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Understanding Historical American Ads (20th Century): Home

This LibGuide will help you find ads printed in the United States, navigate through Advertisement databases, and, finally, analyze the ads that you found.


This LibGuide will help you find databases and free resources to identify advertisements throughout the 20th century. On this page, tips on analyzing the ads and narrowing down search terms.

You will find links to databases and free resources accompanied by a small blurb about the resource on this page. When deciding what resource to start with, it is helpful to have narrowed down who you will be studying. In other words, you need to select a group of people that the advertisements are targeting: women, men, LGBTQ+, Black Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, etc. If you are not looking to view targeted ads, maybe you want to examine a specific magazine and view how the advertisements have changed over the years. This would be a great time to narrow down what magazine(s) you would want to examine. 


Free Advertisement Resources

New For Fisherman Ad from 11/14/1955 issue of LIFE

New For Fisherman Ad from 11/14/1955 issue of LIFE

7Up Ad from 05/02/1959 issue of Saturday Evening Post

7Up Ad from 05/02/1959 issue of Saturday Evening Post


Marx Rubber Co. “NEW! FOR FISHERMEN.” LIFE, Nov. 1955, p. 24.

Seven-Up. “WHY GO ’ROUND THIRSTY?” Saturday Evening Post, May 1959,