Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Retro Christmas Advertisements from Mid-Century America

Written by Christopher • December 20th, 2012
Retro Christmas Advertisements from Mid-Century America

The magic of the winter night

Christmas is around the corner and to celebrate this magical holiday we are featuring a few samples of holiday related advertisements and images from between 1946 and 1964, courtesy of Roger Wilkerson’s collection.

To me, the hand drawn illustrations and images in mid-century advertisements are the epitome of style and warmth. They really show-off how talented advertising America were some 50-60 years ago. That fine attention to design and pseudo-realism really grabs me and makes me secretly wish that’s the way the holiday season would look every year.

So, from all of us, to all of you – Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and a Happy New Year!

What is Santa Claus bringing you this Christmas?

Source Roger Wilkerson    Thanks Alexandra
Four Roses, or "How I survive Christmas"

Above: Four Roses, or “How I survive Christmas”

Better bundle up, it's cold out there!

Above: Better bundle up, it’s cold out there!

"That Jukebox would look divine in our living room, dear!"

Above: “That Jukebox would look divine in our living room, dear!”

Make it a very Thermos Christmas, 1957

Above: Make it a very Thermos Christmas, 1957

Christmas Shopping, art by John Falter

Above: Christmas Shopping, art by John Falter

Christmas Shopping Center circa 1960

Above: Christmas Shopping Center circa 1960

Christmas Morning - art by Douglass Crockwell, 1948

Above: Christmas Morning – art by Douglass Crockwell, 1948

Gathering on the Town Square

Above: Gathering on the Town Square

"How on earth did you get your car stuck in our front yard?"

Above: “How on earth did you get your car stuck in our front yard?”

Christopher

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher

  • http://twitter.com/ChriSobieniak Chris Sobieniak

    I would see my parents in these pictures too well. This was the world they knew best.

  • http://profiles.google.com/armpitstudios Steve Mills

    Today’s ads just don’t seem to say Merry Christmas like those illustrations did. Just look at that restaurant scene (thought it was a bar at first). I love the suburbs depicted in the first one though.

  • RetroFan

    These are wonderful – thanks for posting! A minor quibble, as “epiphany” means something suddenly realized, and “epitomy” means the perfect example, I think above “the epitomy of style” makes more sense. But again, thanks for posting. I could disappear into any of those images.

  • http://www.ultraswank.net/ Christopher

    Thanks for noticing the error, it has been corrected.

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