Here's an evocative Halloween 1946 paper advert for Dessart Brothers. Note the quaint spelling of "Hallowe'en." Note also this ad is from the March 1946 issue of Playthings, the trade magazine. I repeat, March. So...some may complain Halloween shows up too early in the stores now, but maybe not early enough? Playthings magazine is still published.
Imagine trying to put some of these cut-out masks on the backs of cereal boxes now. Or even wearing one for Halloween. There'd be hell to pay, that's for sure. I can see the bitter tweets and Facebook posts now. And still, we haven't come that far socially, have we, that we pretend to?
First off, who dresses like a clown for Halloween anymore? Unless, of course, it's a zombie or homicidal clown. Second, note the attentive gas station attendant with the smile and bow tie. You won't see a person dressed up like that anymore, even on Halloween. Unless he's a real ghost.
You may find this hard to believe, but there was a time when gas stations had attendants, dressed in snappy uniforms, eager to wash your windows, check your oil, and pump your gas. I know, I know. Sounds like a fantasy, right?
10/19/62 -- Detroit: When station attendent Walt Sifford painted a Halloween scene, complete with cornstalk, on his gas station window, he never thought his work was realistic enough to become a pheasant trap. But it wasn't long before a pheasant came crashing into the window. Sifford is shown with the pheasant, who was only stunned. Sifford plans to free the bird in a real cornfield when the bird fully recovers.
Here's a shot from 1956 showing store window painting for Halloween in Chicago. I remember seeing store windows painted up on Avenue U in Bensonhurst Brooklyn every October, when I was growing up. Funny the things you remember as a kid, but I noticed how the artistic talents on display grew worse over the years as students from the local high schools participated in the yearly contest. For the truly inspiring artwork, I always felt sad to see it washed away after the holiday.
Here's a Tribune press photo showing the Anoka, Minnesota, Halloween parade marching along Main Street, October 31st, 1949. I love the sign that reads "the house that Jack built." Definitely a monsterkid in the skeleton costume.