Category: Promotional material

Beverly Hills


Image: unknown source via .

“Beverly Hills was a prosperous and sought-after location long before it was discovered by the movie industry. At the beginning, our fabled El Dorado was blessed with the most precious commodity in Southern California: water…

“Attracted to an elegant lifestyle made possible by the [1912-built Beverly Hills Hotel], Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford led the wave of movie stars here when they bought an existing hunting lodge and had it redesigned into the their mansion, Pickfair, in 1919…

“…[Will] Rogers, a wise cracking political humorist, became honorary first mayor of Beverly Hills. Rogers went on to play a part in the development of Beverly Hills by fostering construction of a new City Hall in 1932 and the establishment of a U.S. Post Office in 1934.

“Beverly Hills continued to grow. Promotional materials from the period touted the young metropolis as ‘center of the next million.’ Fortunately, human-scale public improvements helped soften the effects of growth. In the 1930s, Santa Monica Park was renamed Beverly Gardens and was extended to span the length of the City. The famous Electric Fountain was installed. A finely modeled sculpture atop the fountain shows a Tongva in prayer, homage to Beverly Hills’ heritage as a wellspring of fertility and abundance.”

Excerpts from . Click on the link to learn more about the city and its history.


17oct11beverly2Image: 1938 tourist map from .




“By 1939 Fiestaware was the top-selling solid color dinnerware in the United States. To further stimulate sales, a special promotional juice set was offered at a suggested retail price of $1.00. The set consisted of six tumblers and a 30 oz. pitcher. This new pitcher was identical to the 71 oz. disc water pitcher except for the size.”

Image and excerpt from .


1939 ad showing regular Fiesta items in an unspecified newspaper.


Fiestaware was manufactured by the Homer Laughlin China Company in West Virginia. However, there is a southern California connection:

“Built by retired Ohio entrepreneur Homer Laughlin (founder of the Homer Laughlin China Company), the Homer Laughlin Building was the Los Angeles’s first fireproofed, steel-reinforced structure. The original six-story building was designed in 1896 by architect John B. Parkinson. Smith & Carr were the building contractors.”

Excerpt from .

Outdoor advertising


Image: Looking north up Vine Street at Selma Avenue, towards the Hollywood Hills. Blackstock Negative Collection via Los Angeles Public Library .

The 1939 Calvert whiskey billboard above is a product of Foster & Kleiser, the dominant billboard company in southern California. See a timeline of the company, including successor companies: .

Earlier in the ’30s, the trade association, Outdoor Advertising Association of America, “… adopted an official ‘public policy’ of voluntary regulation by the advertising industry regarding natural beauty. It was intended as a pro-active measure to address the critics of the ‘billboard blight.'”

Excerpt from .