“If I don’t go, I don’t get”

After an extensive Internet search, I’ve concluded that I may beWarner Swasey American Business Ads_FRONT Cover in possession of the only extant copy of the Warner & Swasey Company’s remarkable collection of American Business Ads, published 40 years ago 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.  As I read 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…and it’s as much about us, as individuals and Americans, as it is about the company and its products.  You probably have no use for a turret lathe with numerical control and program editor (small blurp in the lower right-hand corner), but you’re still moved by the message.  “If I don’t go, I don’t get.”

In a nutshell, everything we need to know about business, economics, prosperity, and self-respect – then and now.

About Rod Schwartz

Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He joined the Pullman (Wash.) Radio Group in 1979, where he worked until his retirement at the end of 2022. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales (GraceBroadcast.com), providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. Rod also operates an independent advertising, marketing, and communications consultancy for small business owners and professionals, FirstStrikeAdvertising.com. An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at PalousePics.com and on his Viewbug gallery.
This entry was posted in Advertising (General), Branding, Business, Communication, life lessons, Magazine, Management, Newspaper, Positioning, Print, Productivity, Sales, Sales & Marketing, Slogans and taglines, Storytelling, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “If I don’t go, I don’t get”

  1. Matt Borland says:

    Rod, I thoroughly love ads and/or stories, like this one, that go along with them. They are sometimes so simple but yet hold so much knowledge in those few chosen words. Thank you for posting!


  2. Tony Mariani says:

    As J. Peterman on Seinfeld said to Jerry’s dad. “Morty, my stories are what sell these clothes.


  3. We in the modern age who make the spewing forth of copy appear to easy have much to learn from the golden age of advertising.


  4. Joe Geoffrey says:

    Keep’em coming! There is a lot to learn from timeless ADages.


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