Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lorain's First Baby of 1958 Ads

Back in the 1950s and 60s, it was a big deal to be the first baby born in Lorain in the New Year. The Lorain Journal would feature a photo of the proud mother and baby, and a variety of Lorain businesses would shower the baby with gifts.

My older brother Ken was Lorain's first baby of 1958, and as expected, a photo of Mom and him ran on the front page. The Lorain Journal even wrote a follow-up story (with pictures) about him a year later, contrasting his development as an infant with the many changes that took place around the world that year.

I remember as a kid thinking that Ken was indeed a celebrity in Lorain.

Recently I went back to the Journal microfilm archives to checkout some of the other hullaballoo surrounding Ken's birth. I found a whole spread of congratulatory ads sponsored by a variety of local companies, most indicating that they had donated a special gift to the lucky newborn.

The ads – some personalized with Ken's name – all ran on Jan. 7th. The collection below is only a sampling of some of the goodies he received!
30 quarts of milk from Ideal Dairies is a pretty nice gift (below), although I don't think it wasn't enough for my parents to switch their loyalty from Home Dairy, their regular choice.
It's appropriate that Kline's participated in the "first baby" contest – Grandma Brady worked there for almost her entire adult career. The store weighed in on the festivities with a free nursery scale.
While most of the gifts had something to do with caring for the new baby, at least one company – Harry's Men's & Boy's Wear – had a gift for Dear Old Dad (below).
Even old Reddy Kilowatt had a gift for Ken (below)!
The strangest congratulations came from Schwartz Home For Funerals (below)! No gift, though!


Anonymous said...

Wow! What a haul! For a minute I thought he rec'd a hot water tank! I love the hat! Too cool!

-Alan D Hopewell said...

That's what they call a bit of all right, Dan!

Happy New Year!