What’s in a cocktail? Spirits, of course.
These charming images were printed on cocktail napkins made by Leacock and Co Inc, a company whose history on the island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean goes back to 1760.
The company established offices in New York in 1924 and sold embroidered table linens and accessories to department stores and specialty stores throughout the US.
During the Depression, lasting from 1929 to 1939, sales manager and President Robert S Benepe - quite remarkably - kept his staff in employment, although he did ask everyone to take a pay cut in 1938 when there was a recession within the Depression.
After WWII, the company added designer lines of table lines to its catalogue – including these Spirits images. There are eight in total – Good, Loving, Bad, Evil, Friendly, Gay, Low and High – depicting all the moods of cocktail drinkers.
We believe the images were created by Marjorie Benepe, a commercial illustrator and wife of Robert S Benepe.
By the 1970s, fine linens were going out of fashion because of the increasingly casual lifestyle of the American consumer. People preferred less formal dining and an added difficulty was finding professional cleaners who could properly launder these items.
Leacock and Co ceased trading in the 1980s.
Thanks to Craig Benepe for this information.
All printed in USA.