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The First Breck Girl
1936

Pastel portrait of Olga Nelson Atkins
Charles Sheldon drew this portrait of Olga Nelson Atkins--first of the memorable and long running "Breck Girls" ad campaign--in 1936. Through their advertisements for shampoo, Breck Girls came to represent the ideal American woman--desirable yet chaste--for more than half a century.

Notes
Web display only

Learn more!
· "Breck Girls" by Mimi Minnick, "Smithsonian" magazine, January 2000
· "You Are What You Buy" by Richard & Joyce Wolkomir, "Smithsonian" magazine, October 2000

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