Amazing Photos From 1947 Of The Ad Agency That Coined The Phrase 'Coffee Break'

Federal Advertising Agency FoyerInside the Federal Advertising Agency.

Photo: Library of Congress

The Federal Advertising Agency was not, as its name suggests, a government regulatory body. It was actually a working advertising agency located at the old Manhattan Savings Building, at 385 Madison Avenue. While the building is now demolished, there are a few surviving pictures of what the shop looked like in 1947.We found them in the Library of Congress’ photo archives.

One of FAA’s alumni may have been Robert Pirosh, who went on to write for the Marx Brothers.

FAA also worked for the Pan American Coffee Bureau, and one of its campaigns coined the phrase “coffee break” with the tagline, “”Give yourself a Coffee-Break — and Get What Coffee Gives to You.”

For those who think Mad Men embellishes about how progressive design was in the 1960s, you’ll be shocked to see how modern things were only two years after World War II.

The photos unveil an aggressively modern, minimalist space. Unfortunately, the photos are in black and white so we can’t see if the colours were vibrant. But this office tour nonetheless puts a lot of today’s workplaces to shame.

Here's the reception desk when you first walk in. Notice the clock.

Another angle — the office is very open.

Here's the waiting area.

This is a standard account executive office.

And this is a less glamorous version, although the storage cabinets are cool.

This is the view outside an account exec's office with what appears to be a 1940s cubicle in front.

Here's the boardroom.

This is labelled as a conference room.

The built-in closets are a nice feature in the art director's office.

Can you guess what this is?

It's a radio!

You might remember this from Mad Men — a video room.

This is what the president's office looked like.

Corner office — some things never change.

This is an ad from Life magazine in 1953, in which George Burns and Gracie Allen promote having a coffee break for the Pan American Coffee Bureau.

The tagline was, 'Give Yourself a Coffee-Break--And Get What Coffee Gives to You.'

Not everything 'Mad Men' touches is great ...

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.