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Mother’s Day Vintage Ad Gallery

Published: May 7, 2010

Not your mother’s advertisements … oh wait, yes they are. Check out these vintage Mother’s Day ads from the 50s. (Is that a Zippo?)

Click on the images for a larger view.

Zippo – 5/8/54

Courtesy of Zippo

Zippo lighters were—and still are—the definition of a quality product that will stand the test of time. However, from today’s perspective, they may seem a slightly unlikely gift for Mother’s Day. This ad is suggesting Mom might enjoy a Zippo lighter and makes a fantastic argument about why indeed it would be a great gift for her. The picture in the ad shows a devoted dad and son giving Mom breakfast in bed and a Zippo lighter, and she couldn’t be more pleased. This ad is as unique as it is classic.

Whitman’s – 5/1/54

Courtesy of Whitman's

This beautiful Whitman’s ad for a chocolate sampler is a classic! Fifty years later, many moms still get chocolates and/or flowers for Mother’s Day. It begs the question, “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” when it comes to great Mother’s Day gifts. This cute ad features bright, noticeable colors and a cute note from a child, encouraging the reader to buy Mom Whitman’s for Mother’s Day.

Pyrex – 5/6/50

Courtesy of Pyrex

This full-page Pyrex ad “hits two birds with one stone”—encouraging the purchase of Pyrex products for both Mother’s Day and summer weddings. The colors and variety of products in this ad make it quite reasonable that anyone reading it would agree that Mom would really enjoy the “perk” that perhaps she will make you that delicious cherry pie with the pie plate you bought her for Mother’s Day? It seems like a win/win situation.

Western Union – 5/8/54

Courtesy of Western Union

In today’s world of Internet, cell phones, and instant communication, it is hard to imagine a world in which someone was not reachable immediately. Western Union got in on the Mother’s Day bandwagon and encouraged people to “wire” her a Mother’s Day telegram. Note the “P.S.” at the bottom encouraging married men to “remember her mother, too.” Just like a man occasionally needs a reminder today, he needed one in 1954 as well.

Enger-Kress – 5/6/50

Courtesy of Enger-Kress

It’s interesting how this ad was laid out in the original magazine. It is a “half-page” ad, but the designers made the best use out of their space by putting the original ad “going down” the page. The reader had to physically flip the magazine to get a look. The ad promotes the purchase of billfolds, wallets, and other leather products not only for Mother’s Day, but Father’s Day, graduations, and weddings, too.

Dormeyer – 5/2/53

Courtesy of Dormeyer

This black and white double-page ad took up a lot of magazine “real estate” and advertised getting Mom any variety of Dormeyer products for Mother’s Day. The ad features numerous kitchen products including mixers, fryers, coffee makers, or a blender. However, if Mom is not a chef, perhaps a nice electric blanket for the bedroom would suit her better? No matter Mom’s tastes, Dormeyer had a product to suit her likes.

Whitman’s – 5/2/53

Courtesy of Whitman's

Another Whitman’s ad beauty was featured in this May 1953 ad. The most striking aspects of the Whitman’s ads were the bright and attractive colors. The ad was targeted to reach dads who would be doing the “purchasing” for Mother’s Day. What dad would not love to see his wife and child so pleased with his selection of Whitman’s?

Dormeyer – 5/1/54

Courtesy of Dormeyer

This is another Dormeyer ad from 1954. The “full-page” black and white ad would have been very noticeable and attention-getting for the reader going through the latest edition of The Saturday Evening Post. Also, Dormeyer was sure to feature not only a variety of products, but a variety of price ranges for potential buyers. The ad also assures that purchasing a Dormeyer will make your “Darling’s” life all the easier and lighten her meal-making efforts in the kitchen.

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  • Reza S

    I’m iranian but i love american and it’s product.

  • Frank James Davis

    Pleasing to these old eyes. A harkening back to, not necessarily, simpler, but, as far as I’m concerned, better times for America.

  • Paul C. Wilkey

    Attractive ads sure do sell items.

  • I. J. Arthur

    You can’t fool us. That first photo shows Mom getting her first iPod.