A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 09, 2008
Mad Men (Madison Avenue admen)

The television show Mad Men premiered on July 19, 2007 and looks at the “ad men” of Madison Avenue in the 1960s (when the advertising professionals were mostly men). The term “mad men” (or “mad man” for a single “ad man” on Madison Avenue) is assumed to date to the 1960s.

The street name “Madison Avenue” was popularly associated with advertising since at least the 1940s; “Mad. Ave.” was a popular abbreviation for “Madison Avenue” since at least the 1950s. However, print citations for “mad men” or “mad man” from the 1960s or even 1970s remain elusive.


Wikipedia: Mad Men
Mad Men is an American television drama created by Matthew Weiner. The show is broadcast in the United States on the AMC network. It premiered on July 19, 2007 and ended its first season on October 18, 2007. Its second season began on July 27, 2008.

Set in New York City, Mad Men takes place (thus far) in the early 1960s at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on New York City’s Madison Avenue and centers on Don Draper, a high-level advertising executive, and the people in his life in and out of the office. It also depicts the changing social mores of 1960s America.

Mad Men has received considerable critical acclaim, winning two Golden Globes, as well as receiving 16 nominations for the 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards. 

(Oxford English Dictionary
ad, n.
Colloq. abbrev. of ADVERTISEMENT and ADVERTISING. Also attrib. and Comb., as ad-man, ADMASS.
1909 Collier’s 22 May 15/2 So in a sense, the ad-man is a public entertainer.
1933 Scrutiny I. 400 Like all successful ad-men he has come to believe quite uncritically in what he sells.
1942 M. MCCARTHY Company she Keeps (1943) v. 132 He was the Average Thinking Man..that..ad-writers try to frighten.
1957 Observer 10 Nov. 15/4 That side of modern life..which bears the finger-smears of the ad. man.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Madison Avenue, n.
[< Madison Avenue, the name of a street in New York City, which is the centre of the U.S. advertising business.]
Allusively: (American) advertising, the advertising business; American advertising agents collectively. Freq. attrib.
In quot. 1944 used as the pseudonym of the author of the article.
1944 New Republic 21 Feb. 227/1 Advertising in Wartime..‘Madison Avenue’.
1959 N. MAILER Advts. for Myself (1961) 404, I kept expecting him to go Madison Avenue, I was certain he would sell out sooner or later.
1970 Times 24 Aug. 15/5 Britain’s Madison Avenue widely predicted that after a decent interval, Ad Weekly would also attempt something spectacular.
1992 Time 6 Jan. 69/2 The campaign draws on an ancient Madison Avenue credo: make an irritating ad, and the product will walk off the shelf.

New York (NY) Times
Where T-Shirts, Denim and Tattoos Have Replaced Gray Suits of ‘Mad Men’
By LILY KOPPEL
Published: August 9, 2008
In today’s squeaky-clean corporate culture, where employees are logged onto Facebook, yoga mats are rolled under desks and lattes are far more common than highballs, the New York depicted in the critically acclaimed television show “Mad Men” is a different city.

Evoking nostalgia for a bygone era when men and women puffed on Lucky Strikes, and bottles of Scotch were within easy reach, the show has been the subject of much water-cooler chatter now that its second season has started.

Taking its title from the nickname once given to the admen — and they were almost exclusively men — who worked on Madison Avenue, “Mad Men” is set in an advertising firm in the early 1960s. It conjures a time of three-martini lunches when executives could call their secretaries “sweetheart” and pat them on their posteriors. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • (0) Comments • Saturday, August 09, 2008 • Permalink