"If I Don't Go, I Don't Get"

  • After an extensive Internet search, I’ve concluded that I may be in possession of the only extant copy of the Warner & Swasey Company’s remarkable collection of American Business Ads, published under the title: “1776-1976 What has really changed?”

    These 92 examples, culled from the 1000 or so ads that Warner & Swasey ran between 1940 and 1976, offer an instructive glimpse into the history of their corporate branding.  More significantly perhaps, they constitute a primer of sorts on the virtues of free enterprise, honest labor, responsible management, and unabashed love of country. Reading through them again, I’m deeply impressed by what Warner & Swasey stood for.

    Let me illustrate with one of my favorites:

    Warner Swasey American Business Ads_P92(1975)

    Bold headline, evocative story, thought-provoking lesson…about us, as individuals and Americans, and not about the company or its products.

    Whether or not a reader had any use for a turret lathe with program editor (small blurp in the lower right-hand corner), it’s hard to imagine anyone being unmoved by the ad’s principal message.  “If I don’t go, I don’t get.”

    Gutsy, high-principled, and successful company.

    One of my resolutions for the new year is to dust the cobwebs off this blog, resume writing about things that interest me, and then share them with you.

    Would you like to see more of these gems from the Warner & Swasey collection?  Let me know.  If enough folks are interested, I’ll take the time to digitize them all and make them available for downloading.

    Meanwhile, I wish you all the best in the coming year.