In 1955, Slenderella International was touted as “the world’s largest figure-proportioning chain,” with salons in several large cities, in the U.S. and around the world (there were nine in the Los Angeles area alone). That year, the firm was expected to do $12,000,000 in business. All was not well, though. In 1959, this amusingly written item appeared in Time magazine:
“One of the most successful merchandisers of charm to U.S. women is Slenderella International, whose 150 salons played soft music while vibrating tables shook excess inches off flabby matrons. Last week Slenderella itself underwent a slimming treatment. Patrols of Internal Revenue Service agents, watches carefully synchronized, swooped down on Slenderella salons in 24 cities, slapped on liens for $1,235,445 in unpaid taxes, picked up any cash handy. So swiftly did the action come that Slenderella managers and patrons were taken completely off guard. In New York City two women entered while a revenue agent was scooping up cash from…”
I’d love to have read the rest, but that’s as far as the free snippet took me. So much for charm!
Here’s the text of the ad, a bit larger: