Monday, April 30, 2018

Funny Vintage Ads (13)

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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Rough on Rats

This ad is from the early 20th century when there was a bubonic plague outbreak in San Francisco. This outbreak was strongly associated with Chinatown since the first victim was of Asian origin and this caused an Anti-Chinese backlash. This racist image perpetuated a long-held belief among some Americans that the Chinese ate live rats.

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Whizooka Winnie

"Only Dead Roaches are Good Roaches." Winnie's kitchen is crawling with roaches, but she's not worried. She has a big smile on her face as she blasts them with a toxic cloud of DDT. 

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Kaffee Hag - What a man doesn't know won't hurt him!

"Men are so stubborn! John longs for coffee . . . even though he knows the caffeine keeps him awake. And foolishly, he insists: decaffeinated coffee can't be good."
Kaffee Hag was founded in Germany by Ludwig Roselius, who codeveloped the first commercial decaffeination process. The American branch of the company was sold to Kellogg in 1928.


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The Faultless Quaker Dish Washer

The first patent for a dishwasher was granted in 1850 to Joel Houghton for a hand-powered wooden device. It didn't work very well and broke a lot of dishes. The first reliable hand-powered dishwasher was invented in 1887 by Josephine Cochrane with the help of George Butters and was unveiled at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois. Cochrane's innovation of the hand-operated mechanical dishwasher would eventually become the appliance company, KitchenAid.

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Don't buy Negro records

"If you don't want to serve Negroes in your place of business then do not have negro records on your juke box or listen to negro records on the radio. The screaming idiotic words and savage music of these records are undermining the morals of our white youth in America. Call the advertisers of the radio stations that play this type of music and complain to them! Don't let your children buy or listen to these negro records."
It is both sad and ironic that this notice was printed by the "Citizen's Council of Greater New Orleans," given that New Orleans was the birthplace of Jazz -- created of course by black musicians.


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Hertz - Behind every smile, a brain

 Rent from Hertz, where our women aren't just window dressing! "Hertz has added a novel twist to the pretty face: a mind capable of helping your travel. Which, much to your chagrin no doubt, is what you need."

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Zip Front Apron

"Get lots of laughs at your next party with this surefire "ice breaker." 

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Armortred Hypalon 40 Soles and Heels

If you beat your kids, you need Armortred Hypalon 40 Soles and Heels. They last three times longer than conventional soles.

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 Make a 'Stradivarius' Violin

 "Joe Reid who has made hundreds of fine violins makes the job so easy — so inexpensive — in his new book "You Can Make a 'Stradivarius' Violin." You don't need any tools. Reid shows you how to make all the tools you need from old table knives, worn out files, sheet metal, etc. "

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Phosferine tonic wine

"If you are nervy, depressed -- this vitalizing drink will give you a new joy of living. Phosferine Tonic Wine lifts you up when you are 'low,' puts you right with the world." 
Not feeling quite right? Drink wine! We've even added the word 'tonic' to make it sound healthy!


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The Savage Automatic

"These times make more idlers. More idlers mean more Burglars and Brutes. Burglars and Brutes break your house; shock your wife into permanent hysteria and mark your children with a horrible fear for life."
Either buy a gun or be a helpless victim of Burglars and Brutes. This 1907 ad shows that fear has always been a favorite marketing tactic for firearms manufacturers.

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Ivory Soap

"But gee, daddy...I c-couldn't find the b-blamed ole soap. How c'n I bathe fast when that old s-soap keeps a-sinkin' and a-hidin'?' Gee wh-whiz!"
Don't hit me, hit Mom for not buying Ivory Soap!


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Griffin Microsheen

All Griffin Microsheen ads from the 1950s had a common theme; BOOBS!

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Go Gay Hairspray

The Captain just realized he has landed his little row boat at the island of Lesbos.

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Just Ask a Jap - Victory Vitamin C
The people who designed this ad sure approached the awesome nutritional power of fresh grapefruit juice from an odd angle.

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Kickapoo Indian Sagwa

Kickapoo Joy Juice was a fictional moonshine created by Al Capp, but there were real Kickapoo ‘medicines’ that sold like wildfire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The idea for the Kickapoo company was first thought up by John E. Healy and Charles F. Bigelow (Texas Charlie) in Philadelphia and registered in the U.S. Patent Office in July 1882. They employed Indians, supposedly Kickapoo's, to tour the country demonstrating Indian life, and selling their patent medicines. Healy and Bigelow weren’t the first to stage Indian medicine shows, but they were the most successful.
 
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Amplion

Early phonographs and telephones used a horn to amplify sound. Amplion was invented by a British telephone manufacturer, Alfred Graham & Co. in the early 1920s.

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Madame Rowley's Toilet Mask

Helen M Rowley was a milliner and dress maker in Van Wert, Ohio in 1875, when she patented her invention; “A Mask for Medical Purposes.” The toilet mask promised to beautify, bleach and preserve the skin, and it worked by applying creams inside the mask and then sweating caused by wearing the rubber mask overnight.

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The Gem Ice Cream Freezer

The first hand-cranked ice cream freezer was patented in 1843. In 1890, The American Machine Company of Philadelphia developed the first double-action ice cream freezer -- as the crank was turned, the paddles went one direction while the bucket rotated in the opposite direction.

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Red Ryder

Red Ryder was a Western comic strip created by Stephen Slesinger and artist Fred Harman in 1938. The Red Ryder BB Gun was introduced in the spring of 1940, and is still the most popular BB gun in the world.

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Your Meat Team

The guy in the middle seems a little too happy for someone who spends his days killing and chopping up thousands of animals.


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Atom Bomber toy
"Practice bombing, improve your score, Be the ace of your own air corps." Oh yes, this is just the thing for the young Atomic Ace. Look at the joy on his face as he scores a direct hit on a civilian target. 

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 Ah Men -- Shop for Men

 Founded by Don Cook in the 1950s, Ah Men was a West Hollywood clothing boutique that used gorgeous Hollywood models to sell a gay fashion fantasy.

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 Anyway, you didn't burn the Schlitz

"Anyway, you didn't burn the Schlitz! There's hope for any young bride who knows her man well enough to serve him Schlitz Beer." In this sexist ad from 1952, Schlitz wanted women (and men) to believe that Schlitz beer is all it takes to make a man happy.

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Sanka Coffee -- Juan, the Sanka Mexican 

One of the most obvious stereotypical portrayals of Hispanics in the history of American advertising came from a string of Sanka Coffee print ads in the 1940s. These ads featured a fat, greasy-looking individual named "Juan, the Sanka Mexican" who wears a large sombrero and is quite lazy.

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 Alterative Juice
Alterative = a drug used empirically to alter favorably the course of an ailment. In other words, a patent medicine that supposedly works based on evidence gained through observation, not science.

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 Do it yourself beatnik kit
 Hey all you big daddies! Are you tired of swinging in squareville? Is reality a total drag and you just want to escape? Well order the Beatnik Kit and you'll soon be in Fat City.

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Boston Plymouth & Sandwich Mail Stage

The distance from Boston to Sandwich is 58 miles and takes just over an hour by bus or auto, but in 1810, it took at least 12 hours to get there via mail stage.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Funny Vintage Ads (12)

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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 Carbo-Magno

 "Carbo-Magno stimulates the scalp, nourishes the tissues, and vitalizes the hair bulbs. The head is rehaired by an antiseptic vapor from our patent Hat Sheath, worn in the hat."
Sounds simple enough, but if the hair in the picture is an example of the results from this "snake-oil" you might want to reconsider. 

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 Record Briefs
Wow! Only $3.97 for a record and 6 pairs of granny panties. Who could resist?

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 Buck Rogers 25th Century Caster
 This kit allowed kids to cast their own lead figures. It couldn't be sold these days, because exposure to lead poses serious health issues, especially for young children.

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 Hostess Sno-Balls -- America's No.1 Glamour Gal!
Hey Sugar!
Nice snow balls.

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 Slave Reward 1858
1858 - "$100 Reward. Ranaway from the subscriber's farm near Washington, on the 11th of October, negro woman SOPHIA GORDON, about 24 years of age, rather small in size, of copper color, is tolerably good looking, has a low and soft manner of speech." For historians, fugitive slave ads are an ironic source of details about the lives of slaves who might otherwise be lost to history.

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 Pratt's Healing Ointment
 If you're sleeping with your horse, you might develop some skin problems. The Pratt Food Company was founded in 1872 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and made patent medicines from poultry.

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 Figure Shaper
 "If these are your problem areas" then you are obsessing over your body image.

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 Mammalia Americana
"New trophy room conversation piece to illustrate the high points of your best adventure story." Dinner jacket, and pipe not included. Decorum definitely not included.

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 Sally's Gay With Midol

Wow, instant lesbian pills. What will they think of next?

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 Lord & Taylor's Bathing Suits

 Are they dressed for the beach or a ski trip? No one could possibly swim in those things.
In the 19th century, people who wanted to go swimming in public had to wear bathing costumes that covered nearly as much skin as their regular clothing.

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 Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce was first created by the Worcester chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins. They devised the recipe in the 1830's when Lord Sandys - a nobleman of the area - was eager to recreate an exciting taste he had acquired on his travels to Bengal. Imported in 1839 by New York businessman John Duncan, Lea & Perrins is the oldest commercially bottled condiment in the U.S.

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 For Father's day a necktie for the Fuehrer

The last time the United States issued war bonds was during World War II, when full employment collided with rationing, and war bonds were seen as a way to remove money from circulation, reduce inflation and finance the war.

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 Black Skin Remover - A Wonderful Face Bleach 
This ad is from the 1890s but skin-lightening; using chemical products to achieve a lighter skin tone, is a global phenomenon currently worth about $10 billion. The practice of whitening skin is common in places where slavery and racism have deep roots, but it also thrives in places where you wouldn't think skin color was an important issue. The World Health Organization says that more than 77 percent of women in Nigeria bleach their skin, while 40 percent of women in China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea say they have used skin lightening products.

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 Amy doesn't need to douche, but she knows I love apricots. 

Amy doesn't need to douche, because vaginas are self-cleaning wonders; they don’t require soaps, douches and sprays, and they don't need flavors or perfumes. This guy is a douche, so tell him to have sex with apricots if he likes them so much.

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 1789 Lorillard Tobacco Advertisement 
Pierre Abraham Lorillard (1742 – 1776) was a tobacconist of French descent who lived in New York City. In 1760, he founded the business which eventually became the Lorillard Tobacco Company; the oldest tobacco merchant in the world. Testifying under oath before Congress in 1994, Lorillard's CEO Andrew Tisch said that he didn't believe that nicotine is addictive, nor that cigarette smoking causes cancer.

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 Carhart & Brother Coffee - "De missus won't hab nuthin' else"
 "De missus won't hab nuthin' else"Until the late 1950s, minstrel show blackface dialect was a staple of advertising that included images of blacks.

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 Shatter-Proof Eyeglasses Tested
This ad would have readers believe that the glasses were hit with a hammer while being worn. It's obvious that's not even the "Subject's" hand holding the hammer.

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 Kinsman's Asthmatic Cigarettes
Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the inhalation of fumes from burning preparations of stramonium, lobelia, tobacco, and potash was very popular among asthmatics. Doctors had nothing else to recommend for the treatment of asthma until the development of inhaled bronchodilators in the 1940s.

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How to Pick Up Girls - book
 In 1970, Eric Weber self-published his book, "How to Pick Up Girls."  Ads claimed it was, “So effective it should be declared illegal!" and it eventually sold more than 3 million copies. In 1978, "How to Pick Up Girls" was made into a film starring Desi Arnaz Jr.

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 Gasper oral or nasal snow ingester 

This ad for a cocaine accessory from the 1970s claims, "the natives of S. America used hollow reeds to blow the power down each others throats." In fact, the natives never used powered cocaine as a drug. They chewed coca leaves.

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 Maxwell House - Golly, Mis Maria
You jus' can't help havin' a friendly feelin' when your coffee is being served by two butlers in blackface.

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 Jockey -- they keep their fit 

Junior just got his concealed carry license.
In 1955, Jockey Briefs ran an ad campaign featuring young boys shoving guns into their underwear.

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 Paul Hornung for Marlboro
Paul Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner and star halfback of the Green Bay Packers, enjoyed puffing on Marlboro cigarettes after a tough day on the field.

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 Dr Thomas’ Eclectric Oil

This was a patent medicine originally formulated by Dr. S.N. Thomas of Phelps, New York in the late 1840s. It contained spirits of turpentine, camphor, oil of tar, red thyme and specially processed fish oil. Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil claimed to cure ailments such as toothache in 5 minutes, backache in 2 hours, deafness in 2 days, and coughs in 20 minutes.

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 Movyland Studios - miniature monkey

In an interesting twist on the "Monkey by Mail" comic book ads of the 1950s, this ad was placed by a mail order photo finishing company in Iowa called Movyland Studios. In order to win a miniature monkey, you had to distribute 20 coupons for Movyland's services and those 20 people also had to place a minimum order for photo enlargements with the company. The Federal Trade Commission got involved in 1960, and discovered that the company had never awarded a prize. An official Cease and Desist Letter was eventually issued.

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Cannon Towels -- What, no bath salts?

What? No privacy? Who doesn't want to take showers with grinning soldiers leering at you? This erotic campaign of playful, half-naked men ran in Life magazine.

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 Make it Merry - Make it Mojud

"A word to every Santa from Portland to Atlanta! To make the lady's Christmas Merry, give her Mojud stockings. The stockings with Magic-Motion . . . extra "give" and spring-back in the knit."
Santa seems pretty happy about getting an eyeful.


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Absinthe Robette

This example of "Affiche Artistique" (poster art) is titled Absinthe Robette, and was published in 1896. The artist, Henri Privat-Livemont was born in Schaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium in 1861.

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The Casket Cigarettes - The Height of Perfection

 Truth in Advertising?

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Cole of California - How to put your best foot forward
 Those boys are a little young to be leering at a model in a bathing suit.
In 1925, Fred Cole, a former silent-film star, founded Cole of California. The company began as a swimwear division of his family’s West Coast Manchester Knitting Mills, which made men’s long knit underwear. Fred introduced high fashion into bathing suit de­signs and he built Cole of California into a $5 million annual business with 2,000 retail outlets in the US and abroad.