“More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette!” (And Other 1940s Ads)

I haven’t blogged in awhile because life has been pretty busy with work, home, and a toddler (who just recovered from two consecutive bouts of Strep Throat) but I’m back! I’ve been really wanting to dive into these LIFE magazines from the 40s. My intention when I got them out today was to do a post on 1940s fashion and makeup (which I still intend to do later) but I got distracted by the advertisements! They really paint a solid picture of what life was like in this decade.

During the 1940s the world witnessed most of World War II, the bombing of Pearl Harbor (and subsequently Hiroshima), and the death of Adolf Hitler. With the world seemingly being turned upside down, Americans yearned for escapism. LIFE magazine was undoubtedly one of those pleasures for many. Advertisers capitalized on the influx of LIFE readers as the publication led the media industry for decades.

Below are several ads from LIFE magazines from the years 1940 to 1946:

I’ll start with my own personal favorite:

Advancements in technology:

PBR and Kellogs:

A question about “what will happen to him” without wondering what will happen to HER as well:

An ad for men’s hair products:

And the good old beauty industry, who will help you with your ultimate life goal of landing a man:

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I actually adore beauty products myself and my husband has a great time making fun of the many bottles that clutter our bathroom counter. I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for the state of the current beauty industry?

I’ll be back with another letter soon, but I wanted to have a little fun this week. I hope you all enjoyed some vintage ads!


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Welcome, I'm Jessica. I renovated and moved into my grandparents' old home in early 2018. When my grandmother Jane was alive, she loved to sit outside on a swing with her cat Boots (who still lives here) and read. As we were cleaning up around the house I found a box of letters sitting in a swing outside that she was going through in the time before she passed. I stored them away and recently started reading through them myself. 100 Years of Letters is intended to share those family letters (some of which are over 100 years old) with the world and to keep the history behind them alive. Curl up with your coffee, a cozy blanket, and possibly a cat, and join me on this journey through history!

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