Like a pop-cultural walk through time, All-American Ads of the 40s
covers the breadth of print ads from the World War II era. As one might expect, the ads look very different from ads today. Most are illustrated, and even the selling of innocuous products like candy bars taps into public interest number one, the war. The book is divided into chapters by product including alcohol, fashion, entertainment, travel, and automobiles. Saving the best for last, the conclusion of each chapter reveals the editor's pick for most peculiar ad. Most enticing are the movie posters. Classic pictures like Citizen Kane
and It's a Wonderful Life
appear in their original print incarnations as fantastic visions of old Hollywood. Hawking beauty products are famous stars such as Lucille Ball, Lana Turner, Marlene Dietrich, and Veronica Lake. Not surprisingly, gender roles are sharply divided, and race issues stick out sorely. Included is an essay by Willy R. Wilkerson III, "From Rationing to Prosperity, American Life in the 1940s," tracing the history of wartime consumerism. --J.P. Cohen
About the Author
Jim Heimann, a native of Los Angeles is a graphic designer, illustrator, educator and author. Mr. Heimann has written California Crazy: Roadside Vernacular Architecture, Hooray For Hollywood, Out With The Stars, Close Cover Before Striking, Car Hops and Curb Service: A History of the American Drive-In Restaurant, May I Serve You?; American Menu Design, 1920-1960, Sins of the City: The Real Los Angeles Noir, California Crazy and Beyond, and writes on popular culture, regional history and architecture for publications including the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone. Mr. Heimann has been a faculty member of Art Center School of Design, Pasadena since 1987, and is a frequent speaker at the University of Southern California, UCLA, the California Chapter of the AIA, the Kansas City Art Directors Club, the AIGA, the Armand Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles Conservancy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and numerous other organizations throughout the United State! s. He is currently working on additional volumes of All-American Ads for TASCHEN.
W.R. Wilkerson, III, author of the intro to All-American Ads of the 40s, is the son of Billy Wilkerson who was the founder of the Hollywood Reporter and owner in the 30s and 40s of famous Hollywood hotspots like Ciros and the Trocadero. A true child of Hollywood, Mr. Wilkerson currently lives and writes in Las Vegas.