Monday, August 28, 2017

Funny Vintage Ads (1)

 Times have changed, and nothing makes that clearer than these old-school ads! 
Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at a specific point in history. But when you judge human history based on historical advertisements, the past seems a lot weirder than you thought.


Nothing says you need a smoke like a crying baby wearing a leprechaun foil hat! Marlboro cigarettes were originally marketed as a "woman's cigarette." Ads like this may be why it didn't catch on.

Marlboro Ad 

Dr. Miles Restorative Nervine was marketed as a treatment for “nervous” or stress disorders and anxiety related ailments because of its strong sedative effects. It was also advertised as solving common problems like heart trouble, side effects from smoking, signs of aging and the frustrations of annoying children.
Nervine contained the most commonly used bromides - sodium bromide (NaBr), potassium bromide (KBr), and ammonium bromide (NH4Br). The use of bromides to treat "nerves" was so prevalent that 'bromide' entered the lexicon of common speech. Instead of "calm down", people were instructed to "take a bromide".
The level of bromide needed to sedate was pretty close to bromine's toxicity level and many people were using products like Nervine too often. Bromine toxicity ("bromism") cases eventually became a serious problem and there were even reports of bromide-induced coma, dubbed 'The Bromide Sleep'.
 Dr Miles Nervine

In 1928 George Washington Hill, head of the American Tobacco Company, hired public relations specialist Edward Bernays to help him expand the market for cigarettes. Tobacco use among men had soared after the First World War, but it was still considered taboo for women. Hill wanted to change that. “If I can crack that market,” he told Bernays, “it will be like opening a new gold mine right in our front yard.”
Sales of Lucky Strikes increased by more than 300% during the first year of this advertising campaign, but it was eventually derailed by threats of litigation from the candy industry.
Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet 

"Yes, now it may be possible to have that hairy chest and he-man appearance that you have always wanted and admired" through psychokinesis!
"I think (I'm hairy), therefore I am (hairy)."
Hairy Chest 

Come on fellas, give your wife a break!
Buy your wife a gas heater 

"Feed" your boobs!
“It is a delightful cream preparation, put up by an eminent French chemist and forms just the right food required for the starved skin and wasted tissues. The ingredients are mainly pure vegetable oils, perfectly harmless, combined in a way to form the finest nourishment for the bust glands. It is delicately performed and is applied as a massage.”
 Bust cream or food

Blacks began appearing in ads during the 1870s when color lithography was first used to print trade cards.Turning blacks white with soap or paint was a common advertising theme circa 1890 -- 1930s.
This is a Victorian trade card for Lautz Bros. & Co's Acme Soap, South Boston, Mass. The Lautz Bros & Co. Soap brands were advertised as a pure soap and made with the choicest material that money could buy. Their advertisements encouraged you to give them a try, and if you did, you would agree with them. This particular card challenges the viewer to, "Beat that, if you can."
Stearine Soap

Anyone that took this certainly got their money’s worth. It would probably stop your cough, or at least make you forget you had one. It’s nice that they assured folks that the alcohol content was less than 1%. Wouldn't want to get tipsy.
One night cough syrup 

Looks painful, but maybe it cuts off circulation like a certain device that is supposed to prolong the fun...
Man Mate brief 

Since at least the Middle Ages, lactating women were told to drink alcoholic beverages, especially beer, to increase their milk supply and strengthen a breast-feeding infant. Beer companies marketed low alcoholic beers or “tonics” during the early 1900s as a means for women to stimulate their appetite, increase their strength, and enhance their milk yield.
Beer is Nourishing 

Dr. George A. Scott, was a prolific advertiser of "electric hair brushes" and other quack products in late nineteenth century America. Scott marketed electric plasters, insoles, rheumatic rings, shoulder braces, throat protectors, nerve and lung invigorators, body belts, wrist bands, sciatic appliances, anklets, leg appliances, and several other products. His hair brushes and other devices all contained magnetized iron.
Magnetic therapeutic products have made a resurgence since the 1990s in shoes, wrist bands and other wearable items. The scientific evidence to support any therapeutic claims for magnets is no more reliable today than it was in 1880.
Dr Scotts Electric Hair Brush

"Dummies don't perspire.."
And they don't reject you either
Mum - Dummies don't perspire 

Birth control was illegal in the U.S. until 1965 (for married couples) and 1972 (for single people). Douching was widely advertised for feminine hygiene, but it was also the most common form of birth control until oral contraceptives were developed.
Lysol was incredibly corrosive and hundreds of women died from using it. It was also completely ineffective as a contraceptive.
Lysol - Shipwrecked 

"Get at the breech of a Big Dick!"
Milton Bradley - Big Dick

This is a 1930s era wax paper potato chip bag from Dunn, North Carolina. Big Tits was the nickname of Titus Tart, one of the owners in the Tart-Chestnut Co. The image is that of Mr. Tart.
Big Tits Potato Chips 

So it must be safe...
Actually it contained pyrethrum, which is a relatively safe insecticide when used as a spot treatment. It's certainly not safe enough to be spraying in the air over your baby's head and food.

Join the Navy they said.
You won't turn gay they said...
Ivory Soap - Navy

During WW2, amphetamine was used extensively by both the Allied and Axis forces for its stimulant and performance-enhancing effects. It was widely distributed across German military ranks and divisions, from elite forces to tank crews, infantrymen and aircraft personnel. Japanese pilots and industrial workers used the drug extensively. A staggering 72 million tablets were supplied to both Great Britain and American Armed Forces.

It wasn't long before it became clear that the negative effects outweighed the positives, but the necessities of war dictated that missions be accomplished despite the human cost. And that attitude continues to prevail. The US military has issued amphetamines to pilots and special forces personnel on an "as-needed" basis in every deployment.'
Take Amphetamines 

"Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair.
But a confident bald man, there's your diamond in the rough."
-- Larry David
New Kind of Hat Grows Hair 

Boner Billy’s Famous Hot Dogs was established in 1849 by Boner "Bronco" Billy in a little trading post in the California Sierra foothills and is believed to be the home of the first Hot Dog in America.
I love a Big Boner 

Not recommended for children under six...
Dr Batty's Asthma Cigarettes 

Gentle, soothing vibrations for satisfying relaxation and tension relief...
Vibrating Bra

This ad addressed the concern that too much television is bad for children at a time when 2 hours of TV was thought to be excessive, and now we see 5-year-olds spending every free moment of their day and night poking at their mobile phones.
Motorola Television 

"I lost not a moment in taking the quantity prescribed. I was necessarily ignorant of the whole art and mystery of opium-taking: and, what I took, I took under every disadvantage. But I took it: -- and in an hour, oh! Heavens! what a revulsion! what an upheaving, from its lowest depths, of the inner spirit! what an apocalypse of the world within me! That my pains had vanished, was now a trifle in my eyes: -- this negative effect was swallowed up in the immensity of those positive effects which had opened before me -- in the abyss of divine enjoyment thus suddenly revealed. Here was a panacea -- a [pharmakon nepenthez] for all human woes: here was the secret of happiness, about which philosophers had disputed for so many ages, at once discovered: happiness might now be bought for a penny, and carried in the waistcoat pocket: portable ecstasies might be had corked up in a pint bottle: and peace of mind could be sent down in gallons by the mail coach."
from: Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
Thomas de Quincey
Papine Opium 

"If a hairpiece is this good..."
They will call you helmet-head.
Lord Jim Hairpiece 

How to respond when bae calls you an "ass-face"
Funny Face 

For over 50 years, "Big Sugar" has followed Big Tobacco's playbook: paying scientists to produce pro-industry science, intense marketing to youth, rolling out “safer” products, denying the addictive nature of their products, heavy lobbying in the face of regulation, and dismissing “junk science” that links their products to disease.
Sugar is Good! 

Master mechanics, like busy people everywhere,
know the refreshing joy of taking time out to
munch delicious OLD DICK...
Old Dick candy bar 

 Does driving a car make you thirsty?
Why, of course it does!
Auto Beer Bar 

Who wants to go first?
Yasmin - Annette Funicello 

Wait, who am I having sex with today?
Is it "Joe" or "Charles"?
Personalized Panties

"Don't be afraid to look sexy!"
And how about a little manscaping while you're at it
Body Power 

This was a common advertising and postcard image c1900-1935. It depicts a black baby (a pickaninny) as food for an alligator. The image also recalls the slave era when small black children and babies were actually used as bait to catch alligators in Southern swamps.
Little African

What's your secret dear?
Vitamins Darling!
I always get my vitamins.
Pep Vitamins


One Whack and it's On the Slack!
Sexual Temperance Spoon


A vintage ad from the San Diego newspaper
Heroin in San Diego


The Separate Sack Suspensory has no irritating leg straps, no oppressive band on the sack, no scratching metal slides. It is made just as nature intended.
Separate Sack Suspensory


Oooh La La!
Celery for your colon

Stay fit and slim with Amphetamine
Stay fit and slim with Amphetamine

Would you perchance be wearing...
Sansabelt Action Slacks

Friday, August 25, 2017

American Idolatry

American Idolatry Logo against American Flag

All "heroic" public statues are a form of idolatry that America can definitely do without. We should view our founding fathers and all other heroes honestly, by recognizing that they were complex people, with strengths and weaknesses. We can't do that when we put them up on a pedestal and worship them like gods, instead of learning the truth about them.

Washington DC is full of magnificent monuments to presidents and other notables, drawing on the royal and religious imagery of the ancient world.  
Statue of George Washington
Statue of George Washington modeled after the Greek god Zeus originally placed in the Rotunda of the Capitol in 1841

Americans constantly proclaim their disdain for politicians, yet the American landscape is littered with monuments to them. We live amid an endless inventory of political idolatry, all reinforcing the idea that the public sector is the ultimate expression of American glory.

Memorial statues are potent symbols. Public memorials are rich in meanings, conveyed not only in what or who they depict, but in what they are made out of, where they are installed, and what style they display, and by whom they were built and sponsored.

Putting up a statue of Robert E Lee is a political statement as well as an historical one. The Confederate monuments represent a certain interpretation of history. Their purpose is to establish a pantheon of heroes, and to preserve them for eternity.

Stone Mountain Monument

Attempting to provide historical context to monuments in public spaces by providing accompanying materials doesn’t provide any balance, because the power of monuments is so overwhelming. They elevate the subject to god-like status and speak not only to who had power in the past, but who has it in the present. It was clear from the voices of the white supremacists in 2017, in Charlottesville who, in their cries of “Jews will not replace us,” rallied not so much for Robert E. Lee, as much as against the broader attack on white power and identity the removal of his statute represents.

Elevating any imperfect individual to the mythical status of a demigod means that only their triumphs are remembered and all of their sins and mistakes are forgotten. This is a disservice to truth as well as historical perspective. Statutes will always have artistic and cultural merit, but they should be removed from public spaces where they can have undue influence, and be on display in museums.