Monday, August 19, 2019

Funny Vintage Ads (29)

Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot stranger than you thought.
Raleigh Chopper
In April of 1969, the MK 1 edition of the Raleigh Chopper went on sale to the general public.  The Chopper copied the high-rise handlebars, long seat backs, and sissy bar of "chopped" motorcycles and included a 3-speed gear shift that was positioned right where a boy's tender bits were likely to land during a crash.

Bensen gyrocopter
"Easy to Build and Fly" -- Easy to crash too.
In 1953 Dr. Igor B. Bensen started Bensen Aircraft Corp., in Raleigh, North Carolina, with the goal of developing a mass-producible “People’s Flying Machine” capable of door-to-door transportation.


Superman -- Help Keep Your School All-American
In 1949, DC (National Comics) produced this image and text originally for a 12 x 18” brown paper school book cover that was distributed to schools by the Institute for American Democracy, an offshoot of the Anti-Defamation League. 

Great Sale of Slaves
It's hard to imagine there was ever a time when some humans were bought and sold like livestock, but for black Americans the end of slavery was just the beginning of their quest for equality. Another century would pass before the nation began to truly embrace that goal and we still haven't even come close to reaching it.
Kellogg's Rice Bubbles
Kellogg's Rice Krispies were marketed as Rice Bubbles in Australia and New Zealand. They were created by a patented process that Kellogg's called "oven-popping."
Sears Travelknit Fourpiece
Sears Travelknit Fourpiece.
When you can only afford one suit, make sure it's an ugly green doubleknit. 

Honeywell -- Strobonar 332
Gee, only 5 minutes between flash pictures. That'll work out great if you're photographing a wedding and reception.
Murray Regent -- What a gay assortment
Guy in Blackface: "I'm not gay! And I'm not racist either."
StepOuts by Roberto di Paoli
No, please DO NOT step out of those towel shorts!

New York Central -- To Every Mother in America
During WW2, every US corporation wanted Americans to know they were doing their part.
"Tonight, Mothers of America, remember these things, and listen for the whistle of the trains as they go thundering in the dark. Listen ... and you'll hear the voice of a nation's fury .. the battle-hymn of free men working together, fighting together, until Victory is ours."

Colgate - What's a moon without a man?
"What's a moon without a man?"
I don't that like a fish without a bicycle?
Colgate was the first toothpaste in a collapsible tube, introduced in 1896 in New York City.

Crosby's Vaporising Inhaler
 In 1876, George Crosby received a patent for Crosby's Vaporising Inhaler. The inhaler was touted as a remedy for Catarrh (excessive discharge or buildup of mucus in the nose or throat) and all diseases of the mucous membranes and air passages of the head, throat and lungs.

Atomic Radiation -- Kill the rumors Know the facts
"Radiation poisoning is way overblown and nuclear bombs are not dangerous at all!" - guy with three headed baby.
Kenn Duncan -- Nudes and More Nudes
Although Kenn Duncan is mostly remembered today for his photographs of male nudes, in the 1980s he was famous for his photographs of "Divas" like  Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Angela Lansbury, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Carrie Fisher, Lily Tomlin, Labelle, and Diane Keaton.
Leggs -- It's nice to have a girl around the house
Why is a man standing on this "Tiger Lady" in a victory pose? Oh, that's right, because as soon as she saw his Mr. Leggs pants she let him “walk all over her.”

Colt -- Safety on the highways
“Our women-folk are mighty independent now-a-days”
If that cop is there to help, why is his gun pointed at her head?

Crippen -- Professional New Punching Bag
 If you want to project an image of strength, maybe you shouldn't wear your robe like a dress when you work out.
Join Civil Defense
Most Baby Boomers can remember Civil Defense drills that were based on the dubious notion that that people should try to survive a nuclear apocalypse.
 Band-Aid was introduced in 1920, but it wasn't until the 1960s that a "flesh-colored" bandage was introduced for black people, and even then they were, "not available in stores."


From the makers of Reddi-Wip, Reddi-Bacon was pre-cooked bacon packaged with an absorbent paper pad between sheets of foil. Unfortunately, leaking bacon grease would wreck your toaster and cause a fire hazard.
Modess -- Why do minds misbehave?
DIAGNOSIS: "Accident panic" -- the fear that the sanitary napkin she wore did not afford complete safety and protection. 

Nunn-Bush -- A man needs a choice
"A man needs a choice"
And apparently, that choice includes three pairs of wild shoes and... a naked woman.
Farr's Patent Ladies' Menstrual Receptacle

Despite claims that it is “the grandest invention for the convenience and cleanliness of ladies,” this device certainly appears to be a very strange and uncomfortable contraption. A soft rubber cup gets inserted into the vagina, and fluid flows into a “receptacle” attached to a belt. “At night, before retiring, the fluid can and should be removed, simply by removing a cap, without removing the instrument.”
The first version of Appetrol was a fiber supplement that, "promotes a feeling of fullness." Apparently that didn't work well because later versions of Appetrol contained Dextroamphetamine, "a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and amphetamine."
The Saf-t-Bra was a hard plastic brassiere produced during World War II, to prevent injuries to the breasts of women war workers.
Rapid Mechanical Calculation
The first adding machine was invented by nineteen-year-old  Blaise Pascal in 1642. Dorr Eugene Felt was an American inventor and industrialist who was known for having invented the Comptometer, an early computing device, and the Comptograph, the first printing adding machine.
New 1943 Norge
Every well-equipped kitchen needs a machine gun emplacement.
During WW2, many heavy industries switched to wartime production, but they also wanted to let people know that they were still in business and would be shipping consumer products as soon as the war was over.
Candy cigarettes -- Just like Dad
Candy cigarettes taste like chalk, so it's not the taste that attracts children, but the chance to look like an "adult." A 1990 study found that sixth graders who used candy cigarettes were twice as likely to smoke cigarettes than those who did not use candy cigarettes, and yet candy cigarettes are still available for sale today -- even on Amazon.

Major Matt Mason
In the early 1960s, the Matt Mason character was developed by Mattel to compete against Hasbro’s G.I. Joe. Mason was a "bendy” -- a figure with a rubber-molded body covering a wire frame that could be bent to make the figure pose in different positions. A 3D film based on the toy series was announced in 2011, starring Tom Hanks and with an estimated budget of $100 million.
Hart Schaffner & Marx
 "Incidentally -- Shagland's price won't strain your allowance or dad's charge account a bit!"
You wouldn't want to strain dad's charge account by buying expensive suits, since he's also paying for your education.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Overcoming confirmation bias among conservative voters

Cartoon that illustrates how conservatives react to the facts about socialism

Since the 1950s conservatives have been successfully redefining Socialism from "state ownership of the means of production" to be anything that helps average people cope with the excesses of capitalism.

Millions of people are angry because the political and economic system is not working for them, which is how Trump got elected. But Trump's economic policies are no different than what the GOP has done before; cut taxes for corporations and the rich, more money for the military-industrial complex, while also cutting "entitlements" and privatizing government services for the benefit of private corporations. 

The amazing thing is that so many fail to understand what's really going on while being easily manipulated by bigotry and trigger words like "socialism."

Harry Truman Quote About Socialism

The question is, what to do about it? How to reach people who are so totally enveloped in the conservative/Fox News bubble? They automatically reject any factual information that conflicts with their preconceived notions. Even when their beliefs about a particular subject have been totally refuted, these people simply will not accept it, because when you challenge someone's beliefs about one issue, you are also challenging their entire worldview.  

This is what is known as “confirmation bias,” the tendency people have to embrace information that supports their beliefs and reject information that contradicts them. Of course, confirmation bias is not exclusive to any one political persuasion and in order to be fully informed, it's not enough to seek out alternative views. One must also have an open mind and be willing to consider those views as being valid.

We can't undo what conservatives have accomplished over the past 70 years of filling people's heads with lies and half-truths. So, don't bother trying to persuade others with "facts" that challenge their entire worldview. 

The way to overcome confirmation bias and change stubborn minds is to identify shared goals first and then try to build on that, while avoiding emotional triggers.

Sure, that's much easier said than done, but we already know what doesn't work and we are paying a heavy price right now for failing to modify our approach to persuading others.

Deplorables for Trump 2020
This is how easy it is for name-calling by
one side to be used as a badge of honor by the other.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Funny Vintage Ads (28)

Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot stranger than you thought.
"Investigators report that patients on Quaalude can be easily awakened and that resumption of sleep is prompt and spontaneous."
Sure, why unplug the phone when you can just take a narcotic?

Wanted -- Husbands for these girls
Wanted -- Husbands for these girls.
Must be able to tolerate excessive body odor.

Win this full-size Genini Spacecraft
This was not some cardboard fake. A 13-year-old kid in Portland, Oregon won the contest and later donated the Gemini prototype to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Avon calling for the men in your life
 "Avon calling for the men in your life" who want cologne bottles that remind them of their childhood toys.
Before Kotex sanitary napkins hit the market in 1921, most women relied on homemade cloth pads. Kotex made the lives of 1920s women who could afford to buy the pads better, but their ads framed menstruation as a handicap that required fixing rather than a natural process.

Karate Expert

"A home study course with lesson plans recorded on LP records."
Good luck trying to learn a physical skill requiring perfect timing, balance, and technical knowledge by listening to a record.


New Ken Doll
The "Ken" doll (Kenneth Sean "Ken" Carson) was introduced by Mattel in 1961 as a boyfriend for Barbie, although there have always been questions as to Ken's true sexual orientation and whether he might be using Barbie as his beard.
Concrete - for a comfortable, fire-safe place to live
"Concrete - for a comfortable, fire-safe place to live"...that looks like a prison.
The earliest recordings of concrete structures date back to 6500BC by the Nabataea traders in regions of Syria and Jordan. They created concrete floors, housing structures, and underground cisterns.


Ferris' Good Sense Corset Waists

The Ferris "Good Sense" Corset Waist was stiffened by channels of cording. In its day, it was a sort of “reform” or “good sense” garment, more flexible and less rigid than the usual boned corset. This ad tells mothers not to put corsets on their children, but it also shows a child wearing one.
Hotel Knickerbocker, San Diego
 The term Knickerbocker traces its origin to the Dutch settlers who came to New York in the 1600s. It refers to the style of pants the settlers wore...pants that rolled up just below the knee, which became known as "Knickerbockers", or "knickers"

Bayer AG was founded in Germany, by Friedrich Bayer and began manufacturing aspirin in 1853.
By 1899, Bayer's trademark Aspirin was registered worldwide, but it lost its trademark status in the United States, France and the United Kingdom after the confiscation of Bayer's US assets and trademarks during World War I. Aspirin is still Bayer's registered trademark in over 80 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Germany and Switzerland.

Witness the power of the atomic bomb
In the 1950s you could actually take a bus to the desert outside of Las Vegas to view an atomic explosion. Just make sure to wear a tie.
"Side effects reported have been mild, transient, and have often proved to be statistically insignificant..."
Well, except for the fact that continued use of Quaaludes creates a barbiturate-type dependence. It is highly addictive and frequent users build a tolerance to it, meaning they need to take higher doses to achieve the same effect.

Marvel Mystery Oil
Wait, is this going to blow up my engine like an atom bomb?
The only true mystery about Marvel Mystery Oil is why so many people are still buying it. Auto manufacturers recommend against using engine oil additives, because they are unnecessary and may void their warranties.


Old Flappy-Pants-Pappy Himself
I'd laugh at Boxer Guy's underwear too, but it looks like Briefs Guy might be more interested in something else.

Giant Atomic Bomb
In 1961, the Soviet Union detonated the largest atomic bomb ever built. The Tsar Bomba unleashed almost unbelievable energy –in the order of 57 megatons, or 57 million tons of TNT. That is more than 1,500 times greater than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined, and 10 times more powerful than all the munitions expended during World War Two. Sensors registered the bomb’s blast wave orbiting the Earth three times.
And don't forget to cut the cherries into little hearts!
BVD - The great American Fit for the Great American Male
Just because he's wearing a cowboy hat in his underwear doesn't mean he's gay!
Brain Salt
"A POSITIVE RELIEF AND CURE FOR Brain Troubles, Headaches, Sea Sickness, Nervous Debility, Sleeplessness, Excessive Study, Mania, Over Brainwork, etc. etc."
Francis Newbery and Sons, Limited began selling patent medicines in London in 1746.

Delta - To the guy who's got a girl in every city
The Women's Liberation Movement began in the early 1970s, while Delta Air Lines was still catering to male fantasies.
NEBS headache relief
"A remarkably fast medical ingredient -- APAP -- makes NEBS chemically ready to work instantly."
APAP is Paracetamol. It was first manufactured in 1877 and is also known as acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol.


John Morrell & Co. has been in business since 1827, but their liver loaf, “so vital for sound health, good appetite, and healthy nerves,” did not make it to the 21st century.
Phillips Petroleum "Pipe of Peace!"
The white man conducted genocide against the Indians in order to take their lands, so it's all the more ironic to invoke the image of an Indian brave when attempting to justify giant oil pipelines that crisscross the great plains -- pipelines that prevent animal migrations and often leak. 

Schlitz Soft Top Can
In 1933, the American Can Company produced the first workable beer can. The first cans were made out of steel with a tin lining, so that the beer wouldn't take on a metallic taste. The cans were heavy and could only be opened with a "church key."
George Evans Honey Boy Minstrels
George "Honey Boy" Evans (1870-1915) was a blackface comedian and song composer who authored the popular song "In the Good Old Summer Time" in 1902, and bought the Honey Boy Minstrels for $25,000 in 1910.
Why be irritated? Light an Old Gold 

From 1945 to 1946, Old Gold ran a humorous ad campaign featuring the slogan, Why be Irritated? Light an Old Gold! The ads depicted an irritating situation of everyday life as a metaphor for throat irritation.

Lucy and Desi for Philip Morris
"Smoke for pleasure today-- " die from smoking-related disease tomorrow.
Lucy died from an aortic aneurysm, probably caused by a lifetime of smoking, while Desi and Desi Jr both died from lung cancer.

Create Your Own 7 Foot Tall Walking - Flashing Monster Robot
"Have loads of fun putting it together from cheap scrap items available anywhere" like discarded cardboard boxes.

You Can Build a Low-Cost Shelter Quickly
 Good thing this is "OCD" (obsessive compulsive disorder) approved!
How to talk on the telephone
 It's hard now to imagine a time when people had to be taught how to use a telephone. "If someone calls you, let the person who called end the talk. Of course, if someone talks on, and on, and on, you may have to say "I'm sorry, but I have to stop now. Thank you for calling.""