Category: Thanksgiving

7 Retro Thanksgiving Advertisements

If you’ve been a reader of mine for any length of time, you already know that I love vintage advertising, and love to share it with the rest of the world.  Those ads that are long forgotten, and maybe haven’t seen the light of day for many years.  Sometimes, I bust out ads for products that haven’t even been available in many years, and some feature stuff you can still get today, albeit in a slightly different form.

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, here are seven vintage ads that were created to push products for the holiday.

Miracle Baste Turkey

First up, we’ve got this ad for Maple Leaf’s Miracle Baste frozen turkey.  Now I don’t recall of ever hearing of Miracle Baste, because in my lifetime, Butterball has been the gold standard of frozen turkeys.  In addition, we’ve got Captain Obvious telling us that “Butter makes it taste better”.  Well no shit.  I can’t think of a single thing that butter doesn’t make better, but good on them I guess for capitalizing on people’s love of butter.  I’m not sure exactly when this ad is from, but judging by the fashion and hair style choice of the “model” in this ad, I’d place it in the late 70’s.

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How Major Retailers Changed When We Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

In the early part of the 20th century, American retailers were up against a unique challenge.  Falling at the end of November, Thanksgiving, with it’s football rivalries, quiet family gatherings, and emphasis on gratitude rather than wanting was antithetical to the whole commercial ideal.  Yet such a major holiday, and one so thoroughly American, could hardly be bumped aside.  The solution was to Christmas-ize Thanksgiving, and make it the official start to the shopping season.

Gimbels

In 1920, Gimbel’s department store in New York organized the first Thanksgiving parade, the highlight of which was a fireman hired to dress as Santa Claus.  Other stores around the nation quickly followed up on this idea themselves.  In Detroit, Hudson’s started the Santa’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, and that same year, back in New York, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade got it’s start.  With Santa arriving in the very last float, Christmas – and the shopping season – was officially underway.  Since many people had the next day off, store owners made the Friday after Thanksgiving a sort of national shopping day, with special sales, special hours, and special attractions to lure in customers.  In most American cities, the Friday after Thanksgiving became the day when downtown shopping districts turned on their holiday lights and stores unveiled their Christmas windows.

So important did the intense, month-long burst of Christmas related shopping become to the national economic well-being, that, in 1939, when Thanksgiving fell on the last day of a five-Thursdayed November, Federated Department Stores protested the shortened shopping season.  President Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week, thus adding six days to the shopping season.  In 1941, Congress passed a bill officially moving Thanksgiving from the “last Thursday” of November to the “fourth Thursday”, ensuring that there would always be a maximum number of shopping days.


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Retro on the Web: Thanksgiving Edition

Well, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I for one don’t need much to get in the spirit of eating good food, watching football, and enjoying the company of friends and family.  But I know a lot of people DO have trouble getting excited for it, so to help those of you along with that, I’m presenting a whole host of retro Thanksgiving goodness from around the web for you to enjoy.  Hopefully you’ll find something here to perk you up for the coming holiday, and if not that, at the very least I hope you find something that tickles your retro bone.

The Origins of 10 Thanksgiving Traditions – Mental Floss
A Healthy Serving of the Best ’80’s Thanksgiving Specials and Videos – Rediscover the 80’s
He-Man and She-Ra Confuse Pat Sajak in the 1985 Macy’s Parade – Under Scoop Fire
13 Vintage Turkey Recipes That Would Ruin Anybody’s Thanksgiving – MeTV
23 Reasons Why Planes, Trains, & Automobiles is the Best Thanksgiving Movie Ever – BuzzFeed Rewind
Why Do the Lions and Cowboys Always Play on Thanksgiving? – Mental Floss
Look Into the Scary Past of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons – Retroist
14 Vintage Thanksgiving Foods We’re Thankful to Never Eat Again – MeTV
Watch the 80’s Thanksgiving Special That Launched Nickelodeon Animation – Rediscover the 80’s
“Jingle Bells” Was Originally Written for Thanksgiving – Mental Floss
Dino Drac’s Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe – Dinosaur Dracula
These 9 Thanksgiving Specials Will Take You Back to Childhood – MeTV
A Look Back at When Thanksgiving Was Basically Halloween – Mental Floss
Vintage Photos From the Thanksgiving Day Parade – MeTV
What Julia Child’s Thanksgiving Was Like – Mental Floss
13 Bygone Balloons You Won’t See in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – MeTV
Eat Like the Pilgrims – Mental Floss

Well, I hope you’ve found something to help get you in the mood for Thanksgiving, but at the least, I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane with these various looks at the holiday.