Sometimes, looking at old ads is way more fun for what they're not advertising as much as they are! Have you ever noticed? I was bowled over by these late forties'/early fifties' Koroseal ads for the stop-you-in-your-tracks mid centuriness of it all, and still couldn't care a whit for the variety of high quality rubber goods that company still makes to this day. What really rates in the photos below is the time capsule factor, just as wonderfully dated as an old Victor Mature movie (SO. FORTIES). As I sit at my cubicle and try not to feel anxious about a dicey parking situation I was buffalo'd into this morning (we HATE parking downtown, oh how we hate it, and yet are compelled to park downtown most weekdays!), let's keep my mind off it with looking through some of the top notch products and life situations of which the Koroseal brand was making its consumer public aware.
How could I not start out with this raincoat? My lid actually flipped the first thing after I saw it.The pale but snappy green color! The nipped waist and almost mutton sleeved arms? OR COULD IT BE THE WWII STYLE CAP? Oh yes, I think we all know what it is now. The usual feels-like-a-cheap-plastic-tablecloth misgivings I have about semi-disposal raincoats are brushed away by the serious cuteness of this coat. In fact, the raincoat was so nice, they used it twice! Look at the next ad:
I know we're supposed to be checking out the gentleman's overcoat as well, but the heck with that....there's that green coat again! Notice the styling here...her grey Persian lamb hat, red umbrella, neckerchief, and contrast black gloves. I wouldn't think to wear the gloves unless the belt of the coat was also black, but maybe her shoes or overshoes are black? Vinyl and plastic coats are sadly one of those thing I never seem to see predating the 80's at the thrift stores...people seem to have a habit of putting them up still wet some in the mid seventies' and allowing mildew to take dominion over what would otherwise be an indestructible coat.
Side note: if I could say three things to clothes owners in the seventies' and before?
- Stop smoking in your best clothes; I keep finding wild, gorgeous print evening dresses with cigarette burns the size of nickels! It ain't fair!
- Stop eating mustard hot dogs/chili/whatever in the name of God you have stained this polyester dress with, just in the front, a little down from the collar, where everyone can see it and a brooch can't hide it, or start using pre-soak detergent. And-
- What I said before about mildew and clothes goes TWICE for you. Take care of the daddurn things so that I can wear them in good health!
The people of the present thank you, people of the vintage era, for the clothes you DID take care of and which hold places of honor in my closet and daily wardrobe choices (end rant).
A high school hunk in the mold of Cornel Wilde sticks his big, be-loafered feet up on the den sofa. Luckily, Koroseal rubber "can be washed, never seems to scuff nor wear thin, and always looks as new and novel as it is". Well, that's good to know! I also want to point out that the book the boy is reading is entitled "FENCING". Just so you know.
Here, women from different walks of life show off the many products made of Koroseal. The rubber hose seemed to be one of their best selling products, as it is featured prominently in several ads. I'm more interested in this gal's middie-and-skirt combo with white slide sandals. Want those. In the middle, a cleaning woman wipes down a salmon colored office chair, and at left, a bathing beauty shows off her shower cap and novelty shell shower curtain. We love it all! Since putting the new couch in, I swear I am becoming more and more interested in that grandma's-couch idea of plasticizing the whole thing. Before, the couch I had was dramatic but kind of dingy after years of use...I never felt bad eating a nacho while sitting on it, whereas I don't like to look at my new couch set while eating for fear something bad will happen to it. I hope this will wear off eventually-- I can so see myself chasing my guests around with coasters and drop napkins at the next shin-dig I throw, terrified that a spare pizza roll will plop its greasy, cheese and sauce fecund crust on one of the spotless couch cushions. I must avoid this dark vision of the future!
This next ad features an unbelievably chic woman in black, whose shoes and hat are just out of the park, and a housewife in a blue shift dress, both of whom are looking over curtains. I don't know how I feel about rubber curtains outside of the shower-variety-- they seem like something I might see in an estate sale setting where they'd been clean at one point, many moons ago, but are now covered in the sticky grease residue of fifty years in service. I can't keep the exterior of my refrigerator clean for more than a week, and it's not like we're running a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise out of my kitchen, but it seems unavoidable! I'm giving a gentle "no" to these curtains.
I think we're supposed to be looking at the floor, but I am too nuts over the slingbacks to do much but gape and stare. Especially the ones on the left. Lord! I need to find some good reproductions for my size-a-million feet.
Check the hatstand in the closet on the left, and natty ensemble on the woman at the right. My grandma had garment bags like this in her closet, but my mine's too shamefully stuffed full as it is to protect the goods in this manner.
Koroseal still exists! Developed in the thirties' by the improbably named Waldo Semon, who first invented vinyl (thanks!), they make floor coverings and wall coverings and other sorts of rubberized needs to this day.
Do you own any vintage novelty plastic housewares (curtains, linoleum, aprons...even raincoats)? Which one of these pictures would you most like to jump inside of to ransack them of some of their midcentury goods? I'm torn between the raincoat and the black shoes...and the curtains! What would you tell midcentury people about proper care of wardrobe if given the chance?
That's all for today, folks...see ya tomorrow! Keep your fingers crossed my car's still there when I get off work! :)