Wednesday Afternoon Diversion: Remembering Empire Carpet

By Kevin Robinson in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 27, 2011 8:00PM

2011_4_27_hauldren.jpg Earlier today we heard the news that a Chicago icon, Lynn Hauldren, passed away. More than just the Empire Carpet man, Hauldren defined an era of locally-produced television commercials for a generation of school children that watched Thundercats and What's Happening reruns after school.

More than just a window into local nostalgia, Empire Carpet commercials can tell us a little bit about ourselves - what we value as homeowners, but also how we conduct business as well. In the earlier commercials, the emphasis is on how easy it is to make a home improvement like carpeting, and how affordable the product is. In more recent commercials, the focus is on the array of products available, the easy credit terms (not unlike older commercials, but through a different financial instrument) and the enhancements to the lifestyle of the home owner that choice, variety and easy installation make.

Here's a small selection of not only classic Empire Carpet commercials (from Empire Carpet's YouTube channel, no less!), but also some more recent onces as well.