Research Guide

The Ad*Access project consists of five main subject categories: Beauty and Hygiene, Radio, Television, Transportation, and World War II. These subjects were chosen for their broad popular appeal and proven interest to students, faculty and researchers.

Subject Categories

Beauty and Hygiene (1911 - 1956)

Browse | History

This category includes products (such as cosmetics, soaps, and shaving supplies) that were targeted for personal hygiene and enhancing one's attractiveness. (2,391 ads)

Radio (1922 - 1956)

Browse | History | Subcategories

Advertisements for radios, radio parts, and radio programs are included in this category. Also included are a small number of miscellaneous electronic products, such as hearing aids, telephones, etc. originally included in the Radio category Pre-1955 Competitive Ads File. (997 ads)

Television (1939 - 1957)

Browse | History | Subcategories

Advertisements featuring television sets, as well as a few other miscellaneous electronics, are included in this category. An interesting feature of many of these ads is their promotion of individual television programs, for example, "Stop the Music."

Transportation (1938 - 1957)

Browse | History

This category deals with the many modes of mass transportation available during the first half of the twentieth century- airlines, rental cars, buses, trains and ships (2,658 ads)

World War II (1942 - 1945)

Browse | History

World War II advertisements are ads sponsored by the U.S. Government or ads paid for by businesses in support of Government-sponsored campaigns, such as V-mail, or bond drives. Ads from the World War II era may also be found in the other four categories; however, those advertisements are primarily targeted towards promoting a company's product rather than the war effort as reflected in this category. (397 ads)

Help in Browsing Ad*Access

Browsing the Ad*Access database allows you to search within each of the five main categories, one at a time. Each category is further broken down by a number of subcategories and dates. For example, Railroads:1950 is a subcategory within the broad category of Transportation; the time period 1939-1947 is a subcategory of Television.

To look for advertisements within any one of the five main categories, select "Browse" beside the category name. You will see a list of all the subcategories. You may choose any one of the displayed subcategories or you may use the "Search this Collection" search box in the upper left to enter keywords (e.g. Burma Shave, RCA, Elizabeth Taylor); or specific years (e.g. 1945).

The Radio and Television categories also have additional subcategory options. These subcategories lead you to specialized topics related to the radio and television electronics industry.

Selecting "History" beside each main category will link to a brief historical overview of that topic. For additional background information on the subject categories, companies, or products, see the bibliographic references found at the end of most of the background texts or use library resources at your school or in your community.

If you wish to search by keywords, names, dates, etc. across all five main categories at once, use the "Search this Collection" search box in the upper left.

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