Mad Men of the 1930's
Karl Witrofsky owned and operated an advertising business in early 1930’s Vienna. His company designed and produced wooden displays for store windows. From his daughter, I acquired a set of cards showing a range of his wares. The subject matter includes soft drinks and foodstuffs, cigarettes, appliances, household products, and men’s and women’s apparel, and accessories. The style is Moderne or Art Deco, with Vienna Secession overtones.
Witrofsky’s business apparently thrived, but as a Jewish proprietor in Vienna, his days were numbered. Fortunately, most of his family got out of Austria in time. Karl Witrofsky did not, and became a victim of the Holocaust. His story adds a historical dimension to the current production of Mad Men, one subplot of which is the integration of Jewish and other minority perspectives into the American advertising industry in the early 1960’s.