Tuesday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1946. 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. This ad, which ran in December, is introducing the new Miss Rheingold for 1946, Rita Daigle.” She was born in New York, July 31, 1927, and started modeling when was seventeen (lying about her age) and was Miss Stardust of 1944 and Queen of the 1945 Photographers Ball. The same December she was crown Miss Rheingold, she married a well-known singer, Jimmy Saunders, who sang with Harry James, among others, and co-wrote songs with Frank Sinatra. Her modeling career both before and after 1946 was fairly robust, with her appearing on the cover of such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Life and Vogue. In this ad, from December, she’s decked out in a red and white suit that almost looks like she could be Mrs. Claus, and riding a sleigh full of beer, apparently on her way “home for Christmas.” There, she’ll meet with old friends, one of whom is Rheingold beer.
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