Halloween Isn’t Only About the Candy

by Paula Bosse

halloween_e-m-kahn_dmn_102525E. M. Kahn ad, 1925

by Paula Bosse

A few Halloween ads from the 1920s. The top ad for a snazzy “Halloween suit” is something of a whimsical departure for the legendary men’s clothing store, E. M. Kahn (est. 1872): it was an advertisement for children’s Halloween costumes — “printed in orange and black, the proper colors.” (I’d snap it up, kid — for two bucks, it’s the cheapest thing you’re ever going to find at E. M. Kahn.) “Suit includes pointed hat.”

But Halloween isn’t just for kids. Below, a Reynolds Penland ad for adult costumes, which include skeleton, devil, and “whoopee” suits. No pointed hats, but there are accessories — just look at those shoes!

halloween_reynolds-penland_dmn_102729Reynolds Penland Co., 1929

And lastly, an ad for glass cleaner. Dallas had a MAJOR problem with unruly “goblins” soaping windows — especially downtown — and this product probably came in pretty handy on “the morning after.” I bet this was the busiest time of the year for the C-It Liquid Glass Cleaner company — their make-it or break-it sales period. Halloween might well have been their Black Friday. …Or rather their Orange and Black Friday (because those are the “proper colors”).



E. M. Kahn ad appeared in The Dallas Morning News on Oct. 25, 1925.

Reynolds Penland ad appeared in the DMN on Oct. 27, 1929.

C-It Liquid Glass Cleaner ad appeared in the DMN on Oct. 31, 1925.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.