Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Funny Vintage Ads (7)

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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Gay Boy

Cigar smokers are usually represented in advertising as highly masculine. The dapper fellow in this ad from the 1890s, represents the dandified upper class.

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Flare-O-Flame

"Fluorescent by Night for Added Safety"

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 Chubbies from Lane Bryant
 
 Shopping for Chubbies from Lane Bryant. That’ll do wonders for a young girls' self-esteem.
In 1897, a 16-year-old Jewish orphan from Lithuania named Lena Himmelstein arrived in New York City and found work in a sweatshop for $1 a week. After her first husband, David Bryant, died at a young age, Lena supported herself and her son by making and selling tea gowns. Later she specialized in creating fashions for plus-sized women.


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Mrs Winslow's Soothing Syrup

Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup was developed in 1845 and sold millions of bottles a year at 25 cents a pop. Its two primary ingredients were morphine and alcohol so it’s not surprising it relieved pain and was a "mother's friend." Unfortunately, it also caused a great many infant deaths from accidental overdoses. “Mrs. Winslow’s” was denounced by the American Medical Association in 1911 but continued to sell as late as 1930.

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Wolf Flirt Glasses

 "Be the Hit of the Party! Wear these glasses and flirt with all the Pretty Girls. Better than whistling at them! Regular glasses with tiny electric bulbs and battery attached. Put them on and when a Pretty Girl passes -- press battery and glasses light up! Lots of Fun! Harmless! Hurry! Supply is limited, Order today."

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America's Youth Needn't Suffer From Lack of Butter!

During World War II, rationing and shortages forced consumers to switch to margarine. After the war, the dairy industry was focused on getting folks to switch back to butter, because "butter can't be duplicated!"

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 Flying Saucers Are For Real

"Amaze yourself and your friends. These Saucers take-off and land using the scientific principle of differential expansion. Pocket size for you to demonstrate anywhere -- anytime." Differential expansion is a phenomenon peculiar to rotors and rotating discs which causes tilt based on the effect of weight or gravity upon the rotating object. It is a natural phenomenon observable in helicopter rotors, steam engines, and Frisbees.

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Aunty Brand Citrus

We are Aunty Brand Citrus, because Mammy Brand was too obvious!

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Automatic Cyclostyle

The "Automatic Cyclostyle" was one of the first office copiers. According to an 1884 product review, "To use the apparatus to make copies, the top frame is unhooked and removed, and an unused Cyclostyle stencil is placed on the metal surface. The top frame is then replaced. The matter to be copied is next written upon the [stencil] with the cyclostyle pen. The upper frame [including the stencil] is then raised, and a piece of paper is placed upon the metallic plate.The roller, having received an evenly distributed layer of Cyclostyle ink, is then passed [by hand] over the writing [on the stencil] to be copied." This forces ink through the stencil and onto the paper, making a copy.
Not quite as "automatic" as one would expect, given the advertising claim that it could do 400 copies an hour.


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Mummy, what happens to us if the bomb drops

 Good question, but unfortunately this ad doesn't have an answer. Instead, it tells mothers to be prepared with a First Aid kit and includes a list of recommended medical supplies.

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Flobar

After FUBAR, use Flobar and wash that radiation away!

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The Welcome Nugget

The Welcome Nugget was one of Australia’s most amazing gold discoveries. Found in 1858, and weighing 2,217 troy ounces (68.98 kg) it remains one of the largest gold nuggets ever found on Earth.

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Brighten the Day - Ritalin

"Ritalin brightens outlook and renews vigor -- overcomes drug sedative effects -- often improves behavior in the elderly." Yeah, she looks a little too happy about it.
Ritalin is a stimulant drug and was first approved for use in adults during the mid-1950s. Now it is commonly over-prescribed to so-called "hyperactive children" and often recommended
by school teachers and counselors.

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Gono - Man's Friend for gonorrhea and gleet
 "Gono - Man's Friend for gonorrhea and gleet - an unequalled (sic) remedy for unnatural discharges."
The first use of the name "the clap", in reference to the disease, was recorded in the sixteenth century. Unfortunately antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is on the rise, and infections may one day be untreatable.


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Barnum & Bailey Grand Water Circus

After 146 years, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed on May 21, 2017, due to declining tickets sales and high operating costs. The show had its roots in a spectacle that began two decades before the U.S. Civil War.

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 Burnett's Cocoaine for the Hair

Pharmacist Joseph Burnett was born in Southboro, Mass, in 1820. He became an importer of toilet articles and flavoring extract manufacturer in Boston. In 1857, he invented his most profitable product - the famous Burnett's Cocoaine for the hair. Burnett's Cocoaine actually contained coconut oil,  and not cocaine as its primary ingredient.

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Build Your Own Jet Engine

Strapping a jet engine to a bicycle... What could go wrong? But apparently selling plans to build one at home didn't sound like a bad idea to the J Houston Maupin company of Tipp City Ohio, in January 1952.

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Sal Hepatica

Sal Hepatica is the name of a mineral salt laxative that was produced and marketed by Bristol-Myers in 1887, becoming its first nationally recognized product in 1903. When dissolved in water, it was said to reproduce the taste and effect of the natural mineral waters of Bohemia.

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 Dr. West's Toothpaste

 "Old-fashioned, slow-cleansing tooth pastes are often to blame for dull-white teeth, so just stop using them! Laboratory tests prove that Dr. West's Tooth Paste cleans Double-quick!" In 1933, Dr West's ran radio ads promising a free live turtle to anyone who sent in two box tops.

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The Witch Spoon

 The "Witch Spoon" was created by Daniel Low, a jeweler in Salem, Massachusetts in 1891 and is credited with starting souvenir spoon collecting in the United States. 

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Borden's Evaporated Milk

Gail Borden developed evaporated milk in 1856 to fight food poisoning and other illnesses related to lack of refrigeration and preservation techniques. In the years following the Civil War (1861-1865), Borden's Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk was credited with significantly lowering the infant mortality rate in North America.


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Everyone Likes Laxettes

"Nicest for the kids - easiest for mother! That's Laxettes!
No fuss, no spoons, no spilling. You can't tell a Laxette
from ordinary chocolate!"


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Bromo-Seltzer

Bromo-Seltzer was billed as a cure for exhaustion, headache, insomnia, brain fatigue, loss of appetite and other common complaints. Sold in distinctive little blue bottles, it became a household word through extensive newspaper advertising. Early formulas used acetanilide as the analgesic, a known poisonous substance. 

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The Mug-wump Specific

The Mug-wump Specific was a patent medicine cure for venereal diseases. There is some "truth in advertising" in this illustration because the snake is apparently supplying some "snake oil" to the patient.

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The Metrecal Steak


Pink Metrecal in a bowl. Yum!

"Drink a can of Metrecal and you've had the nutrition of steak, potatoes, peas and carrots. But not the calories."
Metrecal was a diet drink based on baby formula that became a popular means of losing weight in the 1960s.


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The Chevalier

"FREE Extra Pouch"
"The Chevalier has a removable pouch made of a soft, comfortable fabric that absorbs perspiration. So that you can change it regularly we include an extra pouch."
Sounds great! Why wash the whole thing when you can just change out the pouch?


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Pink Pills for Pale People 

 Dr William’s ‘Pink Pills for Pale People’ were advertised in the 1800s as an iron rich tonic for the blood and nerves to treat anemia, clinical depression, poor appetite and lack of energy. The main ingredient in Pink Pills for Pale People was iron and among the many ridiculous claims made about this patent medicine, the manufacturer even claimed the pills could cure paralysis.
Ironically, only when someone bought the pills, opened the package and read the instructions, did it admit that the pills were not a cure-all.

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Listerine Cigarettes

Listerine was invented in the late nineteenth century by a pharmacist as a powerful surgical antiseptic. It was later sold in distilled form as a floor cleaner, as well as a cure for gonorrhea and "chronic halitosis." For a short time beginning in 1927, the Lambert Pharmaceutical Company marketed Listerine Cigarettes. The tobacco was infused with the same antiseptic oils used in the mouthwash for a "cooling and soothing effect."
 
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Cooline Summer Corset

Wear a "Cooline Summer Corset" because you needn't work up a sweat while crushing your ribs and internal organs.

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Butterick Cook Book

"You feel discouraged, hurt -- but it is probably all your own fault! Disposition depends largely on digestion -- you don't cook him well-balanced meals."
Ladies, if your husband is unhappy it's obviously your fault!
You're a lousy cook and you need this cookbook to keep your marriage intact.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Funny Vintage Ads (11)

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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Dog rides comfortably in sack on running board
"When you take your dog along for a ride, but prefer not having it inside the car, it can ride safely and comfortably in this sack, which is carried on the running board."
The inventor of this device neglected to provide a method of opening the driver-side front door without decapitating the dog.


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Alva's Brazilian Specific

Alva's Brazilian Specific Cactus Blood Cure was a blood purifier said to have been discovered by Brazilian Indians. It hit the market in the 1890s and was sold in cactus-shaped bottles.

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A real roller coaster in your own backyard

"Shoot-the-shoot thrills! Imagine how children will delight in taking "free rides" hour after hour!" That is until an injury results in a thrill ride to the Emergency Room in an ambulance.

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Where will you be when your diarrhea comes back

 “Where will you be when your diarrhea comes back?” If you're this guy, you won't be sharing a hot tub with two attractive women. And it looks like they are more interested in each other anyway.

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Rit - Don't buy New Corsets -- dye them a beautiful Pink

 So if your corsets are stained, you should dye them pink?

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Communism and Twisted Education

"In the eyes of Communism, a child is simply something to be warped into one shape; godless, ignorant of moral responsibility, devoid of intellectual honesty . . . a creature of the State."
Apparently this is what sold airline seats at the time. So much for sexy stewardesses!

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Prepare Now at Home for a Big Pay Career in Show Business

"Course recommended by Show Business stars & executives. Prepares you quickly for high-pay career in world's most exciting profession."
The Radio-TV Training School, later called "RTS Electronics," was one of many companies offering correspondence courses in radio and TV. They were located in Los Angeles, and advertised in many hobbyist-oriented electronics magazines in the 40's through the 60's.


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American Apparel - Now Open

American Apparel brags about its clothing being "ethically made" yet their advertising is raunchy, degrading, and often uncomfortable to look at.

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Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup

Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup was invented in 1845, and sold millions of bottles a year at 25 cents each. The two main ingredients were morphine and alcohol so it’s not surprising that it was so soothing. It caused many infant deaths from accidental overdoses and was finally banned in 1930.

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Gas, the magic of instant hot water!

This kid looks like he's hallucinating in a sweat lodge.

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Say Mama, I want another glass of Hires Root Beer

Forget it kid, you're drunk.

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Why are kids so crazy about Franco-American spaghetti?

This scary-looking kid looks like he's wired on Adderall, which may explain why he is eating hot dogs like they were bread sticks.

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The Peel P.50

The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar originally manufactured from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company In Great Britain. It is listed in the Guinness World Records as the smallest production car ever made. The Peel P50 doesn't have a reverse gear, but a handle at the rear allows the 130 lb car to be lifted and repositioned when necessary.

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Allcock's Porous Plasters


In 1854, Thomas Allcock invented a porous plaster for the relief of pain, and subsequently formed Allcock Manufacturing. The plasters were recommended for lumbago and various other disorders, such as diabetes, St Vitus’s Dance, epilepsy, dyspepsia, diarrhea, coughs and colds, asthma, pleurisy, whooping cough, consumption, ruptures, sciatica, paralysis, rheumatism, kidney problems, and quinsy (inflammation of the throat, especially an abscess in the region of the tonsils. You had to put a strip of plaster under your chin, stretching from ear to ear).

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Hill's Genuine Magnetic Anti-Headache Cap

With the introduction of electricity in the home throughout the latter half of the 19th century, many creative entrepreneurs designed devices touting the healing and medicinal powers of electricity and magnetism.

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Cracker Jack Jingle Beanie

 "Get the most popular beanie of all -- the Cracker Jack JINGLE BEANIE. It's a swell, all felt beanie with a tall spring antenna in the top. The attached bell on tip of the antenna rings whenever you move your head. Get lots of attention from everyone."
 Oh, you'll be the center of attention alright!

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Let's have a prune party!

"Let's have a prune party!"
"Win their hearts with prune tarts. Just yummy, Mummy!"

Are you shitting me? The girl on the right looks like she's already trying to pinch one off.
In what universe could “prune” and “party” ever go together?


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Cancer cured at home
 Dr & Mrs Chamlee were convicted of mail fraud in 1911, after their cure was analyzed and found to contain 99 per cent water and alcohol, with small quantities of iron and strychnine. Those who were duped by the Chamlees soon found out that their guarantee was worthless.

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Gigantic Footprint Area Rug

The Jovial giant's footshape rug staggers the imagination! A thick-toe-tickling meadow of plushpile. Heel and sole above anything mortal.

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Distaval - This child's life may depend on the safety of Distaval

"This child's life may depend on the safety of Distaval"
That has to be one of the most ironic advertising phrases in the history of advertising.
Distaval was a brand name for Thalidomide; a heavily promoted ‘wonder drug’ in the early 1950s that could treat a range of conditions including headaches, insomnia and depression. It soon became apparent that pregnant women who took the drug during the first trimester were having deformed babies. The drug was withdrawn from the market in 1961 after it was determined that the drug led to the deaths of approximately 2,000 children and serious birth defects in more than 10,000 children.


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Mickey Box Camera

 This 1936 ad for a Mickey Box Camera was published six years after the first appearance of Mickey Mouse in "Steamboat Willie." Apparently Walt Disney hadn't yet hired an army of lawyers to protect his most famous trademark.

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Virginia Slims - You've come a long way baby!

 Virginia Slims were introduced in 1968, by Philip Morris and marketed as a woman's cigarette using marketing strategies to link smoking to women's freedom, emancipation, and empowerment.

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Kotex - It just isn't fair!

Before Kotex sanitary napkins were developed, most women relied on homemade cloth pads. Kimberly-Clark, an American paper products company formed in the 1870s, produced bandages from a material called Cellucotton for World War I, and nurses quickly found another use for it. 

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Beer googles?
This ad for Nova Scotia's Oland's Export Ale appeared in The Atlantic Advocate in 1966. 

 
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Sanka - Has his old man been hitting the coffee again?

A bit edgy because you're drinking too much coffee? Beating your kid for no reason? Maybe it's the morning coffee -- or maybe it's the three martini lunch and the two highballs before dinner.
Developed in France and first marketed in the US in 1923, Sanka Instant Coffee was one of the pioneers of decaffeinated coffee.


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Kellogg’s Sanitone Wafers

"When ambition deserts you and vitality sags down near zero; when you’re fagged out in brain and body and your nerves lack vim – the Kellogg’s Sanitone Wafers “ginger” you up to concert pitch, put the “punch” in  your muscles, and make you tingle all over with health.”

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Light ash tray fits on cigarette holder

Can't afford the time it takes to shake an ash into an ashtray and put the cancer-stick back in your pie hole? This contraption is made for you.

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Syphilis - All of these men have it.

  ALL of them? Watch yourselves, ladies! American soldiers are STD-riddled whores! 

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Come Out of the Closet With Gay Bob

Come Out of the Closet With Gay Bob
“He sits. He stands He gets into any position… And since he is anatomically correct, he can even play with himself without going blind. Gay Bob is a big 13 inches tall (wow) and made of plastic (or plastique, if you’re very elegant)… He comes dressed in mucho macho plaid shirt, blue jeans that open with a smart snap to reveal his private parts, boots and (naturally) one earring. He lives in a closet and has his own storybook / fashion catalogue. Barbie and Ken move over, GAY BOB IS HERE.”


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Kix atomic bomb ring AKA Lone Ranger Atom Bomb Ring

The instructions say, "you'll see brilliant flashes of light in the inky darkness inside the atom chamber. These frenzied vivid flashes are caused by the released energy of atoms. PERFECTLY SAFE - We guarantee you can wear the KIX Atomic "Bomb" Ring with complete safety. The atomic materials inside the ring are harmless."When the red base (the "secret message compartment") was removed you could look through a small plastic lens at sparkles caused by polonium alpha particles striking a zinc sulfide screen.

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