Wednesday, November 12, 2014

1954 Harmon-Nielsen Ad – Philco Television

Here's a big ad for Harmon-Nielsen Company that ran in the Lorain Journal on November 16, 1954 – 60 years ago this month. The ad promotes the new Philco "Miss America" television set with a 24" console.

That's Lee Meriwether, Miss America 1955 in the ad. She's one Miss America that actually achieved a great level of career success after her reign was over. In this case, she enjoyed a fine career as a model and actress (well-remembered for her role on Barnaby Jones and as Catwoman in the 1966 Batman movie). Here's the link to her website.

Philco's "Miss America" television set campaign ran for several years, gaining a new spokesmodel with each new contest winner. (Here's a link to a website with a nice overview of the campaign along with some great photos of the televisions themselves.)

It's rather quaint looking at ads like this, and remembering how people used to shop for TVs and major appliances. A half-century before shopping online or browsing at big box stores became the norm, consumer often got their first look at the new products in big, glossy color magazine ads. These same ads were also reproduced in black and white and customized with the dealer's name for local newspapers.

It's strange remembering how big and bulky television sets used to be, in view of today's ultra-thin models. The old-time sets were regular pieces of furniture with beautiful wood finishes.

I'll probably never forget waiting for my parent's TV set to warm up so I could watch cartoons as a kid in the early 1960s.

Anyway, I didn't have time to properly research Harmon- Nielsen Co. for this post. I did find out that the company became simply Harmon Appliance in the mid-1950s, and later, Harmon's TV & Appliance. Erie TV & Appliance purchased the firm in 1995.

2063 N. Ridge today
(Courtesy Lorain County Auditor)


Anonymous said...

Hey, Dan, two comments:
You might also remember Lee Meriwether as one of the scientists on the 60's sci-fi show "The Time Tunnel".
And, the Lorain County Auditor's website picture is just a bit out of date - Clearview Hobby has been gone for years, and Erie Appliance is no longer at that address, either - it's now a Robert Taylor Progressive Insurance office. You ought to take a ride down that way - I really like that they retained the 50's style sign and updated it for the insurance agency.
Don Wozniak

Dan Brady said...

Hi Don!
Thanks for the information about the building! I'll have to stop out there and grab an updated shot--maybe from a Dog 'N Suds vantage point!

And although we used to love Time Tunnel when we were kids, I didn't know she was on that! What a great series, esp. the Titanic episode!

Anonymous said...

Clearview Hobby is indeed open. It is in the same building as the Robert Taylor Insurance Co. It is only open 4 days a week.

Mon3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thu3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sat10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Anonymous said...

For a time the Clearview Hobby side was an indoor Put-put in the early 70's. Rae