Pittsburgh Paints, 1939
I don't recognize the heroic young couple in this 1939 catalog as real people. The mingled optimism, formality, youth, and maturity seems as foreign and stylized as statues of ancient military heroes. But their house must have looked nice, if they bought Pittsburgh paints from the Gebhardt Paint company in Marshfield, Oregon (just call phone 607-J), because as the catalog intro noted, “Fresh Paint is a sure sign of brighter days ahead.”
At the start of 1939 America could be forgiven for feeling optimistic…except for those problems over in Europe. But with the Depression dissolving, it might be time to paint the living room. Or the dining room — “Menus for Color Hungry Dining Rooms.” Or bedrooms — “Wake up to a smiling room.” Or the bath – “Singing in the Kitchen that Sings.” Or even the playroom, because “Playrooms must be Gay Rooms.” From the dazzlingly colored front cover to the last page, the optimism was relentless.
For what it's worth, not only are young couples like these a vanished breed, so in fact is the town of Marshfield, Oregon. Because in 1944, the residents voted to change the name to Coos Bay (current population, 15,000).