This ad dates from the October 1954 National Geographic back cover and once again shows an independent woman. It's actually pretty stunning since most ads showed women in domestic situations, on the job as a secretary, or sitting in the passenger seat of a car. Women were never driving the cars. So I'll give Coca-Cola credit for sending a woman out on her own to see the world.

Coca-Cola Oct 1954_NG_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

I have no information about the illustrator. I do like the very nicely balanced illustration with perfect movement to the product.

Of course, they still couldn't leave off one item that they knew would be gender specific: the calories in a coke. Read the copy and you'll see that they want to make sure the woman knows it has "...as few calories as half an average, juicy grapefruit." Doubt they'd have put that in an ad showing a single man.

Wish there'd been more images like this when I was growing up. I'm not sure boys really understood the power they had and how small girls felt in relation to the world. You really weren't allowed to dream. Fortunately I had parents who told me I could do anything, even if I looked outside the door and saw the obstacles. Boys had a swagger and confidence that girls weren't allowed. Girls had to dream small.


  1. Ah yes, you are so right. The coke lady is a rare bird, flying off to an exciting world. Sorry I've been absent for a while hope to catch up on blog hopping again soon.

  2. Did you mean look outside the box? I know what you meant... Sad but true.

  3. No, I meant outside my door. In my house I was told anything was possible, but when I left the confines of my home the world was giving different messages. One friend was told "No, you can't be a doctor. Girls aren't doctors. You can be a nurse." Another friend was told "We'll pay for your brother to go to college, but not you. You're a girl."And of course I was an oddity in school because most friends were convinced their future was marriage and babies by the time they were 22. That was as far as it went even if they were planning to go to college. It always baffled me.