Monday, September 10, 2018

Funny Vintage Ads (18)

Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot weirder than you thought.

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asbestos snow 

In the early half of the 20th Century, asbestos was widely used as Christmas decor because of its white, fluffy appearance — but that was before it was recognized as a major risk factor for an aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
There is a scene in the 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz”  where asbestos snow falls on Dorothy and her friends, awakening them from a spell cast by the Wicked Witch of the West.

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Win this Full-Size Gemini Spacecraft!

In 1967, Revell gave away a full size model of a Gemini capsule. A 13 year old Boy Scout named Robbie Alan Hanshew from Portland, OR won the grand prize and donated it to OMSI, Oregon Museum of Science Industry where it still sits today.

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 A common method used by the tobacco industry to reassure a worried public about the dangers of smoking was to incorporate images of physicians in their ads. Certainly if a doctor, with all of his knowledge, chose to smoke a particular brand, then it must be safe.

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Interchemical Corporation - Slavery!

White Slavery - having to do wash the "old fashioned" way.
Black Slavery - actual slavery.


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Rectal Dilators - F.E. Young & Co.

"May be used by any intelligent person."

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Standard Distributing Company - Our Agents Ride in Carriages

In 1899, this manufacturer of household goods promised salesmen a vehicle and at least $90 per month in commissions for going door-to-door and showing their "handsome large plate book accurately illustrating the goods."

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Sugar can be the willpower you need to undereat.

Just have an ice cream before each meal – that’s sure to reduce your appetite! The sugar industry launched an aggressive advertising campaign in the 1970s to convince Americans that sugar actually helps you lose weight by suppressing the appetite.

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US War Bonds - How much do you really want him back?

"Just how much do you miss your soldier -- far across the ocean? Do you miss him so much that you'll pass up that jeweled bracelet you've set your heart on?"
Emotional blackmail has always been a good way to raise money.
 
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La-Mar Reducing Soap

  "No dieting or exercising. Be as slim as you wish. Acts like magic in reducing double chin, abdomen, ungainly ankle, unbecoming wrists, arms and shoulders, large busts, or any superfluous fat on body."
La-Mar reducing soap claimed it could spot-reduce flab from any part of the body without affecting other areas.


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Dr Pierce's Family Medicines

Dr. Ray Vaughn Pierce (1840-1941) was a quack whose laboratory in Buffalo, New York, produced millions of dollars worth of patent remedies. Dr. Pierce was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1878 and served one term. After his death in 1914 his son, Dr. Valentine Mott Pierce, continued the business and Pierce products were still available for sale as late as the 1970s.
 
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Every Voyage a Gay Cruise

Who wouldn't want to go on a gay cruise with their wife, and what the hell is that guy doing with those hand puppets?

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Mrs Margaret Anderson the noble woman who is hated by the whiskey trust

 Mrs Anderson knows how to cure drinking with a simple home remedy. She doesn't want any money from you, even though she spent quite a bit of money on this ad. She could have included instructions for the remedy in her ad, but instead she wants you to write to her and ask for it.
Yeah, that seems legit.


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Saturday Evening Post - Would you panic if a Negro moved next door?

 A blockbuster was a white real estate investor who used racial scare tactics to frighten whites in all-white neighborhoods into selling their properties well below their market value.

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Midol - No Apologies Accepted

 "Time of Month? NONSENSE! Stop by the drug store for some MIDOL and snap out of it!"

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Be Nice to Your Nose! -- Screenz

The 1970s saw a clash between more permissive attitudes towards illegal drug use and the "War on Drugs" begun by President Nixon in 1971. The days when companies could advertise drug paraphernalia in magazines were quickly coming to an end.

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Indiana State Board of Health - I am Death

How does one "neglect" their bowels? A warning from the Indiana Department of Health in 1912. 

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Gee Bill! How come your mom lets you eat two wieners?

"Skinless" hot dogs use a thin cellulose casing in the cooking process, and then the casing is removed before packaging. This process was invented in Chicago in 1925.
The term dog has been used as a synonym for sausage since the 1800s. It originated with suspicions that some German sausage makers were using dog meat, because consumption of dog meat was common in Germany.


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Washburn - Crosby Co - Gold Medal Flour

The Minneapolis Milling Company was incorporated in 1856. Cadwallader C. Washburn acquired the company shortly after its founding and in 1877, the mill entered a partnership with John Crosby to form the Washburn-Crosby Company. General Mills was created in June 1928 when Washburn-Crosby President James Ford Bell merged Washburn-Crosby and 28 other mills.

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Kansas State Board of Health - Baby will be unhappy and cross

1920s advice by the Kansas State Board of Health for bringing up your own little bundle of joy.... we wouldn't want Baby to be unhappy and cross!

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Moerlein's -- Good for Little Tots
Moerlein's Beer is "Good for Little Tots." It is honest, pure, healthful and invigorating, and it would be downright immoral for parents to withhold good beer from their children.

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Borden's Eagle Brand Condensed Milk

Borden's was founded by Gail Borden, Jr., in 1857 in Connecticut as "Gail Borden, Jr., and Company." Its primary product was condensed milk. The company was very successful and went on a buying spree in the 1930s. acquiring numerous dairies, ice cream manufacturers, cheese producers, and mincemeat processors. And in the 1950s Borden moved into the printing ink, fertilizer, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics business. Borden suffered significant losses for the period 1991-1993 and began selling off all of its properties to try and stay afloat. In 2005, the last vestiges of Borden, Inc., ceased to exist except as spin-offs and brand names licensed to others.

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Amolin - Society simply won't satand for Indelicate Women

"This Personal Deodorant has many uses."
Though it's not mentioned at all in this ad so as not to offend delicate sensibilities, cans of Amolin powder came wrapped with a paper band that said, "For Use on Sanitary Pads."


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Johnny Astro - A Unique Space Age Toy

Just before the United States put a man on the moon, the media hype around it created a vast market for toys like Johnny Astro.  Appearing to defy the laws of physics, this toy could fly a space vehicle in mid air. Of course it was just a balloon, but it said "Moon Probe" and it carried a tiny astronaut in a tiny space capsule.

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Mark Eden - The World's Greatest Bust Developer

"Was flat-chested. Then I gained 6 full firm inches on Mark Eden's Wonder Program. My bust went from 33 to 39."
The U.S. Postal Service shut Mark Eden down with a fraud order in 1966, but the Mark Eden corporation brought suit against the Postal Service, and won an injunction against the Postmaster. After a long legal battle, the
Postal Service prevailed and in 1982, the Mark Eden bust developer was withdrawn from the market.

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No, Nellie Didn't Slap Us!

"No, Nellie Didn't Slap Us!" She only told us off for having "rawhide jowls and chin."
OK, but why is Nellie going around feeling every guy's face?


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Now - Own a real Mystery-Man Mask

 "At last, you can have your very own Hollywood Mystery-Man type Mask...Make a movie, with yourself starring as the Mysterious Avenger"
Also good for committing armed robbery!


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"Are your panties up to date?"

Sporty enough to share, eh?
And since when is a day of the week a "date"?


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Phototake Camera

In 1888, Wrigley's Chewing Gum offered a Phototake Camera with the purchase of eight boxes or 100 five cent packages of gum and $5.50. The offer claimed that instead of "kinky films" the Phototake Camera uses regular glass plates which "makes the the developing and finishing of pictures easy."  

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More Doctors Smoke Camels than any other cigarette

RJ Reynolds in 1946, began a major ad campaign showing actors posing as doctors and lighting up with the famous tagline, "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette." These ads received very little criticism from the medical community because they thought the images showed doctors in a highly favorable light.

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Pruvian Wine of Coca

There is no such thing as "wine of coca" but there once was coca wine. Mixing alcohol and cocaine together produces a chemical called cocoaethylene. Its effects last three times longer in your body than cocaine does on its own.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

A Cray Cray Email


Yo Dawg - You're Crazy

As a freelance writer with quite a few web sites, I often receive emails from people asking questions about something I've written. The following email regarding my Kachina.us web site is insane, and what's even more astonishing is that this person is able to hold down a full-time job as an executive with a major corporation. They used their company email account to contact me, so this is probably not a joke or a troll.
For context, this is what a
Hopi Scorpion Kachina "Puchkofmoktaka"
looks like.

From: [REDACTED]
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:11 AM
To:
[REDACTED] - Protected from spam bots and scrapers
Subject: Re: Scorpion Kachina


Ken,

I found you via Google searches about Kachinas.

Have you ever heard or seen a completely black scorpion Kachina?

I was journeying and in the stars came across a group of black scorpion Kachinas – not the dolls, but the beings themselves. They stood on two legs though not human legs.

The largest one telepathed to me… “I have a gift for you, but it could kill you. Do you want the gift?”

I said, “Yes.”

The Kachina raised his stinger up over his head and stung me.

I did die (at least at a consciousness level) and for awhile didn’t exist as I was in the void. The next thing I remember, I woke up as a baby spider egg in the belly of Grandmother Spider…along 100’s of others.

She birthed us, and we all scattered around the universe eating space and creating worm holes.

I went down a particular worm hole and ended up in the home of Buddha.

Buddha put a Buddha heart in my chest and it’s still there.

--

I do not have a drop of Native American blood in me, but have had other encounters with different Kachinas that have been just as profound.

Anyway, I have not been able to find a completely black scorpion Kachina with a large stinger that looks like what I saw and wondered if you had come across that in your travels. I see the throwing sticks, but these beings were not that. I know they were Kachinas, but they did not seem human-like as most Kachinas have been represented in art I’ve seen. Maybe they’ve never taken human form.

Anyway, I’m just trying to understand who these Kachinas are and why they and others are coming to me.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Sincerely,

[REDACTED]


email I received from a crazy person

Anyone who could write something this crazy is not someone who should be antagonized, so this was my answer:

Hello [REDACTED],

There are scorpion kachinas, but (as far as I know) no all-black scorpions or others.

Regards,
Ken Padgett

Monday, August 13, 2018

Funny Vintage Ads (17)

Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot weirder than you thought.
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 Western Electric is crossing a telephone with a TV set

Researchers were touting picture phones as early as 1930. The Picturephone was a major attraction at the AT&T Bell System pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.  AT&T introduced commercial Picturephone service in central Pittsburgh with much fanfare on July 1, 1970, but it was met with indifference. Demand peaked at 453 subscribers in early 1973 and the service was cancelled. The dream of a practical and relatively inexpensive system for video calling was finally realized in 2011, with the release of the iPhone 4 and Facetime.

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GE hair dryer

"Now, with the world's first walk 'n' talk hairdryer, home hairdrying is so easy, so fast, so convenient that you can treat yourself to a new hairstyle as often as the fancy takes you."
How does a device that dries wet hair also style hair?
The first hairdryer was invented by French stylist Alexander Godefroy 
in 1890 and consisted of a bonnet that attached to the chimney pipe of a gas stove.

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Fisher Price Happy Hour Playset

In 2016, an Instagram user shared a Photoshopped image of a “Fisher Price Happy Hour Playset.” Although most people realized the image was a joke, it set off a firestorm among those who didn't get it, with a lot of angry parents complaining to Fisher Price.

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h.i.s. -- For whom the bells toll.

The stiffs at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum are more lifelike than these guys.

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 Doan's Kidney Pills
In the 1911 edition of Nostrums and Quackery, published by the American Medical Society, it was noted that the active ingredients of  Doan’s Kidney Pills appeared to be potassium nitrate (saltpeter), pitch and oil of juniper.

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Develop your bust in 15 days

 In a strange twist of fate, women's breasts may be getting bigger now due to environmental factors such as industrial contaminants. Boobs' fatty tissue absorbs pollutants "like a pair of soft sponges."

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GE Toaster -- Spring gives you wonderful chances to make someone happier!

Show Mom just how much you love her by giving her a GE "Automatic" Toaster for Mother's Day. 

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Boeing - Here's what we mean by roomy

 Americans weren't so fat in the 1940s but now that they are, they are expected to squeeze into seats that are about half as big as these.

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The New Eugenics - Stop Worrying - Now I can tell you the true facts about sex

This book has less to do with teaching folks how to enjoy a wholesome sex life, than warning people not to have sex with unsuitable mates so they don't dilute the human species by allowing reproduction of “inferior” genetic strains.

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Bufferin

"Bufferin acts twice as fast as aspirin!  Bufferin, being antacid, opens trap door of the stomach, gets into bloodstream twice as fast as aspirin."
In 1979, the Federal Trade Commission forced Bufferin to stop claiming their product relieved pain faster.


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Nigger Boy Steel Wool Pads

Nigger Boy Steel Wool Soap Pads was one of many brands that used the word 'Nigger' to sell and promote products from the 1890s to the 1960s.

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Burdock Pills

Burdock has been a favorite medicinal herb for centuries and is used for many ailments. Dried and powdered burdock root was a folk remedy for upset stomachs and constipation in late medieval England and burdock is still being sold today as acne medicine!

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Dr. Clark Johnson's Indian Blood Syrup

Dr. Clark Johnson claimed his snake oil would cure just about everything, including constipation and diarrhea;
"Should this move the bowels too freely, reduce the dose. If not enough increase it."


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Maud Humphrey Bogart's 1900 drawing of her son

Maud Humphrey made drawings of her chubby-cheeked, infant, who became famous when he appeared in a national advertising campaign for Mellin’s baby food in 1900. Humphrey Bogart later said of his early fame, “There was a period in American history when you couldn’t pick up a goddamed magazine without seeing my kisser in it.”

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Is your washroom breeding Bolsheviks?

"Employees lose respect for a company that fails to provide decent facilities for their comfort."
Did the folks at Scott Paper really think that the use of cheap paper towels would transform workers into communists? Probably not, but they saw the potential of using the fear of communism when advertising to other large corporate customers.

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Have some fun. Beat your wife tonight

Until the 1970s, domestic violence was common and often referenced with humor in advertising.

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Chastity Belt

"Metal Construction?"
Sounds real comfy


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Jeans that turn a dude into a stud

That's Nick Nolte in the middle. These jeans may have turned him from a dude into a stud, but then his subsequent drug used turned him from a stud into a dud. 

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The Dutch Boy's Lead Party

The Dutch Boy must be hallucinating from ingesting too much lead.

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Belly-Flattener

"Boy! This sure takes me in"
Now if I could only breathe...


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United Air Lines -- For Men Only "The Chicago Executive"

From 1953 through 1970, United offered men-only ‘Executive flights’ between New York and Chicago and between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Imagine 60 men lighting up their cigars and pipes in an airplane cabin and the idea of excluding women and children starts to sound reasonable.

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Solventol -- Give Me a Good Swift Kick

Hey, she asked for it! Domestic violence is always the best response to bad housekeeping.

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Reach for a Lucky instead

The “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet” campaign began in 1928 and was very successful until threats of litigation from the candy industry successfully forced the American Tobacco Company to remove the word "Sweet" from all advertisements in the early 1930s.

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Bromo-Seltzer
Isaac E. Emerson earned a chemistry degree, then moved to Baltimore and opened up a pharmacy. Emerson noticed that his customers were always complaining of headaches, so in 1888 he developed a formula containing a class of tranquilizers called bromides that were very effective in curing headaches and relieving hangover symptoms. Unfortunately it was also toxic in large doses and the FDA banned the product in the 1980s. But the company lasted almost 100 years and amassed many millions before that happened.

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Jester Wools for Gayer Garments

 "I've robbed the Rainbow to make you Gay -- Jester Wools for Gayer Garments"
This guy didn't need to rob anything to make something gay.


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What to do in case of an air raid

 "As soon as the bombs start dropping, run like hell (it doesn't matter where, as long as you run like hell)."
During WW2, air raids were a real possibility for several big cities along the West coast, but Ratliff's Dancing Academy in San Diego showed they weren't particularly concerned about it when they published these tongue-in-cheek instructions for "What to Do in Case of an Air Raid."


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Ideal Power Washer

“Just attach it to the tap—turn on the water—and it washes the clothes” And then spills water all over the floor!

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Borden's Hemo

"Elmer's acting like a gay young blade since he's been drinking Hemo!"  Maybe they should have named it Homo?

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Maxi Massager

"10 inches of thrill and vibration...New deluxe massager reaches places you NEVER reached before...Relaxes you to the point of PURRING!"
Possessing a vibrator is actually still illegal in Alabama, with one exception: you're allowed to own one if you have a doctor's note.

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Harley-Davidson

"Lowest-priced motorcycle ever offered by Harley-Davidson. A swift, sturdy, Single, fully equipped--complete electrical system, 3-speed transmission, front and rear brakes, all conveniences." So they include an engine, transmission, electrical system and brakes -- all the conveniences. How thoughtful!
In 1903, William S. Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson founded the Harley-Davidson company out of a 10 X 15' shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
.