Vintage Ads Inspired by Dad

In honor of Father’s Day, we scoured the archives for our favorite vintage advertisements that we think the most dashing dads would adore. From business papers to wedding proposals, we certainly thought exquisite stationery was the mark of a true gentleman.

A good business man treats stationery not as an office expense but as part of the advertising budget.

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A true gentleman is the marrying type (and marries a woman who writes on Crane). 

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A true gentleman recites the kind of poetry that demands an audience.

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A good business man knows the importance of branding.

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A true gentleman reads his correspondence in a top hat and tails.

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A good business man corresponds with clients with dignity and distinction.

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Vintage Glam: Crane’s Great Gatsby Inspired Ads

The Great Gatsby premiered this past weekend, and so in honor of all the glitz, glamour and oh-so fashionable wardrobes that came with it, we present our favorite vintage Crane & Co. ads from one of our favorite eras. We think Daisy and Jay would approve.

crane-vintage-ad-hanker-on-cranes-2We like to think this is the kind of note Daisy would have written to her cousin, Nick, enticing him to return to New York for an evening (or evenings) of Champagne and boisterous banter into the wee hours.
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From the Archives: Vintage Crane & Co. Advertisements

Being around for more than 200 years will build quite an archive. It’s an absolute delight to sift through old engraving dies, ledgers and, our favorite, advertisements. We had advertisements geared toward the “Business Man,” the “Presidents of Savings Banks” and, of course, brides. Ones highlighting the fact that our paper is made from cotton rags. Ones highlighting how great it is to use with a typewriter. And ones about what using Crane says about you (hint: really good things).

Below are some of our favorites…

1. For your paper trousseau: This ad from the 50’s spoke to the classic bride, suggesting the kinds of papers she should use for her wedding and beyond. “Assures correctness… confers distinction” is the tagline, assuring her that choosing Crane is both proper and special.

vintage wedding stationery advertisement
2. Wedding gifts by telephone: This print ad from 1924 plays to the aspirational woman and her desire to make the most proper impression. No well-bred girl would do such a thing, the ad suggests of acknowledging wedding gifts by telephone. She also wouldn’t type her wedding invitations, send a “dowdy letter of acceptance” for a party or write a letter on “the only paper you could find,” and instead lives by this ad’s tagline: “Style is a greater social asset than beauty.”


3. What does the letter say, Jean? The dialog in this ad — printed in The Ladies’ Home Journal in 1921 — is between two girlfriends or sisters, discussing a letter the one has just received. When asked what the letter said, the recipient’s response is that the letter says the writer has “good taste” and “a fine appreciation of what is correct.” Of course, the punchline is that the recipient is referring to what the paper (Crane, of course) says about the sender, ending with this mantra: “Writing paper tells much more than many people think.”


4. Stationery should reflect station: We love the angle this 1926 ad takes when appealing to the “Business Man.” The copy sets the scene, a meeting between the Business Man and his lithographer. The latter suggests Crane, suggesting that one’s stationery should reflect one’s station in life. The former balks at paying more for his letterhead. The lithographer’s pitch: A company should take its paper “out of the classification of office expense and put it in the advertising and selling budget.”

business stationery letterhead advertisement
5. To the Presidents of Savings Banks: This ad from 1936 is one of our favorites because of how well it represents a time very much in the past — a time when relationship between banker and bank account customer was more than just the Customer Service contact on a website. The ad suggests using Crane to send letters of welcome to “new depositors” as well as to keep in touch with old customers, as “no other paper lends so much dignity and distinction to correspondence.”

banking stationery advertisementCare to see more of our vintage advertisements? They’re all available to peruse on our Pinterest board!