Believe it or not, the pinup girl genre dates way back to the 1860’s!

They made their first appearance on advertising matches in the 1930’s and gained popularity during World War II when the image of a gorgeous girl temporarily took the soldiers’ mind off the war by acting as their only link to their world back home.
Their selection of pinup’s took the form of a lithographed pinup calendar, an advertising matchbook, or a print ad that featured a pinup that was torn out of an American or European magazine. Most GI’s in the service had their favorite taped inside their footlocker lid.

These fantasy women were first known as ‘Petty Girls’, named after the artist George Petty, which were popularized by Esquire Magazine’s ribald cartoons during the 1940’s and 50’s. The depictions of scantily clad and voluptuous women were featured in magazine calendars, centerfolds, cartoons, advertisements for cigarettes and cars and many were painted on WW II warplanes!

imgres ghghghjb 004

In the late 1950’s and early ’60’s the attitude and fashion of vintage pinup girls went mainstream quickly moving from the centerfold straight to the front cover. Millions of advertising matches were distributed by every category of business that ran the gamut from Gas Stations, Bars, Restaurants, Hotels/Motels, Florists, Jewelers, Retailers, Trucking Companies, Car Companies, etc. The advertisements were initially drawn with illustrations by renowned pin up artists Rolf Armstrong, and Gil Elvgren and Vargas. Later photos of real models and movies featured pin up girls in their provocative poses and fashions. Marilyn Monroe who was Earl Morans’ favorite model before and after she became a movie star, Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, Esther Williams, Jane Mansfield and last but not least; the “edgier” Miss Bettie Page

Pin up fashion and art has proven to be resilient. Over the past several years independent burlesque troupes have exhibited at mainstream venues in every major city, as well as a resurgence of Rockabilly fashion, Retro “Hot Rod” magazine style pin up fashion in which many young people mix with their interests in music, hair styles, tattoos, hot rod culture and retro motorcycle fashion

Pinup girls, pinup art along with pinup style and pinup fashion’s resurgence has been confirmed by being featured once again in movies and magazine ads, as well as being adopted by pop singers like Katy Perry, among other celebrities like the cult figure Dita Von Teese.

New books and related images are being published featuring the great artists of the past. Original paintings are highly sought after and commanding sale prices that reach into the ten of thousands of dollars at auction! This wonderful American art form hasn’t received this much attention, or enjoyed as much popularity since it’s heyday from the 30’s to the 50’s.

To order your own pin Up matches to promote your business be sure to get in touch with TheMatchGroup or call one of our experienced “match makers” at 800.605.7331.