Saying goodbye to ‘Mad Men’ the North Fork way

Harry McCann Greenport Don Draper
Harry McCann of Greenport, left, and Don Draper of ‘Mad Men.’

If the cast of Mad Men is shown at work in tonight’s much anticipated finale of the Madison Avenue-set series, they will be working at an advertising agency named, in part, for a former Greenport resident. 

Harrison King McCann was a founding partner of McCann-Erickson Worldwide, the real-life agency that purchased the fictitious one portrayed on the show in recent seasons. He was also a resident of North Road in Greenport and the namesake of the current McCann Lane in the hamlet.

Mr. McCann founded H.K. McCann Co. in 1912 and 18 years later the firm merged with the Erickson Company. Today, McCann-Erickson remains a global leader in advertising,  counting Chevrolet, Coca-Cola and Microsoft among its many high-profile clients.

Born in 1880, Mr. McCann began his career with New York Telephone before he was recruited to head advertising for Standard Oil. He launched his own company after Standard Oil was broken up by the federal government on monopoly grounds.

Mr. McCann was killed along with his wife, Dorothy, in a Dec. 20, 1962 motor vehicle accident on the Long Island Expressway in Old Westbury. He was returning from the city to Greenport when he crashed, according to the New York Times.

His Greenport home is still standing today and the rest of his property, which leads to Long Island Sound, has been subdivided into McCann Lane.

Mr. McCann’s name isn’t the only Southold Town reference on the show. Fans watching this week’s Mad Men marathon on AMC might have been reminded that way back in the fourth episode of season one, Pete Campbell’s job was spared when Don Draper wanted him fired because Bert Cooper would have to see Campbell’s relatives when he visited his vacation home on Fishers Island. (Coincidentally, The Suffolk Times published a column titled “The Roaring ’60s” written by a Pete Campbell during some of the same years the show takes place.)

In honor of the the end of the series, viewed by many critics as one of television’s all-time best, reporter Rachel Young and I chose 10 vintage Suffolk Times advertisements this week running the length of the series.

Some showcase businesses still operating today. Others reminded us of themes explored in the series. We hope they all serve as a reminder of this newspaper and the community it covered in the 1960s.

Giving a pitch for Kodak’s Carousel slide projector, in his signature scene from the series, Draper said, “Technology is a glittering lure. But there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product.”

This is our Carousel.

Arcade — January 1, 1960
Arcade Department Store — January 1, 1960
New York Telephone — March 11, 1960
New York Telephone — March 11, 1960
Mullen Motors — February 23, 1961
Mullen Motors — February 23, 1961
Claudio's — July 14, 1961
Claudio’s — July 14, 1961
LILCO — September 27, 1963
LILCO — September 27, 1963
Mitchell's Restaurant —December 27, 1963
Mitchell’s Restaurant —December 27, 1963
Cablevision — July 17, 1964
Cablevision — July 17, 1964
Burt's Coal, Inc. — January 1, 1965
Burt’s Coal, Inc. — January 1, 1965
Bush's Ladies Apparel — Dec. 3, 1965
Bush’s Ladies Apparel — Dec. 3, 1965
Greenport IGA — July 18, 1969
Greenport IGA — July 18, 1969