Thursday, December 8, 2011

1959 Welch's Sports Christmas Ad

Here's something you don't see anymore: an ad showing Santa Claus recommending guns as ideal Christmas gifts! (Give it a click so you can read it.) As a card-carrying NRA member, I don't have any problem with it. But I can understand how it would be rather politically incorrect in these violent times.

The ad, for Welch's Sports at 1330 Broadway in Lorain, dates from the November 25, 1959 Journal. It's also interesting to me (since I started out as a paste-up artist) that the ad seems to have been cobbled together from different sources (clip art, bits of other ads, and some new typesetting).


The ad's theme of 'a gun makes an ideal gift' made me think of that Little Rascals episode called Birthday Blues with a very young Spanky, and Dickie Moore as his older brother. In that episode, their father is too cheap to buy their mother a birthday present, so the boys decide to raise some money and buy her one themselves. They go window shopping for a present, and Spanky suggests buying their mother a gun.

Spanky: "Oh Boy! Let's get that gun for her!
Dickie: "What would she do with a gun?"
Spanky: "Shoot Papa!"

Of course, the boys raise their cash by raffling off pieces of that infamous birthday cake that sounded like a slow-motion foghorn and was stuffed with 'prizes' (such as a hairbrush or pair of galoshes).

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