The bumper sticker fad (1958)

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The bumper sticker fad

The current automobile sticker fad may or may not have been spread by truck drivers. They had a hand in it, certainly, for they have long been fond of enlivening travel with messages to other drivers, such as:

“Don’t hug me so close, I’m going steady”


“This truck stops for red lights and blondes — backs up 25 feet for redheads”

Texas, however, clearly is responsible for the “Made in ______” stickers which are blossoming out on passenger cars.

The Lone Star state got some automobile assembly plants. Normally, as everyone knows, Texans are reticent and retiring. But they could not conceal their pleasure at recognition of their manufacturing ability. A sticker was devised, bearing the proud device, “Made in Texas by Texans.”

This got a rise out of Californians, who have produced retaliatory stickers intended to take the Texans down a few notches. This one, for example, on a racy sports car: “Made in Pasadena by Little Old Ladies.

Now the “Made in _____” conceit is being adapted to cars of many kinds. A motorist who doesn’t think much of contemporary styling describes his car’s origin this way: “Made in a smog by the blind.” And a Volkswagen owner came up with this demure credit: “Made in the Black Forest by elves.”

You are goign to see more and more of this highway humor, it appears. The sticker industry is going great guns, putting out paste-on wisecracks for side windows as well as read. Also for any and all occasions… or for none, as in the case of one election-type sticker. Somebody got tired of all the solemn motorized electioneering, so now there is an all-purpose voting sticker good anty time of year. It reads: “Vote yes or no.”

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