Trade in your item
Get a $6.43
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 4 images

All-American Ads of the 50s Paperback – December 1, 2001


Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$69.99 $25.00

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Series: Specials
  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen (December 1, 2001)
  • Language: English, German, French
  • ISBN-10: 3822811580
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822811580
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.9 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Second in a series of books featuring advertising by era, All-American Ads of the 50s offers page after page of products that made up the happy-days decade. The start of the cold war spurred a buying frenzy and a craze for new technology that required ad campaigns to match. The nuclear age left its mark all over the advertisements, with a spotlight on planes, rockets, and even mushroom clouds. Shiny, big, beautiful cars abound, styled to keep up with the space age. Editor Jim Heimann, in his essay "From Poodles to Presley, Americans Enter the Atomic Age," explains: "Car designers came up with exaggerated tail fins for automobiles to express this new accelerated speed." Modernist home interiors look slick and shiny with their molded plastic furniture and linoleum floors. While clothing and furniture styles look strangely contemporary--a testament to our current obsession with vintage--some things have definitely changed. A baby sells Marlboro cigarettes! Also included are chapters on movies, food, and travel. --J.P. Cohen

Review

Leafing through the pair is like walking through a massive design exhibition on the mores of those two decades. -- Los Angeles Times, 3/7/02

These bundles of history are more fun than smoking Chesterfields while driving a De Soto. -- Creativity, March 2002

They provide a record of American everyday life of a bygone era in a way that nothing else can. -- Associated Press, March 2002

Who would ever have imagined that ads could say so much about our recent past? -- Los Angeles Times, 3/7/02

More About the Author

Jim Heimann is a resident of Los Angeles, a graphic designer, writer, historian, and instructor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He is the author of numerous books on architecture, popular culture, and Hollywood history, and serves as a consultant to the entertainment industry.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
12
4 star
1
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 14 customer reviews
For another, one might rethink where one is going by looking at the ideals and goals of the past.
John Tilelli MD
This is the first volume of a series that will cover All-American ads of past decades and if they are all is good as this book it will be an incredible collection.
Robin Benson
This book is absolutely beautiful, strongly recommended for all interested in advertising history.
JukkaH

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Taschen does it again! An amazing book of 928 pages with 1400 illustrations. The material is arranged in ten chapters and each has dozens of relevant magazine ads. What I particularly liked about this massive volume was the way all this colorful material has been handled, not a singe ad has been angled or overlapped on another. Here the pace is generated by running one ad over a spread, enlarging a section over a spread (basically for creative purposes) having one ad per page or in a minority of cases running four ads on a page. I think the designers took the view that reading the ad copy was as important as looking at all the amazing pictures. I also liked the range of material, besides the obvious consumer product advertising there are plenty of trade ads from the commercial sector. Stunning though this material is I do have a couple of minor objections, a few of the ads do have text that has run off the page and I would have prefered to see a thin black line define the edge of the ads where they are four to the page. This is the first volume of a series that will cover All-American ads of past decades and if they are all is good as this book it will be an incredible collection.

UPDATE My review originally appeared with the 928 page edition of this wonderful book and Amazon have also placed it with a mini paperback edition but you can still get original from some Marketplace Sellers. ISBN 3822811580.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Iconophoric on March 28, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On reading quite a bit about this book online before ordering, I was convinced that All American Ads of the 50s so thoroughly matched my interests that it was going to be the last book I would have to buy for a while, and certainly the last book on this subject. --Wouldn't it be nice if life really WAS that simple? This book is the ultimate vault of old ad gold, and one is hesitant to criticize at all. But...
The one thing about All American Ads that really bugs me is the big grainy blowups that fill too many spreads here. The full page ads are joys forever. But jumping back and forth between creamy, crisp, photographically reduced perfection of reproduction on one hand, and overextended, grainy enlargements of detail on the other makes for a somewhat disjoint experience.
This one gripe aside, it is a book you absolutely MUST have if you care about old ads and old popular and sociopolitical culture.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark K. Mcdonough VINE VOICE on May 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an absolutely fabulous series -- I eagerly anticipate the remaining volumes. Certainly they are excellent and enjoyable volumes for people interested in American design and popular culture, but I'm also finding them a great way to start teaching my young daughter about American history. Looking at 1950s liquor ads led to a discussion of Prohibition, which led to a discussion of gangster movies, and why everything in the 50s was trying to look like a rocket while consumer items of the 30s and 40s were rounded and "streamlined..." and so on.
It's a great way for children to realize that clues about history (and the hidden agendas of marketers, for that matter) are everywhere around us, and that while wars and the deeds of the great are part of history, there's more to it than that.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aleksandre Romanov on February 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Probably the best ad book I've ever seen! Worth every penny it costs and believe me, it doesn't cost THAT much - not for a book like this! I was born in the 50s (in Russia) and Russians wouldn't even dream (or didn't even hear!) of products which are in this book - advertised in the US in the 50s. I'm now waiting for my All-American Ads of the 60s to arrive from Amazon - I spent my childhood in the US in the 60s and I can't wait to meet my "good old friends" - the American products - as advertised in the 60s. I'm hoping to collect the whole series of these fabulous books. Thank you very much, Jim Heimann and Benedikt Taschen -the guys who made this wonderfull series possible. Alexander Romanov, Moscow, Russia.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John P. Weeks on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! As a child born in the mid-50's, many of these ads fortunately carried over to the 60's when I was both better able to comprehend as well as recall them. It was also nice showing the book to our children, as it gave them a glimpse into some of what our own childhood's were like. If anyone reading this wants to take a trip back to a simpler, safer, saner era, this book is your "Time Machine". All for around $25 bucks too!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book begins by noting that the 1950s were perceived as very different from the 1930s and 1940s--and advertisements reflected this. The book begins by noting: "And the future looked good. At least as seen through the eyes of television, magazines, and advertising."

The heart of this book is simple--advertisements from the 1950s. The book reproduces many of these, from automobiles (Pontiac and Ford-including an Edsel ad!-and Oldsmobile and Cadillac and Buick and. . . .) to gasoline (Mobilgas [never knew that Mobil was so called!], Texaco [The Texas Company]) to stamps (remember those? Here, we see Top Value stamps).

Other ads? Sheaffer's Snorkel pens, Lady Sunbeam hair dryer, GE stove, Admiral refrigerator, Lionel Trains, movies (e.g., The Seven Little Foys, Vertigo, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Arrow shirts, Jockey underwear, Sealtest Ice Cream.

A lot of fun getting a sense of the products and the advertising and marketing approaches of the 1950s. The one downside? The Introduction really does not provide much context for the ads that follow. It would have been helpful to readers had there been such a treatment.
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?