Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I'm very excited to show you this private letter from Maybelline ad man, Emery Shaver (Tom Lyle Williams partner for over 50 years) - written from the Villa Valentino, to his sister Elizabeth Shaver, and graciously shared with me by his nephew Floyd Shaver-Welles.  I think you'll enjoy its significant value, especially if you love Vintage Hollywood and pure Advertising genius...... 

1923, from the left, Tom Lyle Williams, Elizabeth Shaver and her brother
  Emery Shaver seated.

April 14, 1946.
Life goes on rather calmly here, as usual.  We had a slight flurry of activity here last week in working on an assignment with Hedy Lamarr for a new ad.  She is a rather temperamental woman, although much more beautiful than she appears on the screen, and it was with some difficulty that we were finally able to pin her down to an appointment with Paul Hesse, Hollywood's leading Photographer, for a color portrait, and then get her to write her promised autographed testimonial.  All this took some diplomacy, but it was finally accomplished.  And from the first black and white proofs, it would appear we are going to have perhaps the most beautiful of all  of our growing list of color ads.  Presume you saw the one we have of Joan Crawford, which is now running currently for us in most of the magazines.  It was most fortunate for us that Miss Crawford was awarded the Academy Award for the Best Actress of 1945 for her picture "Mildred Pierce," just as our ad was first appearing.  Our ad created quite a sensation in the Advertising world and has been generally admired, so now many other Motion Picture Celebrities are eager to have the enormous benefit of such beautiful color ads, and we have more offers than we care to take advantage of.  Nothing succeeds, like success, they say, and this instance proves it. Hope the Lamarr ad gets as much attention and I think it will.

Hedy Lamarr.

Joan Crawford.

The actual letter.
Merle Oberon followed in a Maybelline color ad by Paul Hesse Hollywood.

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