Monsanto AstroTurf — 1967

As American as fake grass.

Chevrolet Trucks — 1963

Some football players are only marginally smaller.

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Robert Bruce Knitwear for Men and Boys — 1951

No bagging, no sagging!

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Air Step Shoes — 1950

“Magic Carpet Styles.”

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Portis Men’s Hats — 1937

Look, fellows — it’s the “Ridgeway”!

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Vista Car Wax by Simoniz — 1958

That ’58 Buick has been turbo-whipped!

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Arpege Perfume by Lanvin — 1963

I used to wear Arpege — before Lanvin, in a snit, cut off sales in the US because they thought it was being sold at outlets that were lacking in glamour (I bought it at Penney’s, which…yeah). I don’t know if it’s back on US shelves, but I bought a bottle online recently, and it appears they’ve tinkered with the formula, because it just doesn’t smell the same now. It smells very harsh. Pity.

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Royal Electric Typewriters — 1960

What an interesting-looking, blocky typewriter. It’s so sharp it practically has creases!

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Revlon Goldfrost Lipstick — 1968

Whoever wrote that copy should have been run out of town on a warm and quivery, softly-splendored rail.

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Stetson Hats — 1930

“All Texas loves a Stetson.”  The following is from the Stetson entry in the Handbook of Texas:

The Stetson hat, a badge of the stereotypical Texan, was the contribution of John B. Stetson of Philadelphia, who went west to regain his health in the 1860s and fashioned himself a big hat that would protect him from rain, sun, and wind. After his return to Philadelphia, Stetson made a hat that he called the “Boss of the Plains,” and sent samples to Western dealers. Texas Rangers adopted the hat and found that it could be used to drink from, to fan a campfire, to blindfold a stubborn horse, to slap a steer, to smother grass fires and to serve as a target in gunfights. It could also be brushed for dress wear. Because of its versatility and durability the hat became a distinguishing characteristic of the real cowboy as well as of popular fictional ones.

As far as Washer Brothers Clothiers, I have to admit that until now, I was unaware of the apparently very well-known Fort Worth business. (Being a native of Dallas, I’m always a little ashamed by how little I know of neighboring Fort Worth.) Washer Brothers was established in Fort Worth in 1882 as a men’s ready-to-wear clothing store which branched out into clothing and goods for cowboys and ranchers; the landmark business continued into the 1960s. A cool photo of the store in the early 1900s can be seen here (click to view larger image):

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