Random Images: The Girl of Steel

(Last Updated On: March 25, 2016)
Keith Ward - US Steel Advertisement (Undated)

Keith Ward – US Steel Advertisement (undated)

Like most companies in the mid-Twentieth Century, U.S. Steel relied on full page advertising to promote the value of their products. To display their uses in the home, U.S. Steel employed the talent of artist Keith Ward to create a happy home scene. Keith Ward (1906–2000) provided many illustrations for magazines such as Child’s Life, Boy’s Life and other magazines of the day. Ward was the illustrator for the ‘Dick and Jane’ series of books and his illustrations were used in advertising for companies such as Elmer’s Glue, Phillips 66 and of course U.S. Steel. The first U.S. Steel ad pictured above was printed in the Ladies’ Home Journal and featured a young girl, freshly bathed, being dried off by her mother in a bathroom filled with useful steel products. Interesting to note is the strategically held puppy in the girl’s hands. Much like the Avon ad in an earlier post, this image would never find a home in a magazine in today’s society.

6 thoughts on “Random Images: The Girl of Steel

  1. Just one more ad from the old days that I want to talk about (actually a sequence of TWO ads).
    And of course, in today’s world these ads would never be allowed.

    The ads were from the garment workers union then known as the I.L.G.W.U.
    (now merged into a union called U.N.I.T.E.).

    They were advertising the kinds of children’s clothes made by their members.
    The first one featured a topless five-year-old girl.
    The second one, three years later, featured that same girl, but topless in a side view.
    The text in the second one began with “Remember _______?
    Well, now she is all of eight years old.”

    [Her first name was in there, but I can no longer recall it.]

    P.S. The second ad included an inset showing the first ad, to help people remember just what previous ad they were referring to.

    • I did find a few other US Steel ads that would have some relevance too, but the quality of the scans were not up to par. He did some nice work, but this one ad has the most relevance.

      • Do you have any of those incredibly cute Rubbermaid bathmat ads from those days?
        Just like this ad, in those there was a nude little girl and her mother in a bathing scene. The girl was standing but bending over to touch the mat. Her arm in that ad served the “strategic” purpose of the dog in this ad.

        • I do not have of those ads in my collection yet, but I am always on the lookout for them. If I do acquire some I will be sure to share them with everyone. Thanks for the comments.

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