Thayer Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Table and Chair Set — 1950 (Christmas)

This ad ran the year after Gene Autry’s massive hit song, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” written by Johnny Marks. I had no idea that Marks based the song on a poem that appeared in a little booklet that was produced for Montgomery-Ward shoppers; the poem was written by his brother-in-law, Robert L. May, who was, per Wikipedia, “a low-paid in-house advertising copywriter for Montgomery-Ward.” By the time Rudolph became a marketing juggernaut, Montgomery-Ward, had, rather foolishly, relinquished all copyright to May. And the rest is reindeer history.

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