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
.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Common Misconceptions About 3D Printed Plastic Guns

The Liberator - a 3D printed plastic gun


The media and gun control advocates have worked themselves up into a frenzy over 3D printed plastic guns and most of the arguments they make are deeply flawed.

1. This allows people to make their own guns
Making guns for personal use is already legal. A license is not required.


This is nothing new. Zip guns -- improvised 'homemade' firearms have a very long history with hobbyists as well as gangs and other criminals, and are constructed with readily available, very inexpensive materials.
 
2. This will make it easier and cheaper to acquire guns
Nope. It’s much cheaper to simply buy a gun. You can't reliably print guns that won't blow up in your hand with an $800 printer.  And 3D printing isn't easy or fast. You can't print an entire gun in one pass and even if you could it would take a very long time.

3D printed gun parts
Instead, each part has to be printed separately and then assembled. Then, since it's all plastic, it won't last very long -- especially if quickly and cheaply made. Do you really think criminals are going to go to that much trouble for something that may well blow up in their face the first time they use it, when they can buy a gun on the street for less than $500 right now?
 
3. This will allow criminals and others who shouldn't have guns to acquire them
10% to 15% of guns used in crimes are simply stolen. Over half are black market cash purchases, either from shady FFL dealers or from others on the street. Most criminals, when polled, indicate that getting guns is easy.


4. This will result in many more untraceable guns
There are already an estimated 350 million guns in America and about 300,000 3D printers. Any increase would be a drop in a very large bucket.

5. This will make the world more dangerous
Only for those folks who test fire their plastic guns manually. They have a habit of blowing up in the user's hands.

6. This will allow people to get plastic guns past metal detectors
“TSA officers are trained and on the lookout for 3-D guns. “We have proven detection capabilities and screening protocols in place.” -- TSA spokesman Michael Bilello


Also, you can’t get your keys past a metal detector and you won’t get bullets past a metal detector either.

7. This will usher in “the age of the downloadable gun.”
Too late. It's already here and you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. 


When the code for the first 3D printed gun, "The Liberator" was first posted on the internet it was downloaded over 100,000 times before it was ordered removed. Since then it's been available for download from numerous other web sites that post links to torrents.

Files for 3D Printed guns

No laws or government can stop illegal downloading of movies, music and software, and they won't stop the distribution of these files either, no matter what laws they pass.

A coalition of five U.S. groups, said the ban on publishing blueprints for 3D guns violates the First Amendment and put up their own web site with the downloads. Others has also appeared as the government now has to play "Wack a mole"

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Funny Vintage Ads (16)

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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Lane Cedar Hope Chest

After World War I ended in 1918, the Virginia-based Lane Company applied the same techniques of mass production it had used to build pine ammunition boxes during the war to its peacetime output of cedar hope chests. In 1996, following reports of at least six child suffocation deaths, Lane Furniture recalled all cedar chests with automatic latching lids manufactured between 1912 and 1987.

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Poor Aunt Jemima Had to Mix Everything Herself

The inspiration for Aunt Jemima was Billy Kersands' American-style minstrel/vaudeville song "Old Aunt Jemima", written in 1875. The Aunt Jemima/mammy character was prominent in minstrel shows in the late 19th century and was later adopted by commercial interests to represent the Aunt Jemima Pancake brand.

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Cook and wash on your refrigerator

Does it come with triplets in evening gowns as well?

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Lectroflater

One of Black & Decker’s first products was an electric air pump called the Lectroflater, introduced in 1917.
It was an electrically driven air compressor
with a universal motor (meaning it could use either alternating or direct current) that was developed especially for the purpose of inflating auto tires.

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Plaza Cube Cut Pipe Tobacco
This racist advertisement is number 5 out of a series of six cards that were mailed to customers for 25 cents. Collectable cards became a popular way to advertise tobacco products in the mid to late 19th Century.

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Eux-E-Sis

"Half the trouble of shaving and all the mussiness comes from soapy lather rubbed in the beard to be washed off the face." 
Eux-E-Sis was the first of the so-called "brushless" shaving creams. Putting cream on your face instead of mixing up a little soap may not sound like a great innovation in shaving technology, but it was for travelers and soldiers who would have to dry shave whenever they didn't have access to water. 

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Darling Pet Monkey

"Live Delivery Guaranteed!"
So he can bite you as soon as you open the box.


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You can judge a man by his boots

For instance: Kinky boots = Kinky guy

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French Tampax Ad

This French tampon ad copy translates as
"I am like a fish in water."

 
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Syphilis - All of these men have it

A little too much camaraderie in boot camp?  Check out that one guy on the left...he knows what he did and he's proud of himself!

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Win the weight of your baby in tripe!

"Are you feeding your little angel on tripe? It's the perfect food for growing babies!"
Tripe is a high protein, low-fat meat, that is is a highly nutritious and low in calories, made from the stomach lining of cattle and sheep. But today its use is mostly limited to dog food and a few ethnic dishes.


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"The Front Row Club" Hollywood

 "Mister, you my not believe this -- but a Burlesque dancer's life can be lonely."

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Civil War Veterans Pensions

The last surviving soldier from the Civil War died more than 55 years ago, but the U.S. government is still paying out a veteran's pension benefits. As of January 2013, the child of one Civil War veteran was still receiving benefits from her father's service, according to records from the Department of Veteran's Affairs.

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The importance of pessimism

Young & Rubicam was founded in May 1923 by John Orr Young and Raymond Rubicam in Philadelphia. The company moved to New York in 1926 as a condition of securing a contract with the newly formed Jell-O company. They became the most successful advertising agency in the United States in 1975 and today they are a member of WPP, the largest advertising group in the world.

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Lew Magram - Get into something new

It takes a real man to wear a 'bodysuit'
Especially one in gingham!
Lew Magram began by selling men's fashion accessories in a corner of a Time's Square barbershop in1948.


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Spencer Supports

"I bulged all over -- looked absolutely dumpy in the foundation and brassiere I wore before I got my Spencer Supports"
Maybe you should try standing up straight instead.


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Includes "How Often SEX UNION Should Be Indulged In" and "What to Allow a Lover to Do", as well as "DANGERS OF PETTING." This book covers a whole lot more than just sex. It  also describes how husband and wife should never share the same bed, since the man will ultimately be repulsed by the woman's odors and will lose the overpowering sexual urge's required for a stable and happy marriage.

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BOAC to Bermuda - two girls for every guy

"Whatever your fancy...A Man's in Demand in Bermuda!"
And apparently, each guy gets TWO girls.


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The Ideal Felt Tooth Polisher

While polishing certainly smooths out your teeth, it hasn’t been shown to make a huge difference in preventing gum disease or tooth decay. In fact, some studies indicate that polishing can temporarily weaken your tooth enamel, making your teeth slightly more vulnerable until the outer layer of enamel grows back. 

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Valium

Between 1969 and 1982, Valium was the most prescribed drug in the US. Sales peaked in 1978 with more than 2.3 billion pills sold that year. Because of its status as the most famous benzodiazepine – “Mother’s Little Helper,” as the Rolling Stones called it in their 1966 hit song – many people had heard of Valium and viewed it as a dangerous, overprescribed, habit-forming drug. However, diazepam and related drugs remain among the most widely prescribed psychoactive drugs in the US.

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Dick Tracy Rapid-Fire Tommy Gun

Dick Tracy was the first strip to introduce brute violence to the funnies page, so it’s no surprise to see this 1947 advertisement for a toy tommy gun. For just $3.79, a kid could own a 20-inch replica firearm “that looks and sounds like the real McCoy.”

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New Quadruplex TV Tape Recorder

 This was interactive television before "Netflix and Chill." Good thing this TV Tape Recorder was compact!

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 World’s Largest Lemons ~ Quick Way Bar Mix

In 1934, Fullerton residents A.W. Leo, Tom Yates and Ralph Harrison wanted to add a fruity ice cream topping to their existing inventory of toppings – which they sold under the trade name Pacific Citrus Products Company. The trio concocted a bright red syrup made up of five fruit juices they called “Leo’s Hawaiian Punch.”  The name was later shortened to Hawaiian Punch.

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Supporter Wilt is Dangerous

"Every Bike pouch is full size for maximum wear and comfort. No skimping of materials to cause binding"
Great, but what about the poor lads who don't NEED a full-size pouch? All that extra material will make them feel inadequate.


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I'SE SURE GOT A GOOD JOB NOW

Beyond the obvious racism, it's interesting that this is pitched toward households with servants rather than as an aid to overworked homemakers. It must have been really expensive. But if you already have a maid, why buy a dishwasher? 

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Thurston's Perfect Breather

Thurston's Perfect Breather was a nose clip marketed as a stop snoring device by The Great Thurston, a magician from Columbus, Ohio. There were two models, 18K gold filled silver for $3 and 18K gold for $5.

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Sanitized Tape Worms

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, advertisements touted “easy to swallow,” “sanitized tape worms” as a weight-loss method. The tapeworm interferes with digestion and absorption of nutrients, which means that one can consume more calories and still lose weight. However, the parasite also competes for vitamins and other important nutrients, while growing to nearly 30 feet long.

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Sun-kissed Grapefruit

 "Picked at the moment of most tender ripeness by musclebound ranchers..."

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Primley Bicycle

In the late 1800s, J. P. Primly Company was selling chewing gum, patent medicines, water color paintings, silverware, furniture, tea sets, and bicycles. Primley's Yellow Certificates were given with each purchase and could be redeemed for credits on other purchases.

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Nembutal

"When little patients balk at scary, disquieting examinations. When they need prompt sedation (and the oral route isn't feasible) try Nembutal sodium suppositories."
Sure, hold the kid down and shove a pellet up their butt. That'll calm 'em down!
Pentobarbital (trade name: Nembutal) is a barbiturate. It was widely used during the 1940s and 1950s as a sleeping pill or anti-anxiety drug.


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