Saturday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1941. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area. In later years, there are ads introducing the next Miss Rheingold with much fanfare, but this is the only one I could find for Miss Rheingold 1942, who was Nancy Drake. She’s mentioned in this ad from December 14, 1941 as Miss Rheingold for 1942 along with four other people and the headline: “Why do these famous folks all come up with the same answer?” Unlike the first two, who were both actresses, I could almost no information about Nancy Drake, apart from that she was born in 1918 and died just last year, and was married for a very long time to someone named Phelps.
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