On a visit to Pike Place Market in Seattle we saw a plethora of fascinating little shops and stands. It was only when I stepped into what seemed like a regular poster shop did I realise it was much more than that. This place was called Old Seattle Paperworks and inside were original posters and adverts and magazines from bygone eras. The stand of original Playboy magazines going back at least 40 years was the first sight that greeted us. Apparently it's popular to give someone (ahem, I'm thinking a guy rather than a girl) an original Playboy magazine from the month and year of their birth as a birthday gift.... Mr Pandora (if you're reading this) you're not getting one.
There were original posters and advertisements for everything from cigarettes, cars, tights, toothpaste, travel, and of course, beauty products. So you can guess where I migrated to.
There were so many beautiful images, I wanted them all. Date wise they varied from the 1930's to 1970's, but my favourites were the 40s and 50s. It struck me how many companies used famous actresses to endorse their products, in fact, most big brand cosmetics seemed to be endorsed by a stunner from the silver screen. Things really haven't changed, and it just proves the marketing power a big name can have. Women used to wish to emulate these huge stars more than we perhaps want to today, so if Lana Turner was seen to be 'using' a certain face powder then it was more or less guaranteed to be a big seller.
The posters were on sale for $15 each or 3 for $40, so I went for 3 Max Factor Pan Cake Adverts from 1941/2.
They feature (from the top down) Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, and Lana Turner, but I believe there are others out there featuring different actresses. I adore the imagery and I particularly love the way these women do not look directly into the camera lens but are pictured staring at something else in the distance. It's all so melodramatic! Although there are no colours, you just know that their lips are painted deep shades of red, and will you look at those brows? So breathtakingly beautiful.
For your amusement I've enlarged the captions from each poster:
You'll always look attractive because it stays on for hours without repowdering....