Wednesday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1950. 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. Pat Burrage was Miss Rheingold 1950. Patricia “Patsy” Joy Burrage was born in 1922 and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and attended Texas Christian University before moving to New York City to pursue a modeling career. In March of 1950 she married Hastings-on-Hudson New Yorker Robert Francis Young in a whirlwind, fairy tale romance, since she’d met him seven years before in Texas. She continued to model and later relocated to Boston and passed away in 2005. In this ad, from August, she’s standing in front of her car along New York highway 9W with a roadmap in her hand. Curiously, we’ve recently become familiar with 9W because it’s the main artery that runs past West Point, the U.S. Army’s military academy where my son is a rising Cow (about to start his third, or junior, year). So that puts her around an hour or so north of downtown New York City. Luckily, according to the ad copy, there are 25,000+ locations that sell Rheingold beer in the metro NYC area.
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