In the days of neighborhood stores, retail window display was vitally important to most merchants. And in the world of independently owned pharmacies and lunch counters the competition was intense. But Baltimorean Mr. Charles J. Neun of the old Morgan Millard pharmacy and tea room in Roland Park was decidedly the king of window display -- winning two cars in 1953 for his clever exhibitions. You can read about it here in the following newspaper clipping. In my painting I liked to include the waitresses who worked in his tea room.
Baltimore News-Post Friday, October 30, 1953
“Lighting struck twice for a local druggist as Charles J Neun was awarded a 1953 Chevrolet, first prize in a contest sponsored by the Cliquot Club Company of Millis, Mass. Neun was the top contestant among more than 2,000 entries in a twenty-state area. But the payoff is that only last month Mr. Neun was also the winner of another automobile offered by a nationally know soap company. Mr. Neun participated this summer in a display competition... sponsored by Cliquot Club.The top prize winner in a brief ceremony at his place of business Morgan & Millard, Inc., 4800 Roland Avenue, was presented with the keys to the new Chevrolet by... Baltimore Cliquot Bottler, Mr. Joseph E. Scheiner, 1613-15 Aliceanna St.”
The Cliquot Club marketing department was really on the ball. They set up competitions for window display among 2,000 of their buyers. They motivated the merchants to decorate their shops with as much advertising for their product as possible. Mr. Neun was on the job after reading the announcement below.
Mr. Neun had much of his display photographed and cataloged so he could submit his car-winning application.
And even the customers got into the act.
I sure wish this kind of artistic resourcefulness among stores still existed. There would always be something new to grab your attention in the neighborhood. You just can't beat this for eye-catching creative clutter.