Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In Search of Ol' Lanky Long Part 1

Here's a memorable gift-with-purchase promotion from 1954 that some Lorainites might remember – or may possibly still be discussing with their psychoanalyst 60 years later.

Back in early November of that year, Wissman's Jewelers of Lorain was giving away Ol' Lanky Long, a 45 inch rag doll, with any purchase of $19.95 or more. The above ad appeared in the Lorain Journal on November 4, 1954.

Wissman's Jewelers was in one of the storefronts at the southern end of the Palace theater building fronting on Broadway. It appears to have been there from the mid to late 1940s (it was preceded there by Reith's Jewelry Store) until it disappeared in the 1963 Lorain City Directory.

But let's get back to the Ol' Lanky Long ad.

I'm not sure what's more disturbing – the ad's suggestion that you abuse him (Throw him! Drop him! Toss him!) or that you might "fall in love with him" and use him as a dance partner. Neither sounds like a good idea.

Anyway, half the fun of old ads depicting some product is seeing if there is any information about it online. In this case, I scoured the internet trying to find a photo, another ad or even a mere mention of Ol' Lanky Long, but I came up, er, short. I couldn't even find one on Ebay, despite describing him in a variety of ways in the 'Search' box. (That's not that surprising, though. How would you describe him? He's not really a Christmas elf or pixie. He's a tall guy with a pointy hat and a big bow tie.)

But then – a couple days before I was going to post this – I finally found one on Ebay.

So how did the Ebay listing describe him and what kind of shape was he in? Stop back here tomorrow to find out!

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