Have I got a product for you! Just in time for a sweltering summer! Protect your car seats from those horrible body oils and shedding skin. Yes indeed-y, give folks a hot seat every single time they sit down in your car after it's been sitting in the sun. Make a contest out of it! See how long someone in shorts can sit in your car before screaming.

Does any of this sound familiar? Then you'll remember plastic car seat covers. If it doesn't sound familiar, I wish I were you.

My folks always put plastic car seats on every car they owned through the 50s. Over the years I asked over and over again, "WHY?" They told me they were trying to protect the seats so that they looked new. Okay, I get it. They had a messy kid in the car, but geez those things hurt. Get in wearing shorts and I'm telling you you were going to stick to the seat and when you tried to lift your thigh it made a sucking sound and left a red mark on the back of your leg. But I must admit when I or the dog barfed it was a quick clean-up.

I give you another ad from the July-August 1951 Archie comic.

Plastic Seat Cover Company_tatteredandlost
Click on the ratty image to see it larger.

Notice it says "Saran Plastic Seat Cover." I'm thinking maybe I could do the same thing today with one of those huge boxes of plastic wrap from Costco. Be about the same price. Just think how stylish it would look!

And if you didn't buy Archie comics did that mean you couldn't purchase this impressive product? No siree. The ad below, placed by Advance Stores, is from the March 2, 1961 newspaper The Bee from Danville, Virginia.

So, I wonder what other business was run out of 318 Market Street, Newark, New Jersey? Well, there's this ad from the June 1956 Popular science.

Any idea what's there now? It certainly can't be the saran plastic seat cover company.


  1. That's really weird. I come up with Newark's Penn Station when I do a Google Maps look up.

    Not hardly a factory, and I wonder just how old Penn Station is, since from the looks of it, it predates Archie...

  2. That is pretty weird to think it's a rail station. Perhaps there were offices in the building long ago or as you would usually find with these type of companies just a post office box.

  3. How much worse can those be than the black vinyl car seats we had when I was a kid? We kept beach towels in the car to keep from scalding the backs of our thighs in the summer.

  4. Oh Michelle, you have my sympathy. At least my folks put the clear plastic so you could still see the seat below and what you were actually missing.

  5. My mom put the clear plastic on the sofa and chair, too. Not pleasant. Good description of that sucking sound and the red welts it left on back of thighs.
    Market Street in that section of Newark is a curious mix of commercial, industrial and residential. But parking lots near Penn Station have been expanded, and this company could very well have been in a building demolished for the sake of parking more cars.

  6. I can smell that stuff still. Especially on those hot summer days getting back into a car. Great artwork.

  7. Linda, thanks for the information about the location. I imagine this company is long gone. I couldn't find any listing for them online which could mean nothing.

  8. ooooh nooooo! Those things are evil. What is the point? Just train your kids not to be so messy!

  9. Oh Janice, if you haven't experienced them you don't want to know. Some people did all of their living room furniture too. It was the '50s. It didn't need to make sense. Perhaps it was a way of protecting furniture and car seats in case the big one was dropped.

  10. Anonymous12/06/2013

    Is it possible to get a hi-resolution photo of the ad posted by ad below, placed by Advance Stores on Saran Plastic Covers

  11. Hi
    Can you please help me get a high resolution photograph for the ad above, placed by Advance Stores, from the March 2, 1961 newspaper The Bee from Danville, Virginia
    Please mail me the details at sarinnipun@gmail.com
    Nipun Sarin

    1. Sorry, I don't have the original. That was taken from the net.