For over half a century, Americans soaring confidence had always promised a sugar-frosted future filled with frost free fun and abundance and economic prosperity.

But that Buoyant bubble of optimism has since gone bust. Along with our jobs, retirement funds and split level homes, the American Dream has gone into foreclosure.

This collection of vintage advertising and illustrations from the new Deal to the new Frontier offer a mirror to the once upon a time dream as presented in the can-do American media calculated to sell the American Way to the world….and to ourselves

Copyright (©) 20012  Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved

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  1. If I had a time machine I would love to go back and live in the 50′s. Life seemed so simpler then.
    Great blog and fantastic images!

    • If cartoon character Mr. Peabody’s WABAC time machine could transport you back to the 1950s, you would find that “seemed” is the operative word.Though there was less ambiguity than there is today which made it seem simpler, the unbridled optimism co-existed with a very real fear of nuclear annihilation that would chase us all through the decade.

    • Aria

      If you were wealthy, white, male and straight, the 50′s were just swell. Otherwise, the 50′s was pure hell.

  2. Alex Breeds

    What is this image advertising, can anyone give me some more information, including dates etc

  3. Michael-Francis Smith

    Is there any marketing aimed at Americans of African decent? If so you all should try posting it along with all the other stuff. Aria, There was plenty of hatred inculcated by the predominantly WASP 1 percent toward Roman Catholics, Italians, Germans, Irish, Russian,Jewish,Japanese,Chinese, Mexican/Latins, et. al. Americans as well. I lived through it. These monsters found pitting Americans of Sub-Saharan decent against Americans of European decent; using the tendencies of humans to self-segregate. It worked. And is still working. I also remember everyone at that time speaking the same kind of English. Eventually adding gender, life-styles, and political affiliations to the mix. All of us have been played. Now we need to get over it so they will know that we stand as a people and that we’ve had enough. As one approaching ‘fossil-hood is still find myself concerned for the young people of any stripe. If the American Experiment as envisioned by the radicals of this new idea of a republic fails, and it is at the end point in my estimation; you will really see what ‘Hell’ is like, closeup and touching. Let’s finally identify our true enemy Capitalism. Which by the way was condemned by the Papacy at the close of the nineteenth century. And try not to estimate the importance of using the same language. Divide and Conquer. Cui Bono. Think about it.

  4. Michael-Francis Smith

    P.S. To the above: Don’t forget Education either. Knowledge should match up between all of us. Public education has been used to dumb-down all of us who are native born and to keep us at each others throats. Ask as the Romans did ‘Cui Bono?’ i.e. ‘Who Benefits?’ follow it to its source and not what appears to be obvious. The rest of us have been played for way to long.
    Pax to all of you asking the questions. Educate without dissing or yelling to those you hope to influence.

  5. that image is disturbing the more I look at it. Why does the man have an outboard motor on his leg? What is a “Doughboy” brand swimming pool? Why do they have an above ground pool on a picnic near a lake? With a lawn mower? They sure seem happy though.

    thanks for collecting these images. it would make a great coffee table book to flip through

    • Glad you enjoy the images. That particular image was from a Wheaties cereal ad for a contest displaying the abundant consumer items that could be won by some lucky people. “Doughboy” was a popular mid century brand for plastic inflatable water items from pools to toys.

  6. Pingback: Hofstede Series: Individualism | Pine Tribe

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