Chicago billboards, 1942

This little film was produced by the outdoor advertising industry in the 1940s, and is a great slice of urban history, including some good footage of early public transit.  It shows some classic product ads, vintage Chicago street scenes and antique vehicles, along with a crash course on how outdoor advertising works.

4 thoughts on “Chicago billboards, 1942

    • It IS fascinating, isn’t it? My parents would have been in their early 20s when this was filmed – could have been them busily walking along those downtown streets. One thing that struck me was how stylish everybody looked – both men and women wearing hats when they went out, for example.

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  1. I too thought of my parents, who were young newlyweds in rural Illinois when this film was shot. I did notice that everybody, male and female, rich and poor alike, wore stylish hats when going downtown. An interesting look at mid-century consumerism, which was about to explode a few short years later post-war. Cool…

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  2. Fascinating stuff on this short film. This was during wartime, just a year after Pearl Harbour, Germany had declared war on the U.S. – we can only imagine what these people rushing around the streets of Chicago on foot or driving in those huuuuuuge cars were dealing with on a daily basis back then. You’re right – looking pretty stylish as always, wartime or not.

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