Dr. Seuss: The Maddest of Mad Men?

By Andy Simmons

During the 1930s and ’40s, before Theodore Geisel was Dr. Seuss, he was Don Draper. A “mad man” from Madison Avenue, Geisel began his career concocting and drawing remarkable ads for America’s largest companies.

Lucky for us, the University of California, San Diego, has collected some of his pre-Seuss work. In ads for NBC, General Electric, and Ford, to name a few, one can see the progenitors of Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, Things One through a thousand, and many of his other famous creations.

The work is not only historical, it’s hysterical. For example: The picture here is an ad for Flit, a mosquito repellent. Check out those expressions!

(From the Dr. Seuss Collection, MSS 230, Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.)

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