Kennedy American Pageant 12e -
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The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Twelfth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Examining the Evidence Activites
Chapter 37: The Cold War Begins, 1945-1952

Examining Related Evidence: Advertising Prosperity, 1956
This internet activity is based on the Examining the Evidence feature found on page 864 of The American Pageant, Twelfth Edition. Or you can view the feature here.

Advertisers appealed to Americans’ sense of family values in the 1950s in their efforts to sell other products as well. To investigate further, view the television advertisements from the mid-1950s found at the Duke University Library’s Ad*Access project. Click on the Television category; then click on Browse (in the Television section); then click on 1953–1957

Examine at least 10 advertisements (click on Ad slogan then click on image to increase the size), including the following five:

It’s really Christmas family style 1953
Magnavox the magnificent gift for all the family 1953
The night before Christmas put Packard-Bell all through your house 1956
The Perfect Picture your family deserves 1953
Three in the family! 1956

  1. Identify and describe the advertisement that seems to appeal the most to Americans’ sense of family values in the 1950s.
  2. Do you think this would have been a successful advertisement? Explain.
  3. Why are there so many different companies trying to sell TVs in the early 1950s?
  4. Are any of these companies still selling TVs today?
  5. How do these advertisements compare to television advertisements today?