Posted 2 years ago
Pic. 1 : One of my favorite Leyendecker images, a two-side advertisement for a new fabric, "Trojan Weave", published on April 29,1927. It always intrigued me because of the word "Trojan"; I always wondered whether it had anything to do at all with Trojan condoms.
Pic. 2. Taken from Thomas Clements' indispensable site, American Art Archives, where he has published the Lyendecker Studies, fragments of original paintings that were cut up and sold by Charles Beach. The image is identical to that of the Greek Warrior, except for one thing: the helmet has no crest.
Pic. 3. A bit of research on Trojan condoms. They were created in the 20's by Merle Leland Youngs, and I quote: "He countered the product's dicey reputation by stressing manufacturing standards and building a state-of-the-art factory in Trenton, N.J., that produced condoms of uniform quality. He also favored austere packaging emblazoned with nothing but a Trojan helmet, a symbol meant to connote protection and virility". 1927 marks the introduction of a new, improved product: the latex condom.
Pic. 4: add the crest, and you have a first class advertising semiotic coup by Leyendecker: KUPPENHEIMER'S TROJAN WEAVE FABRIC IS AS MANLY, STRONG AND PROTECTIVE AS A TROJAN CONDOM! Notice the strategic placement of the crest, cutting into the word Trojan.