yesterday’s ads

It seems unbelievable now, but there was once a time when Dutch Boy touted its Pure White Lead Paint as “pretty as a picture … staunch as a good friend,” and the Portland Cement Association advertised “an all-concrete blast-resistant house.”

These are just a few of the hundreds of vintage ads found in All-American Ads of the 40s and All-American Ads of the 50s, two new books edited by Jim Heimann (Taschen, 2002).

Heimann, a graphic designer and instructor at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., culled many of the ads from his own collection of old magazines, as well as those found at flea markets and through magazine dealers.

“The whole idea was to encapsulate this part of American history that has kind of disappeared, and let people see what the reality of American culture is through advertising,” said Heimann.

Each book is divided into categories, such as “Interiors,” “Fashion and Beauty” and “Entertainment.”

The books will be out this month. Heimann plans to edit a book on ads from 1900-30, as well as one on advertising in the ’60s.