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House & Home Advertising Chromes

The postcard topic I call House & Home Chromes includes a lot more than just pictures of houses. This is a fun topic to collect, because there is always the chance that you will find something unknown or unusual. There are postcards advertising not just the houses themselves, but also a variety of furnishings and home improvement products.

These postcards represent the postwar American Dream, home ownership version. They have a nostalgic appeal for those old enough to remember the 1950s and 1960s, and a retro appeal for the younger generations.

Shortly after my family moved into a new home, we were visited by the "Welcome Wagon" lady. It was her job to visit new homeowners and give them samples and offers from local businesses. The Welcome box on the postcard was meant to be sent by a local store. The recipient could bring the postcard to the store and receive the "lovely welcoming gift pictured" on the postcard.

 

Many of the new homes were similar to the one pictured on the next postcard. They weren't like the Mc Mansions and townhouses that are popular today. This postcard advertises the "Beautiful New" Panel-Vent™ fences and lists a number of the fence's advantages on the back. Among other things, the "baked enamel colors blend perfectly with any landscaping," and it "protects your children, pets, and home without an offensive look."

 

Attached garages were popular wherever the lot sizes were large enough. Raised panel doors painted with contrasting colors, like this one from Raynor, were fashionable. Although most advertising postcards had straightforward information about features or prices printed on the back, some had "friendly" messages in simulated handwriting that are fun to read.

 

Awnings were another outdoor feature that could add distinction to your house in addition to protecting it from the elements. The ones advertised here are Flexalum aluminum awnings.

 

A doormat personalized WITH YOUR OWN NAME could give your home the "final touch of beauty and distinction." (This would also make a "lovely outstanding gift" for a friend or relative.)

 

Moving inside, let's take a look at some of the surface treatments advertised on postcards. First, there is paint, suitable for any room in the house. It is claimed that "Minnflo homes look like they've stepped out of a decorator's magazine."

 

The next postcard claims that Weldwood paneling fits every decorating style--and every room in the home!

 

The Kasota Caroline Split Face Stone advertised on the next postcard is limited to certain areas, mainly around the fireplace. "A Little Stone A Lot of Distinction."

 

There are kitchen postcards advertising surface treatments, cabinets, and appliances. The next postcard shows a kitchen painted in bright colors with Du Pont "Duco" Enamel which is "tough and durable, resists hard knocks, and is as easy to clean as a china dish."

 

The next postcard shows how "Formica tops make YOUR kitchen more livable."

 

In 1959, Frigidaire advertised an electric range with a "PULL 'N CLEAN" OVEN that brought you the joy of COOKING without SLAVING.

 

While the lady of the house is in the kitchen, the man of the house might be relaxing in front of the TV. This "All-Plastic leather CONTOUR CHAIR lounge is ideal for the den..."

 

There are postcards advertising furniture and/or upholstery in various styles and prices for living rooms, dining areas, and bedrooms.

 

Postcards advertising pianos and organs also fit in this category. The Baldwin Orga-sonic spinet organ is "Fun for all the Family," and the Conn Organ has exclusive features including the "Fun-Master," Rhythm Section and Stereo Expression control.

 

The next postcard advertising Whirlpool Washers and Dryers is my favorite. My parents had those same models, and the woman looks like my mother did.

 

Finally, here are some things for your back yard--a screened patio enclosure and a swimming pool.

 

You may have noticed that many of these postcards picture women. Partly that reflects my preference for postcards with people. Partly it is an attempt by advertisers to appeal to their customers. Partly it is because "women's place is in the home."

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