Automobile Advertisements

These advertisements from the Ladies Home Journal, a prominent magazine for women, show some of the ways in which automakers targeted women in the early decades of the twentieth century. The ad for the Motorette (top), a gasoline car, appeared in 1911, when makers of gasoline cars were trying to convince women that their product had the advantages of an electric car but was just as easy to operate. This ad emphasizes not only that the Motorette is quiet, comfortable, and attractive, but that “a girl of ten can crank it.” Twenty years later, a Texaco ad (center) explained the perils of wet gasoline to the LHJ’s women readers. In 1928, an ad in the LHJ for the new Ford Model A (bottom) showed a stylish woman driving in Manhattan, while the text of the ad stressed the car’s safety features.

Images from the Collections of The Henry Ford 1) Ladies Home Journal July 1911, 2) Ladies Home Journal, December 1931, and 3) Ladies Home Journal, November 1928.

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