Friday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1960. 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. Emily Banks was Elected Miss Rheingold 1960.” Banks was also a finalist last year. She was born January 23, 1933 and was 21 when she served as Miss Rheingold. She was born in Virginia, but raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts (her father was in the military), and she graduated from the local Simmons University. She enjoyed swimming, diving, horseback riding and baseball, not to mention dancing and cooking. She also wanted to learn how to fly a plane, and was hoping to use her winnings to start a graphic arts business with her father. After her Rheingold year, she became an actress. She’s perhaps best remembered as Tonia Barrows in the original Star Trek episode “Shore Leave,” but she appeared in numerous TV series, including Mr. Terrific, The Wild Wild West, Dragnet 1967, Bewitched, Death Valley Days, Love American Style, Fantasy Island, Knight Rider, Highway to Heaven, and Simon & Simon. She was also in a couple of films, most notably the 1968 Elvis Presley vehicle, “Live a Little, Love a Little.” I couldn’t find out much after that, and she appears to become more private after her career ended around 1986. As far as I can tell, she’s still around and would be 90 this year, wherever she is. In this ad, from February, Emily Banks, Miss Rheingold 1960, appears to be advertising for TWA rather than Rheingold, which is a little odd. The ad’s headline is “TWA Jets … the fast way to California” followed by this quote: “You’re there in no time at all” … says Miss Rheingold 1960. The two photos below the picture of the TWA jet show her first having breakfast in New York at 9:00 a.m. while the second shows her on a Hollywood set at 11:55 a.m., or five minutes before Noon. I’m not sure about that math, or how it doesn’t take into account travel to and from the airport, going through security (which was all but non-existent in 1960, but still takes time), and simply the time it takes to walk to and from the gate, but hey, it’s ad, so accuracy is not the goal. I assume this was part of some partnership between TWA and Rheingold, especially since in Rheingold’s January ad TWA was featured, too.
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