This vintage ad is a prime example showing why ephemera can be so darn interesting. We look at these pieces often not thinking about the people involved who created them. In this particular ad we have information about two women, only one with a recognizable name.
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The ad comes from the May 1934 Delineator, the same issue that had the Camel cigarette ad I wrote about several years ago. Throughout the issue there are ads in which real woman are referenced as someone the buyer should trust. In this case we have the wife of a dairy farmer, Mrs. Walter Stauffacher, from Monroe, Wisconsin. Sad to say I have not found anything online about Mrs. Stauffacher, but I did discover a W. J. Stauffacher Company on a list of Cheesemakers’ and Dairymen’s Association in Southern Wisconsin dated 1927.
So for Mrs. Stauffacher to be chosen for an ad she must have been of some importance. Besides being a wife of a farmer, why was she chosen? And I have to admit, one irritation for me is that her actual name is nowhere to be found. She is an extension of her husband. I know this is how things were done, but it’s just so dang irritating to not see even her first name. I’m glad this “formality” is no longer used.
The second woman involved in the ad is the illustrator. Unfortunately, though the illustration is signed, I cannot read the last name. Her first name is May. Any ideas on what that last name might be? I did find another ad for P and G done by May which can be seen here. I love the playfulness of her style.
The advertiser, P and G, is Proctor and Gamble. But what is Naphtha Soap? I’ve never heard of it. You can read about it here in a rather interesting piece entitled “On the History and Use of Naphtha In Soap.”
Basically this old piece of paper leaves me with nothing but questions. Who? What? Where? Why? The triple “W” threat.
And what became of Barbara Ann Staufacher and her 20 dresses? Perhaps the dairy business was very very good to the Stauffacher family.