Friday, October 22, 2010

1958 Kresge's Halloween Ad

Here's a great Halloween-themed ad for Kresge's, the forerunner to today's Kmart stores, that ran in the Lorain Journal on October 22, 1958 – fifty-two years ago today.

As the ad notes at the bottom (click on it for a larger image), the Kresge's stores were located at 630 Broadway as well as at the O'Neil Shopping Center. According to this wiki entry, Kmart stores were still a few years away.

The ad is interesting to me, because it illustrates the evolution of kids' Halloween costumes from purely generic fantasy characters (pirates, cowboys, etc.) to that of the TV characters (so beloved by many Baby Boomers) that took place from the late 1950's to the early 1960's.

In the fall of 1958, Hanna-Barbera was just launching The Huckleberry Hound Show, as well as the whole made-for-TV cartoon craze. So there really weren't all that many original TV cartoon characters on which to base costumes at that point. That explains why in the ad you have costumes for Popeye, Droopy and Sylvester the Cat – all big screen cartoon characters – and Superman, a perennial favorite.

It's kind of interesting that the kids in the ad wearing the costumes are shown bobbing for apples. I wonder if kids still do that at Halloween parties?

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