Much like the Modess ad campaigns that were out around the same time, the makers of these paper goods went all out hiring stylish models and top clothing designers to give their products some cachet.
The toilet paper ads were a little different, though, in that they actually showed the product in question. They often accomplished this by having the model “housewife” — standing in a room featuring a gauzy pastel backdrop — holding a roll of colored toilet paper with the kind of reverence and adoration typically reserved for sentient beings (or, at least, for expensive jewelry).
But despite their best intentions, we felt like there was something missing from each of these photos. If the fine folks at the Scott company wanted people to really buy into the idea that these women had something special going on with their TP, there needed to be a little context. A little relatability. A little personality. So that’s just what we added.
And now for a little ad awkwardness from the fifties: The toilet tissue of the gods
The centerpiece of Drusilla’s curved, velvet-clad powder room was a padded altar, upon which the pale emerald tissue would rest in between offerings to the porcelain god.
A little quality time
Deborah was actually happy when she sat down and realized the toilet paper roll was empty, for that meant she could go ahead and hold a fresh new roll for a few tender moments.
Like a fairytale
“Who needs a man,” thought Matilda, “when I already hold perfection in my hands?”
It’s just some black electrical tape, why?
Diana honors the roll of tissue that inspired — and helped create — her evening gown.
When it’s good to be blue
Twin sisters Jane and Janet loved to dress to match the delicately-colored rolls of tissue. They considered it a special privilege, after having grown up in a household where your outfit only matched your toilet paper if you were wearing newsprint.
Left: “Heavenly blue softness and luxury — in this lovely negligee of French silk chiffon. Designed by Count Sarmi to match the soft luxury of Soft-Weve…”
It’s more than just toilet paper. It’s an experience.
Before Betty replaces the roll, she always takes a moment to rub the double-ply tissue against her cheek. Then she separates the layers, and checks for hidden messages from the factory elves.
“Pretty up your bath with this softer kind of color tissue”
Even more handy than a lucky clover
Rushing into Betty’s bathroom one afternoon, Molly surprised her friend in the midst of her special tissue ritual. After some initial confusion, Molly decided to try it for herself.
And that is how the O’Sullivan household came to have their very own “loo roll ceremony” twice a week. (Well, three times a week when Uncle Seamus was visiting.)
“Just the thing for smart young homemakers. – New! Color Soft-Weve — for mix-or-match color schemes. Gentle as facial tissue. Two soft thicknesses.”
A shared roll means love
Penny and her husband found a way to keep the toilet roll in the area between the his-and-her bathrooms. When nature called, they would simply run the paper across the room to the commode in use. That way, they both would have the opportunity to appreciate its golden beauty throughout the day.
“Sheer luxury… sheer glamour… a golden Sari coat drifts over a silver-lined sheath with softly feminine trousers. Designed by Tina Leser to match luxurious Soft-Weve, the bathroom tissue that has everything.”
Finally, it was her turn
As a new bride, Lucy was, at long last, allowed to place the hallowed roll onto the magical offering spindle.
Toilet paper makes everything better
In a hurry to get to the facilities, Edith she started to run… and caught her heel on the curtains, which then wrapped around her dress.
On the verge of tears, she burst into the bathroom, wrenched the toilet paper roll from the wall, and brought it close to her face so she could breathe in the soothing two-ply goodness.
Anything is possible
Virginia was quite sure that, given enough time and encouragement, she could train the toilet roll to follow her to the commode, so it would always be there in her time of need.
“Luxurious Directoire negligee — its tiny bodice flowing into a court train strewn with roses. Specially designed by Ferreras to match…”
It’s soft yet firm
Miriam holds her toilet tissue close, and thinks back fondly to the long hours they spent together during “the taco incident.”
“It’s soft as a cloud… yet firm and practical: To make a toilet tissue as soft as cleansing tissue is one thing. To make it strong and practical as well is more difficult. But cleansing tissue softness with strength is what you’ll find in Soft-Weve.”
A study in pink
Peggy approached the pink toilet paper roll slowly, stopping several times to admire its rosy elegance before turning to slide the roll of toilet paper onto its gilded holder.
A vision in yellow
There was no newspaper on the bottom of the cage for Carol’s canary. Only the finest toilet tissue would do for Squeaky.
A dawn welcome
Every morning, Louise meditated for an hour, then greeted the sun with a fresh offering of plushy tushy paper.
“Elegant silk Empress Kimono in soft pink crepe de chine lined with brocade for double luxury. Designed by Count Sarmi…”
Sandra’s special “me time”
At first, she told the people who knocked on the door to “use the bathroom down the hall.” When they finally figured out there was no bathroom down the hall, Sandra began to simply ignore the pleas that came with ever-increasing urgency.
She could clean the carpets later — but this precious time with a fresh roll of tissue? The moment was hers, and hers alone.
Pearl pink couture toilet roll
Midge adored her pink peau de soie Scaasi designer gown, which, as she told everyone, had been custom-made to match her favorite TP color.
It’s not me — it’s you
“It’s not an obsession!” Myrtle huffed as she slipped into her best bustled dress before running to the bathroom. As she slammed the door behind her, a loud but quivering voice could be heard across the house, “At least the toilet paper appreciates me!”
Toilet paper even a goddess could love
Little-known fact: In addition to Athena being the goddess of wisdom, courage, justice and more, she is also the goddess of bathroom tissue. Here, she pays homage to the sacrificial roll before it is placed alongside the toilet urn.
“Shimmering Grecian negligee, a slim and silvery vision in softest lame chiffon. Specially designed by Yanni to match the special softness of Soft-Weve, the bathroom tissue that gives you everything!… A ‘see through’ wrap to show you the soft ‘negligee colors.'”
With her faithful roll at her side
Her morning constitutional complete, Marjorie looked forward to a day filled with fun and frolics with her beloved tissue roll close at hand.
“Precious ermine lavished on a royal robe of lush, pearly-pink satin. Designed by [Philip] Holitar specifically to match…”