The 'John Hancock' series of ads that Mutual Life Insurance sponsored throughout the 1950's is really one of the finest campaigns that ever ran. Each ad is beautifully painted by a top illustrator, like these below by John Gannam, Harold Von Schmidt, and William A. Smith respectively.
As well, the copy is both entertaining and educational. A brief, beautiful history lesson, courtesy of the advertiser. What a shame no company is running something like this today!
What a great opportunity. Without a doubt, any illustrator working today would love to have such an assignment. (Are you listening, corporate America?)
William A. Smith's son, Rick, told me his dad "always researched the historical projects deeply. He loved to find historical discrepencies in existing depictions of situations he was reviewing."
To all our American friends, Happy Independence Day - and on this day when you celebrate your country's history, take a moment to enjoy these ads at full size in my American Legends Flickr set.