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”).



Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.