Selling Products and Politicians

LaRC Manuscripts Collection 929 is the Radlauer and Caire Advertising Agency records, 1947-1969.  This collection is quite unusual in that the records are not primarily related to the finances or daily business dealings of the company.  Instead, it’s composed of samples of finished advertising artwork and printed items of various types, including posters, leaflets, politicians’ custom stationery, a 1962 banquet program and menu, newspaper sections and clippings, newsletters, and political ephemera supporting campaigns and causes of the era.   The ad agency worked simultaneously during the 1940s-1960s for both types of clients—those wanting to publicize products, and those running for public office.   

Louisiana political figures represented in this collection include Hale Boggs, Sam Jones, Russell Long, Victor Schiro, Charles Zatarain, Preston Battistella, and many others.   A few of the commercial clients are Autin Packing Co., Camelot Motor Inn, Corsair Ties, Delta Tank, Foster Aluminum Awning Co., Gulf National Bank, Lafayette Publishers, Louisiana Shell, Morning Treat Coffee and Tea, Trappey’s Canned Goods, New Orleans International Airport, Pearle Optical, and Walker Roemer Milk.   These names blend interestingly, as we’ve had a line of food products named Zatarain, and a governor named Roemer. 

Another similarly rich collection is LaRC Manuscripts Collection 921, the Kottwitz Advertising Company records, 1954-1970.  Collection 921 also contains both commercial and political advertising, with draft graphics in layout and final form, posters, photographs, film strips, slides, negatives, audio tapes, political ephemera and campaign memorabilia such as buttons and pins.  The items relating to Kottwitz's commercial clients are strikingly evocative of the interior design and furnishings of the era, especially the sharp black and white photographs for Higgins Flooring and Willowdale Homes.   

The Radlauer and Caire Advertising Agency records, as well as the Kottwitz Advertising Company records, will be of interest to researchers into Louisiana political and business history, and to students of the graphic arts.

Captions:  From Manuscripts Collection 929: Coupon for a free cup of coffee at Morning Call Coffee Stand in New Orleans, paid for by Preston Battistella, candidate for Louisiana House of Representatives in 1964; colorful store poster for Three Little Pigs Meat Products manufactured by Autin Packing Co., Inc., of Houma; leaflet supporting Charles Zatarain’s 1950 run for Mayor of New Orleans, which resulted in the re-election of deLesseps Morrison.  Images may not be re-published without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers


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