Consumer Products and Retail in 1962
Today, Roadtrip-'62 ™ looks at some brands and logos that we could have seen in 1962, but that have changed since then. Some have changed quite a bit, some have disappeared, and some are just tweaked. First up, three famous trademarks that were registered in 1962. I've shown the old versions in black-and-white, as we might have seen them in magazine ads back then.
Elmer's Glue-All was made by the Borden Company back then, a major brand of milk and other dairy products. We had our milk delivered by the Borden man, who drove a truck that still used large blocks of real ice to keep the product cool. During the summer, he was very nice and would chip ice off the blocks with an ice pick, to hand out to all the neighborhood kids gathered around his truck. Hard to imagine that chips of ice were such a treat! I suspect the glue was originally made by rendering, or from excess milk, either of which would provide byproducts that could be turned into glue. Synthetic glues like Krazy Glue were not yet invented. The glue was named after Elmer, the spouse of Borden's most famous trademark, Elsie the Cow. It's still made today, but by a company simply called Elmer's Products, Inc. And, Elmer's also makes Krazy Glue!
A version of the NBC Peacock logo was first used in 1956, as it became clear that the future of television was color. It was revised as shown above in 1962. The tips of the peacock’s feathers showcase colors, though few TV viewers had color sets at that time. Also, few shows were broadcast in color, as it was more expensive to do so. The peacock logo was originally used only with color broadcasts, along with the announcer stating, “The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC.” It became a part of NBC's main logo in 1979 and the only logo in 1986. At that time, it was redesigned in a more stylized form with the letters NBC added below. The letters and coloring have been slightly revised since then to give us the current version.
Target Stores were created in 1962 by the Dayton department store chain of Minnesota, to move the company into the new discount store field. Discount stores were a changing and booming field in 1962, and both Kmart and WalMart also entered the field that year. And a plethora of local discount stores, totaling about 1500, were opened then, an increase of as much as 35% over the previous year. You might wonder why these blossomed around the country in 1962. It had a lot to do with Congress finally repealing "fair trade" laws that set minimum retail prices on many goods. Instead of creating fair trade, these laws had allowed manufacturers to set high prices. The laws were left over from the World War II years and eliminating these laws opened the floodgates of innovation for discount stores and the vigorous competition that followed. The logo was simplified over the years, as has happened to many trademarks, to eliminate some of the red rings.
Pepsi's trademark has changed the most. The whole idea of the bottlecap is gone, probably because almost none of their product is sold with the old crown style bottlecaps. Twist-off plastic caps were not yet in use and though you could buy Pepsi and other sodas in cans, that was rare. The logo has been redesigned several times between 1962 and today, most recently just a couple of years ago when they even changed the shape of the waves. Only the blue and red colors remain.
Butterfingers were one of my favorite candy bars as a kid, even though they stuck to your teeth after you were done. I suspect that was the cause of several of my rear tooth cavities. Butterfinger was invented by the Curtiss Candy Company of Chicago in 1923, and made by them through 1990. Within those years, Curtiss was sold to Standard Brands in 1964, which merged with Nabisco in 1981. Nabisco’s candy business was shuffled around a couple more times in the 1980s but it stayed together until the Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars brands were sold to Nestle in 1990. The package logos show this change, as the 1961 package has the Curtiss name and “C” in the center, while the current package has the Nestle name.
We’ve visited a lot of National Parks and other lands administered by the National Park Service on our US-23 and US-6 roadtrips, including Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Cape Cod National Seashore, Colorado National Monument, and Great Basin National Park. In 1962, the National Park Service registered its familiar symbol, which has changed little over the years. They eventually removed the department name and the buffalo's shadow, but otherwise we see the same trademark as in 1962.
If you’re interested in more information about old-time brands that are still around, check out my Vintage Products page. Or, for more info on brands we could have seen in 1962 that no longer survive, check out my You Can’t Buy That Anymore page. See you back here soon for more fun on Roadtrip-'62 ™!
All brand images and logos are trademarks of their respective owners. They are used here for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute any endorsement or other opinion of the products.
All other content Copyright © 2017, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne.