Bulletin Board: Identify the Uke in this 1952 Seven-Up ad Close Window   

Original Post By: UncleLankyFrank Date: 10/27/2009 5:49:38 AM

I don�t have anything to sell or trade, but I was hoping you could post a picture of a ukulele I need identified. I found it in a 1952 magazine ad for 7up. It shows a bunch of teens on a hayride, and one of them is holding a uke. I just don�t know enough to know how to identify it. The images looks to be a photograph.

Here is a link to my scan of the ad:


This is the brand mark as clear as I could get it.


Thanks for any help you can give.
Posted By: Diane1020 Date: 10/27/2009 6:11:25 AM
Hmmm. Doesn't look like a photograph.
Posted By: Ukester Brown Date: 10/27/2009 8:08:23 AM
Yeah, looks like an artists rendering of an ukulele. But, cool, Dad's smokin' a pipe.
Posted By: Craig Date: 10/27/2009 8:25:27 AM
I have the same ad hanging up in my classroom. It is an artist rendering.
Posted By: East Mountain Date: 10/27/2009 9:49:59 AM
An artist's rendering, but based on a photo I'd say. The sort of photo realism you find in a lot of 50s ad art.

I can't make out the logo on the headstock, but it looks like my Regal stencil uke, with a lighter color and no stencil.
Posted By: NinaC Date: 10/30/2009 11:34:05 AM
Looks virtually identical to a mahogany Harmony i had (and sold) from the 30s, including the fretboard style, etc. Don't forget, they probably changed the headstock ID to something else so as not to promote another product.
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 10/30/2009 12:02:58 PM
The two last letters in the logo clearly spell out the word "UP". Hmmm??? a 7 UP ad... Subliminal advertising.

It's clear that the advertisers were trying to emphasize the wholesomeness and purity of 7 UP by employing an obvious solid-wood uke with friction tuners and Aquilla strings. ;)

I did an entire semester of study on subliminal advertising when I was in college.

Let's look closer at the ad shall we...


There are three boys and three girls in the ad. They are on a hay ride (sex). Dad, driving the wagon is looking the other way and not really chaperoning the party (sex). Look at the big 7 UP bottle in the lower left hand corner... what is it shaped like? What part of the boy's body does it originate from? Why are there obvious sperm cells masquerading as condensed water droplets on the bottle?

Look at the lower right corner of the uke girl's mouth. Her scarf forms some weird gargoyle bird-like creature about to bite her face (death wish).

Look at the hat band on the hat that Dad is wearing. Another lizard like shape (death wish).

Look at the big 7 UP Bottle. There are two white clouds, one below the cap and one above the red 7 UP logo. Put them together to form a picture. The upper one is the outline of a women's head/hair(in a bun) looking at the boy. The lower one is plunging neckline dress (sex).

This ad is too easy.
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 10/30/2009 12:10:54 PM
I'd remove the ad from your classroom Craig. That's if you want to keep your job.
Posted By: PHMike Date: 10/30/2009 1:30:06 PM
Hey Gerald - Do ya think they are gonna play "schwing" music?
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 10/30/2009 2:21:00 PM   (Updated: 10/30/2009 3:11:35 PM)
One thing I did learn is that in nationwide advertising noting is left to chance. Every square centimeter of a print ad is scrutinized as to what it is displaying and what it can be interpreted as (i.e., where people in the ad are staring, the color of clothing, where fingers are placed or are pointing, who is looking at who etc. etc. etc.
Posted By: bassfiddlesteve Date: 10/30/2009 3:22:59 PM
Hey Gerald, you missed the image to the left of the 7up logo on the big bottle.

- Steve
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 10/30/2009 3:52:28 PM   (Updated: 10/30/2009 5:51:56 PM)
Oh yeah... gal in a bathing suit - but that was on all the bottles - nothing subliminal there.

But here's a good one... notice how there are two couples - the uke gal and Johnny USA, and the boy and girl just below Dad, they are obviously heterosexual couples.

But what's going on with the boy and girl directly to the right of dad? They are not sitting together. They are separated by what? A COOLER. A cooler COOLS things down. Look at the bottles they are drinking from... No 7 UP logo on either. They are obviously outsiders, nothing heterosexual going on there. In fact the logos on their bottles don't even look remotely like a 7 UP bottle. These two kids are obviously different. They are so different... that the boy actually has six fingers on his left hand. Hmmmmm?
Posted By: Snowman Date: 10/30/2009 5:47:21 PM
But who's going to blow the harmonica?

Do you think the Cosmos is obscene?
Posted By: Diego Date: 10/30/2009 6:45:10 PM   (Updated: 10/30/2009 8:01:01 PM)
The uke is pine from western slopes of Rockies. The strings are all the same diameter (using my virtual micrometer). The straw is actually hemp, back when folks used it for padding or rope. And a closer inspection reveals the tuning is GGGG. The spot on the girl's upper lip is not a mole, actually it's a common house fly (Musca domestica).
Posted By: East Mountain Date: 10/30/2009 9:32:26 PM
I teach communications at a college and I worked in advertising as a graphic designer, so I know a thing or two about suggestive ads. But to quote Sigmund Frued, when a student asked him whether is cigar was a phallic symbol, he responded, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 10/30/2009 9:42:17 PM
But how can you explain the fact that there are seven people in the ad and four strings on a uke and if you divide 7 by 4 you get 1.75 which is the same width as a standard guitar nut?

Did you notice the six fingers on the odd guy out?
Posted By: bassfiddlesteve Date: 10/30/2009 11:02:00 PM
If you'll notice the girls left hand she's obviously trying to play an E chord.

- Steve
Posted By: PHMike Date: 10/31/2009 1:03:45 AM
She's using the wrong fingering to to play an 'E' chord on a GGGG tuned uke.

My take on the picture -
It shows two cases of 7 UP: 2X24=48
Minus the 6 bottles the kids are drinking = 42
(assuming dad has both hands on the reins)
That reveals the answer to life, the universe and everything = 42

OMG - the HHGTTG is based on an old 7 UP advert!!!
Posted By: NinaC Date: 10/31/2009 11:33:33 AM
Brilliant analysis, Gerald, but I also think there's a big part of this missing that we haven't touched on. I mean, THINK about the time when this was running. Take a look at the color of the label and of the clothing of at least four of the "hayride" attendees. It's clear to me that this was a nascent meeting of young communists. In fact the logo on the ukulele looks suspiciously like cyrillic. And the subliminal sexual messages of the comrades in the front about their "instruments" just supports everything we know about the free love commie youth that we were so warned about at the time. The reference to parents magazine and family values just reinforces the insidiousness of the subliminal message here.

Clearly, we can't let anything like this happen again.
Posted By: yodelinglee Date: 10/31/2009 12:32:50 PM
and clearly we need Loon to have at the bunch of ye!
Posted By: Diane1020 Date: 10/31/2009 1:03:00 PM
I notice that this extremely Caucasian picture does not contain even one person of color. Could this be a secret meeting of the Aryan Youth movement? Didn't Hitler play the harmonica? It was hinted that he did in the movie, "Rat Race".
Posted By: mLKauai Date: 10/31/2009 4:35:13 PM
Haha; joking aside, this ad represents the transformation of the culture from one of traditional values (hay, farm, cows etc, yes even the uke) to a new tradition of super foods (corn syrup, chemicals, outer-space nutrition) for superior health and longevity (cancer, heart disease-free) of the future generations.
Hence, it's the song, not the singer. The uke will be around a lot longer than the kiddies.
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 10/31/2009 5:12:13 PM   (Updated: 10/31/2009 5:13:13 PM)
Corn Syrup is not the same as High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS is Frankenstein food. Your body doesn't know how to deal with this artificial but calorie laden substance.

The boy with the six fingers was predicting the future.
Posted By: Diego Date: 10/31/2009 6:35:41 PM
My bari is tuned HFCS. Replace strings a lot. The neck has a most gracious curve and yes, the action is high.
Posted By: bassfiddlesteve Date: 10/31/2009 10:23:46 PM   (Updated: 11/1/2009 10:51:26 AM)
H is an actual note in Germany. We call it B. I've never understood why.

- Steve
Posted By: Diego Date: 11/1/2009 12:10:00 AM
I have a musician friend who plays with the rural symphony near here. He says it's definitely a STRAD. Yes, a STRAD, made by Ernie "Buddy Boy" Strad. Ernie lives on one side or the other of the Ohio/Kentucky border. Can't remember which.
Ernie can make most anything you want out of plaster of paris.
Posted By: BeachBumTom Date: 11/1/2009 1:29:44 AM
Well, 1952, huh......thus we know it ain't a KoAloha, Kanile'a or Kala! BBT
Posted By: mLKauai Date: 11/1/2009 6:31:22 PM
right BBT, and not the "love beneath the swaying palms" but more like "making hay" !
There's that H note.
Posted By: Neal Date: 11/1/2009 6:42:39 PM
Gerald, that was the most concise, educated, shrewd... you get the idea. I had no idea you were an ad man! I didn't see you smoke one cigarette, drink one martini, or have a thin dark tie with a 2 button suit when I saw you last.

The only thing I would have to say is that standard guitar nut width, it's 1-11/16" , you have to really look for 1.75 on a lot of guitars. Not that they aren't common, I just think the slimmer is more so.
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 11/1/2009 7:08:40 PM
I think all Taylor guitars are 1.75" but that's besides the point.

In my younger days I seriously considered a career in advertising. But the prospect of traveling around the world making hundreds of dollars playing the uke and steel guitar was just too tempting.
Posted By: Neal Date: 11/1/2009 8:02:23 PM
That's Taylor.... but most of those are 1-11/16" too.... serious.

I don't blame you for sacrificing a 6 figure income for this! We're very grateful you did.
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 11/1/2009 8:28:59 PM
A six finger income.

BTW - did you see the kid in the 7 UP ad with the six fingers? What's that all about?
Posted By: Diego Date: 11/1/2009 8:32:38 PM
It renders unto those possessing a propensity to gesture, an advantage.
Posted By: Neal Date: 11/1/2009 8:48:27 PM
Good night, that kid at the top sure looks like he does...

Diego is correct in his theory, I think.
Posted By: UncleLankyFrank Date: 11/2/2009 1:27:25 AM
Boy did this get out of hand! Hehehe... It is possible the Uke is a mock-up made for the ad, or one that has been "greeked" the change the name.

So does anybody really know?
Posted By: NinaC Date: 11/2/2009 7:45:54 AM
Gerald wrote:
BTW - did you see the kid in the 7 UP ad with the six fingers? What's that all about?

I think he did this after the 7up ad:

Posted By: ricdoug Date: 11/2/2009 2:40:32 PM   (Updated: 11/2/2009 2:41:01 PM)
Well, another artist "rendered" that picture:

Posted By: DougD Date: 11/2/2009 8:20:55 PM
Boy Ric - It probably took six fingers to do that! :)
Posted By: ricdoug Date: 11/3/2009 4:03:39 AM
LOL, Doug! It would take me weeks to even change one item in that picture! Ric
Posted By: Snowman Date: 11/3/2009 1:53:41 PM   (Updated: 11/3/2009 1:55:34 PM)
7 Up was jumping on the ukulele haywagon late:


Most of their fingers seem to be accounted for...
Posted By: singndance Date: 11/3/2009 5:04:19 PM   (Updated: 11/3/2009 5:07:21 PM)
Howlingly funny, ricdoug & DougD!
Posted By: mLKauai Date: 11/3/2009 11:35:26 PM
Smashing Snow,
the guy with the uke gets the gals... ?
not so sure, but he sure is into his music no?
The fact that it's cover for an Agatha Christie story is too interesting!
Posted By: bassfiddlesteve Date: 11/4/2009 1:15:35 AM
Say, has anybody re-read the original post? I was a little put off by the comment "I don�t have anything to sell or trade" which is very similar to recent troll activity on this board. And why on earth would anyone NEED to have a ukulele in a 57 year old soda ad identified? The OP has only chimed in once to say "Boy did this get out of hand! Hehehe...". Perhaps "UncleLankyFrank" was hoping to enjoy a heated debate in which uke connoisseurs wrangle over the identity of a vintage cartoon ukulele?

- Steve
Posted By: Snowman Date: 11/4/2009 1:23:13 PM
The best laid schemes o' Mice and Men, gang aft agley, Steve.

I don't know, mL; Casper Crewneck and Miltie Fancypants look to be going nowhere fast with their "dates". I suspect the girls are frantically waving to attract the attention of the driver of the car whose headlights are on them, and will ditch these dandies for a better offer at first opportunity...

Hmmm, September 1933; Prohibition has three months to live. Could Miltie's enthusiasm be related to a nip or two of bathtub gin? Reefer madness? He should be careful -- polydactylism is just around the corner.
Posted By: UncleLankyFrank Date: 11/18/2009 2:53:37 AM
bassfiddlesteve: After two posts making any attempt to answer my question, and a couple dozen that had nothing to do with it, i got bored. Thanks to the few who tried to be helpful.
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 11/18/2009 7:45:13 AM

It's a drawing.

An artist's rendition of a uke.

Its the same with the people in the ad. People who look like that only exist in a Norman Rockwellian fantasy about life in nostalgic, good-old-days America.
Posted By: Diego Date: 11/19/2009 9:37:38 PM
Mr. Ross (sir), i'd rather not hear your opinion of Santa and the Tooth Fairy.
Posted By: ricdoug Date: 11/20/2009 3:06:01 AM
I would! Gerald is as great a comedian as he is a musician! Ric
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 11/20/2009 7:23:33 AM
A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar.

The bartender looks at them and says "is this some kind of a joke?".
Posted By: ChefJeff Date: 11/20/2009 8:37:10 AM   (Updated: 11/20/2009 8:38:40 AM)
A man stopped at the grocery store on the way home and said, "I'd like one can of kiddley beans please."

Puzzled, the grocer asked, "You mean kidney beans, don't you?"

The man replied, "That's what I said, diddle I?"
Posted By: grouch Date: 11/20/2009 11:09:09 AM
Posted By: Diego Date: 11/20/2009 10:11:55 PM
Santa and the Tooth Fairy walk into a bar....
(it's all yours)

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