Money Saving Tips from Sealed Power Piston Rings Advertisements

Now that tax season has come and gone, you may find that your pockets are pinched and you are needing ways to spend less.  Here are some money-saving tips from a series of Sealed Power Piston Rings advertisements.

  • Darn your own socks
  • Do your own ironing
  • Roll your hair in curlers instead of going to the hairdresser
  • Be frugal about where you eat lunch
  • Use Sealed Power Piston Rings in your car to save on gas and oil


Advertisement from Collier’s, February 8, 1941.

This ad series, drawn by Robert O. Reid, ran in 1941 in Collier’s and Saturday Evening Post. In addition to the piston rings series, Reid illustrated for other automobile-related advertisements including General Tire and Oldsmobile. Reid also was a regular cover illustrator for Collier’s magazine in the 1930s and 1940s. Examples of his covers  have been highlighted in this 2012 blog post.

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Advertisement from Saturday Evening Post, April 12, 1941.

Reid was known for drawing doe-eyed women with pointy, hourglass figures. The women typically found themselves in comical settings all-the-while standing or sitting in suggestive poses, which always drew attention to their waistlines and legs.

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Advertisement from Saturday Evening Post, April 12, 1941.

In the Sealed Power Pistons Rings series, a housewife informs her husband how she is saving the family money and reminds him that he should save on oil and gas by using this brand of piston rings in the family car.  The wife, who is always in the forefront, very seriously talks about saving money, while her husband’s face ranges from mild surprise to extreme shock.

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Advertisement from Collier’s, May 31, 1941.
The ads have a distinctive style and the color scheme is always black and orange, which coordinates well with the orange company logo.  Reid liked using a variety of patterns in the ads. He would often use polka-dots on or around the wife, with a contrasting pattern, often checks or stripes, for her husband.

All of these ads are part of Modern Graphic History Library’s Charles Craver Collection.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.