United Air Lines — Fly the Manly Skies!

I really do love the internet. For a lover of vintage ads like myself, there really is no better resource outside flea markets or estate sales for tons of them. Of course that means weeding through a lot of unremarkable ads before I get to a gem. And boy is this one ever a gem.

United Air Lines "The Chicago Executive" ad, 1953

I’ve long assumed that the phenomenon of suburban, white men feeling the need to escape dreaded femininity was a recent one. And yet I now have this 1953 ad, advertising one of the forerunners of the “man cave,” right in front of me. One imagines the dialogue in the top part of the ad going something like:

“Good evening, Mr. Thompson. So nice to see you again.”

“Evenin’, Jack. How’s the weather look for the flight?”

“Oh, just swell. Before I let you on board, I’ll have to check your briefcase. Standard procedure, of course. Can’t have you sneaking on anything womanly like perfume or unrepressed emotions, right?”

“Haha! Gets me every time!”

I can only imagine how crestfallen United’s more manly customers were when they discontinued the “Chicago Executive” service. No more slippers, no more steaks. *sigh* Such a dreary airborne existence.