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Coppertone Sun Tan Lotion

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Coppertone brand sun products date back to 1944, when pharmacist Benjamin Green invented a lotion to darken tans.

The company became famous in 1959 when it introduced "the Coppertone girl," a print and billboard advertisement showing a young blond girl in pigtails, staring in surprise as a dog sneaks up behind her and pulls down her blue swimsuit bottom.

Although this radio commercial encourages listeners to "Tan – don't burn!" it comes from an era before the connection between skin cancer and sun-tanning was well-established, and acquiring a fast tan was still seen as desirable. Learn more about the history of suntanning.

Image: Australian Women's Weekly, 4 Dec 1968 (courtesy of Trove).

Catalogue Reference 39902

Year 1960s

Credits

Advertiser: Sonata Laboratories Ltd, Auckland

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