Saturday, January 20, 2018

Funny Vintage Ads (8)

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.


trim reducing aid cigarettes

Trim offered a double-your-money-back guarantee that smoking at least 3 cigarettes a day would help consumers lose up to 20 pounds in as little as 8 weeks without modifying their diet. In 1958, the FDA seized 2,671 bulk cartons (containing 26,710 packs of cigarettes) of Trim Reducing-Aid cigarettes on the grounds that they were misbranded and unlawfully introduced into interstate commerce. Later court decisions held that by claiming therapeutic efficacy Trim cigarettes presented themselves as a drug, and were therefore subject to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act’s prohibition of false and misleading statements.


grape nuts steadies a man

 Grape Nuts cereal, which contains neither grapes nor nuts, was developed in 1897 by  C.W. Post, who was a patient (and then a competitor), of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.  It was one of the first commercial products marketed as health food.


Don't strip trade-ins

Here's a WW2 era poster by the Office of War Information, asking people not to strip cars of valuable parts before trading them in. 
"No more good than the bag at the left is a "trade-in" of parts quite bereft. Like the "teaser" above only mother can love the Joe Dope who at part-swiping's deft!"


How and what to tell a Communist

 "Tell him that you know no tactics are too low for a Communist: lying, cheating, betrayal, ruin, and even murder. But be sure to tell him, too, that America is on the alert and that his scheme for world domination is doomed to failure."


She'll be happier with a Hoover

 "She cares about her home, you know, so if you really care about her . . . wouldn't it be a good idea to consider a Hoover for Christmas?"
Not if you value your marriage.

Heater Halls Cocaine Candy
"HEATER HALLS COCAINE: Guaranteed to Deaden That Sweet Tooth"
Satire designed and Printed by Roland (Rolly) Crump, (born February 27, 1930), an American animator and designer known for his work as a Disney Imagineer.


New Johnson Compacts - "Even a Squaw can carry"

Now that's impressive, even for the 1950s. Sexism and racism in the same ad!


Chesterfield for Mother's Day Father's Day

When you're looking for that special gift for mom or dad, look no further than Chesterfield cigarettes. Chesterfield is the perfect gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day or any day. Mike sure does love his momma and poppa!


Darkey in a Watermelon
"Upon opening the watermelon which is made of paper mache, is found a little pickaninany, southern darky with cloth diaper fasted with miniature safety pin and small nursing bottle. His white eyes flash the whole face indicates perfect happiness."

Dr Kilmer's Swamp Root

Dr. Killmer's patent medicine was a diuretic for the kidneys and a mild laxative. According to Killmer, "Swamp-Root" promotes the flow of urine thereby aiding the kidneys in their necessary work of eliminating waste matter. The Swamp Root formulation fell out of favor after the advent of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, which resulted in the federal government imposing testing and labeling requirements on a variety of products, including patent medicines with dubious claims. However, Killmer's Swamp Root is FDA approved and is still being sold today.


buckeye folding bath cabinet
Just open those pores with a Turkish, Vapor or Medicated Bath right in your own home. Supplied with a door, and an opening for the arm, "convenient for bathers in removing perspiration from the face or otherwise adding to their comfort."

 Wrist Radio

The text says it's only capable of tuning in local radio stations, but the two smiling kids at the top of this deceptive ad act like they have a genuine two-way communication device right out of a Dick Tracy comic strip. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Honor House was infamous for their misleading ads that were designed to separate kids from their money. Honor House was in fact NOT honorable.


Beatnik Dictionary

"Packed with words and phrases straight from infinity. A perfect gift." The term "Beatnik" was coined by Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle on April 2, 1958, a combination of the name of the recent Russian satellite Sputnik and Beat Generation. This suggested that beatniks were (1) "far out of the mainstream of society" and (2) "possibly pro-Communist."


Are You Flat-Chested?

"No matter how small and undeveloped your bust may now be, my famous Miracle Cream treatment will quickly increase its size and mould it to lovely, arching form."
In the days before silicone and surgery, creams were marketed that purported to increase breast size. There were ‘flesh-making’ bust creams for ‘undernourished’ tissue and ‘Flesh-firming’ creams that relied on astringents to ‘tighten and lift’. One recipe called for night-time painting of the breasts with ‘elastic collodion’ to keep the sleeping bosom supported overnight.


Drink Moxie
Moxie began as a medicine called “Moxie Nerve Food”, rather than as a soft drink, but eventually became the first nationally marketed soft drink in the US. It was created in 1884, by Dr. Augustin Thompson, a Civil War veteran from Union, Maine.



Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915, in Hoboken, New Jersey. The only child of Sicilian immigrants, a teenaged Sinatra decided to become a singer after watching Bing Crosby perform in the mid-1930s. By 1941, Sinatra was the most famous singer in America.

Foot Saver Shoes
 "He was a highly eligible bachelor. And she had made swift progress till that awful day when she slipped getting out of the roadster. Her ankle twisted. She screamed. In a second he had jerked off her shoe -- and stocking. With a sinking heart she watched his fingers test her ankle, saw that he was staring at her foot  -- her awful foot with its twisted toes and stumpy nails, swollen arch and calloused heel. Her feet were terrible!"

DWIN Insect Killer

That all depends on where you have them.
"Women like to spray DWIN, the modern, truly fragrant Insect Killer. It has the aroma of a hundred flowers."


Fagged Out? Drink Orange Crush and feel fresh

Obviously "Fagged Out" meant something entirely different in the 1940s -- it meant exhausted, beat or pooped.


Robinson's Mammoth Dime Museum and Theatre

"Robinson's Mammoth Dime Museum and Theatre. The great family resort, 126 Canal Street. The largest, handsomest and most complete museum in America. Don't fail to visit it. 2 mammoth shows 2. At one price, 10 cents. New wonders arriving daily from all parts of the globe. Remember one dime -- ten cents -- admits to all - 10 cents. Patronized by the elite. Attractions extraordinary!"Dime museums in nineteenth century America, were dedicated to the exhibition of human curiosities or 'freak shows,' under the guise of being an educational form of entertainment.


Lantz Supporter

Who knew that wearing a jockstrap or “suspensory,” could add two decades to your life?
"It takes the tension off vital nerve center, makes a man light on his feet, with freedom of action for mind and muscles. Gives a refined appearance."


Up like little soldiers - Wilson Garter

“Up Like Little Soldiers — That’s how the Cord & Slide Wilson Garter allows children to grow — trim, graceful — all ginger. No more little rounded, stooping shoulders, and no more torn hose tops."


Chemcraft has atomic energy

In 1947, Porter Chemical Company under the "Chemcraft" trademark became the first company to produce laboratory kits for children that included an atomic energy component.  Containing nearly 100 pieces, this Chemcraft Master Laboratory set was the most elaborate and expensive chemistry set available. Porter sold over a million chemistry sets before going out of business in the 1980s over increased liability concerns. 

WW1 Sugar Ration

The first item to be rationed during World War One was sugar in January 1918, but by the end of April meat, butter, cheese and margarine were added to the list. Ration cards were issued and everyone had to register with a local butcher and grocer. No sugar could legally be bought without stamps, and sugar rationing would continue until supplies returned to normal after World War Two.


Griffin Microsheen Boot Polish

The sleezy Griffin Microsheen ads of the 1950s were for men's shoe polish. But nary a man's face and rarely a man's foot ever made an appearance in the campaign. 


The Freedman's Bureau

From a series of racist posters attacking Radical Republican exponents of black suffrage, issued during the 1866 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race.
The Freedmen’s Bureau was established at the end of the Civil War (1861-1866) to assist freed slaves. During its years of operation, the Freedmen’s Bureau fed millions of people, built hospitals and provided medical aid, negotiated labor contracts for ex-slaves and settled labor disputes. It also helped former slaves legalize marriages and locate lost relatives, and assisted black veterans.


Merriam Dictionary Games

Oh yes. What fun! Apparently this is how kids used to amuse themselves before there were electronics.
In 1831, brothers George and Charles Merriam opened a printing and bookselling operation in Springfield, Massachusetts which they named G. & C. Merriam Co. The first Merriam-Webster dictionary was published on September 24, 1847. It cost $6.00 per copy and earned the praise of such notable figures as President James K. Polk and General Zachary Taylor.


 Young Sampson, Modern Hercules

The "Young Sampson, Modern Hercules" was Charles Sampson. Many of his claims about his abilities were highly suspect, including his boast that he acquired his talent for bending iron after being struck by lightning as a teenager in France. He often rigged his performances by using tactics such as emptying backstage the sand or lead that filled his barbell, while his manager dramatically outlined to the crowd the “feat” they were about to see.
Moore's Musee Theatre at 91 and 93 Yonge Street Toronto, Canada opened as Robinson’s Musee in late 1890 as a combination theater/lecture hall/dime museum featuring a rotating roster of sideshow and vaudeville acts. In 1896, the theater was the site of the first presentation of projected motion pictures in Toronto. 


Benson & Hedges

Benson & Hedges began their "America's Favorite Cigarette Break" ad campaign in the 1970s, showing people in various situations with a bent cigarette in their mouth, supposedly because their extra long cigarettes were too long.


Bayer Heroin

In the late 1890s, Bayer commercialized both aspirin and heroin as cough, cold and pain remedies. Soon after, doctors noted that patients were developing a "tolerance" for Heroin, and becoming addicted, but Bayer forged ahead with an advertising campaign to promote Heroin for use in children suffering from coughs, colds and "irritation." Heroin was restricted to prescription-only use in the U.S. in 1914 and eventually banned by the FDA 1924.


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