualities.”