• Welcome to The Fedora Lounge!

Keep It Under Your Stetson

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Lefty, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    I'm sure that just about all of us have seen at least a few of these ads. Today, I came across this article about the ads/posters, which also references an article that isn't available online (as far as I can tell), that was written by Debbie Henderson. I've contacted Debbie through her website and requested that she provide me with a paper or electronic copy of her article. If she does, and if she gives me her permission, I'll post a copy of it here.

    It's interesting to note that the article says that there are 5 posters in the series, but I've got 9 different posters here. If you've got more of these, please post them in this thread.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Keep it under your stetson--one firm's contribution to the war effort
    Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc., The , Mar 2001 by Wyman, Thomas

    Manufacturers of domestic products had a tough time in World War II keeping their names in front of the public. They turned to patriotic themes as one method of doing so.

    I was reminded of this sometime ago after reading Debbie Henderson's most interesting article, "The Stetson Myth," (The Chronicle, December 1998, Vol. 51, No. 4). As an addition to her paper, readers might be interested to learn about a series of five advertising posters which Stetson produced during the war. Each poster measured approximately thirty inches by forty inches and each carried the same message, "Loose Talk can cost Lives! Keep it under your Stetson." Individually, the posters got the Stetson advertising message across, and together as a panel they conveyed a graphic picture of what "loose talk" could cost the nation and war effort. During the war years these posters were distributed to clothing stores and haberdasheries which carried the Stetson line. Shopkeepers would have had to use at least fifteen feet of open wall space to display the five posters effectively, which suggests that only a limited number of stores would have bad the room to display them.

    Each poster has a different subject. There is a thin furtive man in a suit coat with his hat pulled down making a hushed call from a public telephone booth. One poster depicts a grim scene seen through the periscope of a Uboat-a cargo ship with its cargo handling booms has just been struck by a torpedo, and a violent explosion obscures the midsection of the vessel. Then there is the scene of two pathetic men in torn, ragged clothes in a small rubber life raft. It seems clear that they haven't much hope of being spotted and surviving. Finally there are the two posters shown here. Figure I shows an attractively coiffured woman with an earring featuring a swastika. Figure 2 shows a gleeful pilot wearing goggles and eyeing a convoy.

    The provenance of this particular set of Stetson posters begins with my brother, who as a high school student during 19441945, worked in a Palo Alto clothing store. He was so enamored of the set that when it came time to take them down and dispose of them, he rolled them up and brought them home on his bicycle much to Mother's dismay. For years they hung casually on nails in our home-built workshop.

    I kept an eye on the posters over the years, making sure they weren't lost or dammed by rain in their lessthan-waterproof environment. Then when it came time for me to level our deteriorating workshop, I rescued the posters and kept them out of harm's way. Finally, a few years ago, my brother and I decided to share the posters. We framed them and hung them in our respective homes where they have become real conversation pieces.

    Perhaps this information will provide an interesting footnote to the Stetson legend, and to one company's efforts during the war.

    Thomas Wyman

    Thomas Wyman is the president of the Oughtred Society, the international group of slide rule collectors.

    [How cool would it be to call yourself President of the slide rule collectors?]
     
  2. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    Here are a few more that are more ad than poster.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    more of the ad variety
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Nice...
     
  6. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

    Ads so iconic they were even replicated by the Germans as propaganda against American soldiers.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    Amazing!
     
  9. Fascinating

    Good stuff...
     
  10. Thinking of this... Are you keeping it under your Stetson? I wonder how many soldiers we have on this forum that wear hats on the home-front.
     
  11. A good way of mutual propaganda. I wonder if people bought Stetsons rather than other hats as a result of this. And talking of hat propaganda, would a Borsalino have been though to be unpatriotic during the war as it came from Italy?

    :eek:fftopic: If anyone has any Stetsons like those advertised in the posters please PM me.
     
  12. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    I'm operating under that theory at the moment. Check out the thread on vita-felt, which was introduced in 1940. I believe that it was introduced specifically to take Borsalino's US business.

     
  13. jpbales

    jpbales Practically Family

    very cool

    Stetson should make a modern-day campaign based off of an idea like this, just a thought.
    It was amazing how the whole country came together and united against the enemy.
     
  14. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

    Here's one more

    [​IMG]

    This one from Lefty is a better image
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    Thanks Carter. Somehow I managed to include that one in the vita felt thread but not in this one. :)
     
  16. bolthead

    bolthead My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Great stuff, thanks for posting. :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap
     
  17. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

    Here's another one.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    That's yet another one I missed. Here's a slightly larger version (I have it dated 1944) and a matchbook.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    [​IMG]
     
  20. CRH

    CRH Call Me a Cab

    Thanks for awaking the thread, Lefty. This is one I'd missed.

    It's also the first thread I've ever rated and I've give it a rating of excellent!

    Hope I'm not talking to loosely ;).

    :eusa_clap
     

Share This Page