Sunday, August 27, 2006


In 1950 the Jergens Co. chose neighbors of my grandparents in Brattleboro, Vt. to be the poster family for one of their magazine advertising series. It was entitled “Four Youngsters to Feed, Daily Housework & Chores on her Vermont Farm”, and depicted the faithful and ever dutiful-wife Bertha, husband Herman and four children.

I don’t have the pictures but I do have the script and it is incredible to see how we were back then. To illustrate:

Ad #1. (Bertha gazing dreamily into camera). “My secret for pleasing Herman is always to be cheerful and prettied-up when the day is done. I take a shower, put on an attractive dress, fresh makeup and, of course, Jergens lotion in case we might hold hands across the table.”

Ad #2. (Bertha with daughter) “Mary and I love to wax & polish and it doesn’t bother my hands at all because Jergens lotion keeps them so smooth & soft. Herman says they look as if I were a lady of leisure”.

Ad #3. (Berth washing dishes) “Those hungry wolves of mine make every meal a production, but I don’t mind the dishes. Jergens lotion gives my hands a ‘never put them in water’ look. I keep a bottle in the kitchen”.

Ad #4. (Whole family seated for dinner. Bertha & Herman holding hands across the table and gazing into each other’s eyes.) Herman beams at Bertha and gives her Jergens-soft hand an extra squeeze that seems to say, “We’re just about the happiest couple in the world, aren’t we?”

The 1950’s…….a wondrous time…when a bottle of Jergens’ lotion, and lots of hard work and blind devotion on the wife’s part, could solve all our problems ! And guess what? I bought into it…lock, stock & LOTION.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts are so great, Ginnie! And this one was no exception. The younger generation reading this wouldn't believe that it really WAS like that with housewives....My mom always wore dresses (very seldom did you see women in pants.. and jeans? Forget it!)
And waxing that floor WAS a big deal. In one respect, I like the "feel" those days bring back to my mind...such a gentler, kinder, time and Mom was always there at home waiting with the cookies and milk when I got home from school...unlike so many of today's latchkey kids.
On the other hand.....women have certainly evolved into their own and come a long way. A happy medium might have been nice.
And I remember Jergens Lotion very well. Thanks for the memories, Ginnie.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

I agree, Terri, that a compromise between then and now would be just about right.

5:59 PM  

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