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Potentially offense content
Since visual culture collections capture the perspective of specific places, times and groups some of the images and text in the following collections may cause offense. They do not represent the opinions of the Oberlin College Libraries or Oberlin College but are presented here as useful historical time capsules of the attitudes and assumptions from different periods in American History.
Advertising: Documents, Sources, Visual Galleries
Print advertising images from U.S. and Canadian publications; organized by product category: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II.
Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920
Over 3,300 reproductions of ads dating from 1850 to 1920, illustrating the rise of consumer culture and the birth of a professionalized advertising industry in the United States.
J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America
Publications, reports, research, memoranda, correspondence, meeting minutes, creative briefs, scripts, speeches, newsletters, artwork and advertisements created by this company. Documents date from the late nineteenth century with the bulk from 1945 to the late 1990s.
Market Research & American Business, 1935-1965
Provides a unique insight into the American consumer boom of the mid-20th century through the lens of market research reports produced by Ernest Dichter, the era’s foremost consumer analyst, market research pioneer and widely recognized ‘father’ of Motivational Research.
Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950--1975
This resource offers thousands of colour images of manuscript and rare printed material as well as photographs, ephemera and memorabilia from this exciting period. There is also an interactive chronology and video footage.
Car Advertising: Visual Survey
50s Cars by
Call Number: Art Library, HF6161.A9 A135 2006
Highlights from American automobile designs of the 1950s.
60s Cars by
Call Number: Art Library, HF6161.A9 A14 2005
From the ubiquitous VW Bug to the short-lived Studebaker Avanti, advertisements for automobiles bring swinging sixties back to life.
70s Cars by
Call Number: Art Library, HF6161.A9 A153 2006
During a decade of tumultuous change, the 70s would also witness the demise of muscle cars and the birth of the economy car. With an influx of imports from Europe & Japan, there was more choice than ever. This collection features over 175 auto advertisements, such as the AMC Gremlin, Ford Futura, Oldsmobile Cutlass, & Plymouth Volare.
Advertising: Visual Surveys
All American Ads of The 20s by
Call Number: Art Library, NC998.5.A1 A615 2004
The dawn of American consumerism, the roaring twenties was a singular time in America, a lull between two world wars and the last gas before the nation's descent into the Great Depression. Forging the way into the future like a modern streamliner in a sea of antiquity, advertising in the 20s successfully brought the avant-garde into the mainstream.
All-American Ads of the 30s by
Call Number: Art Library, NC998.5.A1 A62 2003
At the dawn of the 1930s literal, simplistic print ads were replaced by stylized, symbolic, and even abstract advertisements that relied more on aesthetics than text. However, the ads of the 1930s reveal nothing of the hard times, painting instead an optimistic picture of affluent American family life.
All-American Ads of the 40s by
Call Number: Art Library, NC998.5.A1 A63 2002
Publication Date: 2001-12-0
World War II brought unprecedented pride and prosperity to the American people and nothing better mirrors the new wave of consumerism and progress than the ads of the time.
All-American Ads of the 50s by
Call Number: Art Library, NC998.5.A1 A64 2002
As McCarthyism swept across the United States and capitalism was king, white America enjoyed a feeling of pride and security that was reflected in advertising.
All-American Ads of the 60s by
Call Number: Art Library, NC998.5.A1 A65 2002
All-American Ads of the 70s by
Call Number: Art Library, NC998.5.A1 A66 2004
American print ads in a post-hippie, television-obsessed nation departed from the bold, graphic forms and subtle messages typical in the 60s for literal, in-your-face images competing with blaring TV commercials. Racial and ecological awareness is also evident throughout these ads.
All American Ads of The 80s by
Call Number: Art Library, NC998.5.A1 A67 2005
A compendium of ads from the period.