Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Ads You’re Not Going to See Again Anytime Soon – Chapter 14

Ads You’re Not Going to See Again Anytime Soon – Chapter 14

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 08, 2009

From the Improvement Era, 1966.



  1. Scandal!

    Comment by Hunter — January 8, 2009 @ 9:21 am

  2. And I’m not just talking about Zion’s shameless use of the President of the Church to gain a little more filthy lucre. The scandal of which I speak is that certain carefully-positioned digit . . .

    (I know you expected more of your blog readers, Ardis. I apologize. OK, not really.)

    Comment by Hunter — January 8, 2009 @ 9:24 am

  3. wow.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — January 8, 2009 @ 9:40 am

  4. Wonder how much interest it had accrued by then?

    Comment by Guy Murray — January 8, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  5. Hunter, I almost included “what’s with that finger?” or something about Kramer, but thought I would wait to see who else dared to say it. :)

    I wonder what it would be like to live in such a stable world that I could have had such a long-term account set up by my father. I cannot get my head around it.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — January 8, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  6. #2: David O. McKay was president of the church in 1966. But still…

    I wonder, does this make Pres. Smith vulnerable to identity theft?

    Comment by Left Field — January 8, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  7. Go for it, Left Field.

    (JFSjr was Pres of the Q12)

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — January 8, 2009 @ 11:32 am

  8. Whoa. Very interesting find, Ardis. All of these ads for various companies with general authorities makes me think that this really deserves a fuller treatment in the form of an article. It would be fascinating to see (though I’m not quite sure how one would go about figuring this out) if Zion’s Bank received more customers as a result of JFS, Jr. posing for their ad. Even more fun would be to compare the ads and their results when different GAs plugged competing companies’ products.

    Comment by Christopher — January 8, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

  9. I love it! Great picture.

    I wonder who has the oldest account now? President Monson? 😉

    Comment by Brian Duffin — January 8, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

  10. Brian, I think they just pass it from Prophet to Prophet in perpetuity–same account, different name.

    Comment by Guy Murray — January 8, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

  11. I immediately thought of the right hand. It really is hilarious.

    I also can’t imagine an age when it was fine to publicize an actual account number. It really was a different world back then, within my own lifetime.

    Comment by Ray — January 8, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  12. Is that a ledger under his hand? I wonder what is being tallied in that catalog–his sins? members’ sins? excommunicants? points of doctrine? suspected counter-culturalists? communists?

    Perhaps a higher resolution photo would reveal this mystery.

    Comment by oudenos — January 8, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

  13. I agree with Christopher. The end of advertising in the church magazines roughly parallels the end of any of this kind of endorsement. I suspect that as a member of the Board of Directors, he was probably not paid to appear in the ad or get any endorsement fee.

    I think the last GA I recall appearing or endorsing any commercial enterprises, other than their own books, may have been Paul Dunn, who was involved on the board for Afco, the Utah County investment company that failed in the late 70’s or early 80’s.e.

    Comment by kevinf — January 8, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  14. The ledger appears to be the original list of accounts. It’s still pretty fuzzy when you blow it up, but the numbers down the left column look like they run from 600 to 615 where he is pointing. I guess they just entered the names of the account holders in numerical order of when the accounts were opened. That would have been 1876.

    According to the internet (the source of all knowledge), the bank was founded in 1873 as Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Company, and that seems to be the name on the on the booklet he holds in his left hand. I suspect that is the original account book issued in 1876. Even in my lifetime, they used to issue an account book that you had to bring to the bank to get updated with every transaction.

    Comment by Left Field — January 8, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

  15. I’m sure you’re right, Left Field (I can blow my original scan up a little better than the posted one). Good reasoning. But I like oudenos’s thinking, too — it sure would be a lot more fun to imagine that this is a ledger of who’s naughty and who’s nice.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 8, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

  16. Obviously he’s pointing to the naughty one.

    Comment by Left Field — January 8, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

  17. #16 – NICE! That cracked me up.

    Comment by Ray — January 8, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

  18. Thanks for a nice memory, Ardis. I recall so vividly seeing that ad and picture (evidently when I was eighteen years old, judging from the date). It made me want never to relinquish my own original savings account. When I was four years old, we had taken my pennies and quarters from the tin “world bank” (a globe-shaped piggy bank) and gone over to the Whitney Branch bank in Boise, Idaho. There, at the “big bank,” as I called it, Dad lifted me up to the counter and I gave the lady my $10 (which I presumed would go into its own, special drawer). She wrote up a deposit book for account no. 696 which I maintained until I was at least well into my thirties. I still have the little book, with its deposits of a dollar or two from time to time. Dad knew what he was doing in setting that example. After he died, I discovered his own youthful bank book among his papers, sometimes withdrawing ten cents at a time from his savings account, during the depression.

    Comment by Rick Grunder — January 8, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

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