Thank you for reading my latest blog post in which I shall offer myself as “Miss Fisher” and “investigate” a vintage advert presented to me by @b8eak by way of an intriguing tweet. A tweet that suggested that the following vintage advertisement is from the 1940s.
A timeframe that I questioned as the advertisement says that “Lux helps stockings to retain their elasticity…”.
In the 1940s stockings were (if available) manufactured from Nylon that has no elasticity; as any of us that wear 100% Nylon stockings nowadays are able to confirm.
So let us start with a history of hosiery during the first half of the 20th Century.
Stockings first emerged as a fashion accessory in the 1920s as the “flapper” styles of the time exposed the calves; with shorter dressses, ranging in length from mid-calf to just below the knee.
Stockings of the era were made from silk, wool, cotton or rayon…a synthetic material.
Moving forward to the 1930s hosiery thoughts would turn first to silk stockings, although stockings could also be selected with a wool content; including a combination of wool and Rayon or wool and silk.
Silk stockings were replaced by the man made synthetic fibre Nylon in 1939 by DuPont; although supply of hosiery was interrupted during the World War II years.
Nylon, like its predecessors of silk and Rayon (sometimes referred to as artificial silk) has no elasticity. It was not until the invention of Lycra in the late 1950s; and its subsequent introduction into hosiery, that we see stretch stockings with which we are familiar today.
Returning to the advertisement and clues as to its date.
The spellings indicate of British origin and interestingly state that “…now that Lux is unrationed…”. Obviously post World War II with rationing of soap products continuing from 1942 to 1950…with each person receiving four soap coupons per month to meet their cleaning needs.
The reference to “”Moonlight Becomes You” connects with the 1940s and the Paramount Pictures release Road to Morocco (1942). The reference to sketches in Paris Harambure may refer to P d’Harambure who; apparently, operated as a photographer during the 1950s.
I am finding much to challenge me but I would unreservedly suggest that the advertisement cannot be 1940s as soap rationing would still have been in place at the time.
I further support my position that Nylon stockings; that have no elasticity, were the hosiery of choice at the time as women chose to “regain” their “femininity” after the austerity of World War II.
An interesting advertisement with much remaining unanswered.
I would love to hear comments that either support my conclusion or prove it as being inaccurate.