Today’s mid-century American Brands post is for a rubber product called Lastex. Technically, the product itself no longer exists, but it’s parent company, US Rubber does. Lastex, was a fiber with stretch properties. A thin strand of Lastex is constructed with a rubber core surrounded by a natural fiber such as cotton or wool. The Lastex tagline puts it simply.
Lastex had properties which are similar to spandex in today’s world. In fact, it was rubber in garments that inspired the scientists at DuPont labs to invent spandex as an improved stretch fiber that washed and breathed better. However, in the early mid-century, rubber was the only choice for form fitting garments.
Lastex was a lifesaver for mid-century swimwear manufacturers thanks to its stretch and recover properties. This ad from the May 1953 issue of Charm magazine is an example of how they explained the fiber to future customers.
Here are two other ads for Lastex where swimwear was featured.
Lastex was for more than just swimwear. Here’s an early post-war ad from 1946. This fascinating ad gives the reader a heads-up that things are back to normal now that the war was over. Manufacturing had once again begun and the product would soon be available again.
It is interesting to note that during WW2, the US government restricted the sale of rubber to consumers because all rubber production was devoted to war efforts. The ad was quick to point out that Lastex would soon be available again.
This upscale ad from 1947 shows off the form-fitting properties of Lastex with this elegant gown.
Here it give details on where the product is used.
3 different logos were used in the above ads. This one with the outstretched female figure appeared in the 1946 and 1947 ads.
The Lastex logo was consistent throughout the advertising, but the US Rubber logo was only used on one of the ads.