Posts tagged with "pin-up"
27. February 2023
This beautiful mid-1920s Art Deco style advertisement sign for Allenburys tells the astonishing story of the once wealthiest foreign family of Old Shanghai. They were highly esteemed, with numerous schools, two streets, an office building, and even a coffee house named after them. Yet, their name has almost been forgotten, if it weren’t for the rare artefacts that sometimes still show up in the antique markets and the few remnants of their legacy strewn across the vanishing old city.
30. January 2023
A lovely and innocent Chinese girl in 1920s fashion, advertising a skin medication by Foster-McClellan in Shanghai. A check in the historic “List of American firms at Shanghai” by the US consul identifies the company as “importers of patent medicines”. What dark secrets could this fair facade possibly mask?
12. December 2022
A sophisticated Old Shanghai lady relaxing with a bite of Fry’s chocolate at her country home. Her bamboo flute (or is it maybe an opium pipe?) close beside her. What in 1927 may have sounded like an intriguing value proposition for J.S. Fry & Son’s in the Middle Kingdom, turned out to be nothing but a pipe dream…. Joseph Fry from Bristol, England started making chocolate around 1759. After several changes of name and ownership, the business became J. S. Fry & Sons in 1822. In...
10. October 2022
My Dear, or Měilì (美丽牌) meaning “beautiful” in Chinese, was the most popular Chinese cigarette brand out of Shanghai during Republican China. Since its inception it was famous for the attractive, confident and modern “new women” featured in its advertisements, ubiquitous across billboards, magazines and newspapers. Its Chinese slogan 有美皆备，无丽不臻 literally means “everyone wants the beauty because without beauty there is no completeness” but in more creative...
07. August 2022
In the autumn of 1930, the national government of Shanxi province established the Jinhua Cigarette Factory (晋华卷烟厂) in the city of Taiyuan by merging several smaller private tobacco producers. The state-owned enterprise produced cigarettes throughout the 1930s until November 1937, when the Japanese army occupied Taiyuan and took over the operations. It remained active under the name “No 13 Factory” until the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War after which it was nationalized again...
11. May 2022
Advertisement calendar posters were the most important of the many forms of visual advertisement in China. They were introduced from the West and printed in glowing color lithography. These calendars posters, known in China as yuefenpai, were directed primarily at Chinese, not Western, customers. Most often, calendar images supplied by printers had little or no connection with the product or service being retailed. They were produced with an abundance of different pictures to appeal to a range...
02. May 2022
The American Safety Razor Company was a personal care brand founded in 1906 by a merger of the Gem Cutlery Company & Ever-Ready and was a principal competitor to Gillette for over a century. The Ever-Ready brand had been created in 1905 and razors were continued to be sold under that name until the early 1960s.
03. March 2022
In Chinese culture certain numbers such as 6 or 8 are widely believed to be auspicious or lucky while others are considered unlucky. The pronunciation of the number 4 in Mandarin for example is similar to the word for death and thus the number is considered unlucky and avoided when and wherever possible. The unluckiest number of all however is 14, which sounds similar to “going to die” or “you will die”. The belief in numerology traditionally is so deeply engrained that even today many...
05. July 2021
The International Dispensary (五洲大药房) was one of the most important drug and medical supply organizations in China. It was established 1907 in Shanghai as joint-venture by among others Mr. How Zai-Fong, who was also the founder of the Commercial Press and magnate Hwang Chu-Chiu (黄楚九 / Huang Chujiu), owner of the Great Eastern Dispensary (中法大药房).