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Grant number: FZ-256387-17

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FZ-256387-17

Ellen Carroll Wayland-Smith
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)

Jean Wade Rindlaub (1904-1991) and the History of Advertising to American Women

Research and writing of a book-length history of American advertising to women, told through the work of Jean Wade Rindlaub (1904-1991), a prominent adwoman during World War II and the Cold War.

My book is a cultural history of American advertising from 1940-1960, as seen through the lens of real-life “madwoman” Jean Wade Rindlaub. As a copy writer and Vice President of Barton Batten Durstine and Osborne, Rindlaub targeted the average American housewife through advertising campaigns for such national icons as Chiquita Banana, Betty Crocker, Oneida Silverware, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Rindlaub’s ads, “focus group” research, speeches, and private letters reveal how a range of social stakeholders at mid-century joined forces to manufacture an American feminine ideal that would be at once spiritually satisfying, economically profitable, and politically expedient. The book not only gives the reader a lively glimpse into this strange, vanished world of gray-flannelled men and exotic dancing Latina bananas, but offers a snapshot of American consumer society at the dawn of mass media, with lessons still to teach us today about the manufacture of political and cultural consent.

Project fields:
Cultural History; U.S. History; Women's History

Program:
Public Scholar Program

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$37,800 (approved)
$37,800 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2017 – 5/31/2018