Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Funny Vintage Ads (27)

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.
Nebo Cork Tip Cigarettes
In 1912, P. Lorillard Company thought a good way to sell cigarettes to men was to take a swipe at women's suffrage. Depictions of suffragettes as homely, obnoxious spinsters were common prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919 that granted women the right to vote. It was  ratified in 1920.
Kohler Electric Sink
"Would you like to do the dishes by merely pressing a button, without so much as dipping a fingertip in water?"
Kohler invented the Electric Sink in 1926. This particular model included a dishwasher and a clothes washer. 

How to obtain a perfect looking nose
"I guarantee to improve the shape of your nose by remodeling the cartilage and fleshy parts, quickly, safely, and painlessly..." --
M. TRILETY, Pioneer Noseshaping Specialist

Pedoscope X-Ray Shoe Fitter
This machine presented a picture of the bones in your foot and an outline of your shoes. Although there was little evidence to suggest that these devices would help you find perfectly fitting shoes, they were a fairly common sight in shoe stores beginning the 1930s.
In 1957, Pennsylvania became the first state to ban the use of the shoe-fitting fluoroscopes. It didn’t take long for the rest of the country to jump on the bandwagon.

Unloved - That lady has a moustache
The Superfluous Hair Problem sounds like a hair band from the 1980s. 
Double Knit Fancies
 These 1970s patterns for "Double Knit Fancies" would have been better as 1970s wallpaper.
The Rubber Protectors
"They are washable and can be used for any number of times, thus proving a great convenience to persons of limited means." This ad uses the British term ‘French Letters’ for condoms. Meanwhile, the French called condoms capote anglaise (English overcoat).
I'll make you a master of Chinese Kung-Fu
“…INSTANTANEOUS DEATH that is applied with NO Bodily Contact” Yeah, says you, but why are you, a Master of “Chinese” Kung-Fu wearing a Japanese Karate Gi?
 "did he mean...doggy legs, or doggie legs? A compliment by any other name is still a compliment..."
Except when it's not. In what universe is "doggy" or "doggie" ever a compliment when describing a lady's body parts?

Remember Alka-Seltzer for Shoppers Fatigue
"Shopper's Fatigue" can be relieved  by neutralizing "fatigue acid" with a glass of "peppy, sparkling, ALKA-SELTZER"
Ivory for Indians
"Said Uncle Sam: "I will be wise, And thus the Indian civilize:""
Instead of trying to wipe out all the Indians so we can take their lands, just give them each a bar of Ivory soap.

 Aspironal - Better than Whiskey
"Better than whiskey!"
Not really. Aspironal is 10% alcohol while whiskey has a minimum of 40% alcohol.

In the 1940s, Albert Einstein designed his own refrigerator (known as "Einstein's Refrigerator") which required no moving parts or electricity and he sold the patent to Electrolux. It was not a commercial success.

Stocking Stick - Leg makeup
Nylon stockings were introduced shortly before the start of WW2 and were a huge hit with women, but production ceased during the war because the nylon was needed for parachutes and other war materials. That's when resourceful women began painting "glamor hose" on their legs to look like they were wearing nylons.

Joe Weider - How to develop a He-man personality
You start as a He-Boy, then wear a butch hair cut and padded suit, while farting and belching frequently.
Harley-Davidson -- A motorcycle is not a luxury
"A motorcycle is not a luxury. It is an economical necessity."
That may have been a reasonable claim in 1910 when automobiles cost at least 3 times as much as motorcycles, but not today when Harleys cost as much as a new car.


Pall Mall Design
 "Design, brother, modern design is plenty important! ... It is a scientific fact that tobacco is its own true filter."
One should always be wary of "scientific facts" brought to you by tobacco companies. If you filter the smoke with tobacco and then smoke the tobacco filter how is that any better?

Cocoaine the best hair dressing
 Burnett's "The Best Hair Dressing Cocoaine" didn't actually contain any cocaine. In the late-nineteenth century, cocaine-containing products were all the rage, so some manufacturers made up cocaine-sounding names in order to market their products.
Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator
Manufactured by Daisy in the 1930s, the Buck Rogers pistols were the beneficiaries of one of the most successful merchandising and sales campaigns in the history of the American toy business. They were the most popular toy ray guns for kids and adults well into the 1960s and a highly desirable collectable today.

These flights continued until 1970 when the newly formed National Organization for Women took legal action against United, filing a highly publicized lawsuit which officially brought the "Men Only" service to an end.

Stop Mouth Breathing
“SNORING—the Causes of many diseases and often an early grave.”
A gag covering your mouth would certainly stop snoring, but it wouldn't help with sleep apnea.


 Pennsylvania oil proof vacuum cup tires
Pennsylvania oil proof vacuum cup tires featured a unique tread design that looked like rows of Cheerios and had the general appearance of knobby tires used today on dirt bikes and ATV’s. The company claimed, “These cups exert a suction grip on the road and thus tend to keep the car (or motorcycle) from skidding.”
Making Hats at Home
"Be the envy of your friends because of the variety and smartness of your hats!" The most famous graduate of the Louie Miller School of Millinery was Lillian B. Head who invented a hat and purse shaped like the Hyatt Regency and one of its elevators.
Build your own fallout shelter
In the early 1960s, as the Cold War entered one of its tensest phases, people began to take the idea of building their own fallout shelters a lot more seriously. But within a couple of years, it was understood that the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) meant that any survivors of a nuclear war would probably be envying the dead.
“BALLS is the new candy sensation that lets you conquer the world. Just pop a few BALLS in your mouth and you’ll be ready for everything."
Radio Police Automaton
"As a close hand-to-hand fighting machine the Radio- Automata have no equal. Bullets do not affect them and if equipped with a twenty to forty H.P. engine, they will be well nigh irresistible. They probably have no superior for fighting mobs or for war purposes."
Milkweed cream has been used for centuries by many different cultures as medicine, food and fiber. The US Navy made 1.2 million life jackets from milkweed seed floss during World War II.
She was the perfect wife except for one neglect
Come on ladies! Keep your lady parts clean and smelling fresh for crying out loud. And don't get pregnant. Lysol was the best-selling method of contraception during the Great Depression, even though it was dangerous to soft tissue and not particularly effective.
The Michelin Man was created in 1898, and is a classic example of Brand Anthropomorphism -- the attribution of human traits to commercial products and services.
 In the 1940s, Cocomalt was simultaneously advertised as a pick-me-up and a sleep aid. The R. B. Davis Company was located in Hoboken, New Jersey.


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Restaurant Surcharges Are Designed to Punish You

4% surcharge - Miguel's Old Town - 2444 San Diego Ave, San Diego, 92110

I used to love Miguel's, but today was my last visit? Why?

Because they have added a notice to the menu that there is an additional 4% surcharge to cover having to pay for mandated increases in minimum wages and benefits.

A 4% surcharge will be added to all guest checks to help cover increasing costs and support recent increases to minimum wage and benefits for our dedicated team.

The California Restaurant Association has always been one of the most outspoken and active opponents of minimum wage increases. Now they are advising restaurant owners on how to implement a surcharge while avoiding lawsuits. You'll note the inclusion of "increasing costs" in addition to the real reasons for the surcharge. That way they can spend this excess money any way they want and can't be sued for not actually sharing the money they collect with their employees.

I support increasing the minimum wage and benefits, and I don't mind if a restaurant has to raise prices across the board as a result. However, while legal, the surcharge and the notice are just a form of public protest by the owner, to inform everyone that they don't want to pay their workers a living wage and wouldn't be doing it, except that they are being forced to do so. It's also a warning to their patrons that they shouldn't support minimum wage laws and a threat of further increases in the surcharge, should their labor costs continue to increase.

I don't care if my carne asada cost $18.99 instead of $17.99, if the money is going to increase the wages and benefits paid to the lowest paid kitchen staff, who don't get tips. I do care when the owner decides to get in my face and whine because the minimum wage went up.

University of California San Diego professor On Amir who studies consumer behavior at the Rady School of Management says, "There are right ways and wrong ways to raise prices," The surcharge "doesn't create the image of fairness for diners who think 'you're underpaying your people and now I have to pay more because of your unfair labor practices." 

Restaurant owners are hoping to teach people a lesson about supporting laws that increase worker's wages and benefits. Many diners won't even notice the surcharge. Others will be annoyed and reduce the tip paid to the servers. (Not a good option because that's the same as taking some of their tip money and giving it to the business owner). And some will reject the very notion of "surcharges" as a form of protest and take their business elsewhere. 

Restaurant owners are hoping that won't be an option, and it won't be if these surcharges become ubiquitous, which is why it's important to reject this now by only patronizing restaurants that don't add surcharges.