Thursday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1955. 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 this two ad, or promotional photo, from the Fall of 1955, the six finalists for Miss Rheingold 1956 are pictured in the same dress with a crown floating above them as they gaze up at it longingly. I’m not sure which is which, but the six are Carol Toby, Hillie Merritt, Myrna Fahey, Maggie Pierce, Jeryl Johnson, and Gretchen Foster. It’s more than a little cheesy.
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