Thursday, December 7, 2023

Funny Vintage Ads (83)

 

 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.

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Snolegauster - 1880
 
 This 1880s trade card showing a mammy and her charge refers to a cigar as a "Snolegauster." 
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Listerine - Will it ever come to this
"Will it ever come to this? ...It's not a bad idea."
 Listerine likes the self-serving idea of making women with bad breath wear a bell around their neck to warn others of their approach. 
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KFC Menu 1970
Colonel Sanders sold his company and his image in 1964 to a group of investors for $2 million. KFC is now owned by "Yum" brands.   
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Whitmans - Me? I don't know much about women
 Whitman's, the candy that turns any moron into a catch.
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Schlitz pure water - 1903
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the Milwaukee-based Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was America’s largest brewer. Its flagship beer, Schlitz, known as “the beer that made Milwaukee famous,” was a beloved and iconic American-style lager. In the 1970s, in response to declining market share, Schlitz tried to cut production costs by using cheaper ingredients and accelerating the brewing process, but the customer base wasn't buying and their fortunes continued to decline. Schlitz sold its assets and closed its Milwaukee brewery in 1981. The brand is now owned by Pabst. 
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Parakeet Diapers
 "Idiots Delight Unltd." enjoyed insulting their customers.
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Iran - Guess Who's Building Nuclear Power Plants

The Nuclear power plants we helped build for the Shah of Iran became a threat to us after he was overthrown in 1979 and replaced with an Islamic republic hostile to the US. 
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3 All-New Swanson Dinners - 1964
You could "Trust Swanson" Dinners of the 1960s to include a few peas in your apple slices.
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Hercules Suspenders - 1895
Suspenders became an important part of men's wardrobe with the advent of trousers in the early 19th century. 
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Domestic SewMachines
  "You just haven't sewed for fun until you've tried a Domestic Sewmachine"
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150 Civil War Soldiers - 1961
Many a boy was disappointed when he received this set of "150 Civil War Soldiers" because they were just flat pieces of molded plastic.
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Fairbank's Fairy Soap
Nathaniel Kellogg Fairbanks was born in Sodus, New York County in 1829 and moved to Chicago after the civil war where he created a business importing cottonseed oil and processing the manufacturing of soaps.
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Waldorf Tissue - Toilet tissue illness
By the 1940s, Scott Tissue was getting a little desperate; blaming "toilet tissue illness" on poor quality toilet paper. 
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Breck's Pipe Cleaner Art
Established by Joseph Breck, the Breck’s brand was family owned for five generations, starting 1818 with a seed, lawn and garden store in Boston, MA. By the 1950s, their advertising devolved into trying to sell colorful pipe cleaners for Pipe Cleaner Art. 
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Snickers - When he comes home from school
Back when candy bars had paper wrappers
and incestuous subtext...   
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Mail Pouch Tobacco
Starting in 1897, cigar makers Aaron and Samuel Bloch found a use for tobacco clippings normally considered waste. They flavored and packaged them in small paper sacks and sold them as chewing tobacco. 
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Cushman models - Super Eagle, Pacemaker, Truckster
Founded in 1901 in Lincoln, Nebraska as a manufacturer of small internal-combustion engines for farm equipment and boats, the Cushman Motor Works added motor scooters to its product line in 1936. 
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Vi-Tal 22
 "When younger girls are ready for fun..." This pill definitely won't help.
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Joan Crawford RC Cola
She advertised for RC Cola in the 1930s and 40s. Then Joan Crawford married the Chairman of the Board of Pepsi in 1955 and became one of their spokeswomen. After her husband died in 1959, she was elected to the board of directors. 
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Bell Telephone - Nothing Like extension

There was nothing like a handy extension phone and the more the merrier, because the Bell Telephone System had a monopoly on phone service from the 1940s until 1982, when the company was broken up by an antitrust lawsuit from the US Justice Department.

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Swastik - India Soap - 1920
This ad from the 1920s was made before the Nazis turned an ancient symbol of well-being -- the swastika -- into a symbol of hate. 
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Billie [Minnie] Barlow - 1890
Soprano and actress Billie [Minnie] Barlow was born in London in 1862 and died in in 1937. She traveled the world appearing on the stage and in comic opera and burlesque.
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Burlington's Vista-Dome - 1945
Burlington's Vista-Dome (1945) put passengers above the other cars and encircled them with windows, creating a more visceral experience. They were always very popular with passengers, but also very expensive to operate.
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Paul Jones  - 1955
Somehow "Old Colonel Paul Jones" survived the Civil War, and kept his "property" so he can sit on his porch and reminisce about the old South.
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Scott Tissues - harsh
 "There is no form of human illness quite so humiliating as rectal trouble."
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Hot John
The Hot John - for the person who "thought" he had everything, but didn't know they would need extension cord in the bathroom to plug this "gift" in.
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Mobo Bronco
The Mobo Bronco moved forward as you pressed down on the "stirrups." It was hand painted on pressed metal in England beginning in the late 1940s, and many were sold in the US. Initially, the Bronco could only be ridden straight ahead, but in 1950, "magic steering" was introduced.
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Lena Horne - The Bronze Venus
Lean Horne's first film, The Bronze Venus was originally released in 1938 as The Duke is Tops. In 1942, Lena Horne became the first Black woman to sign a long-term contract with a major studio. Horne fought racial and social injustices throughout her career, fundraising for groups like the NAACP, and singing at civil rights rallies, including the March on Washington protest in 1963 where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
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Celluloid Collars and Cuffs
Celluloid was the first commercially produced plastic and was used to mimic the look of starched linen. In the 1880's celluloid became an increasingly common and often preferred material for men's detachable shirt cuffs and collars when the waterproof collar replaced traditional linen. 
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Pepsodent test for bad breath
"Sticking out your tongue isn't polite"
It isn't a test for bad breath either, because
the back of the tongue is where high levels of volatile sulfur compounds, caused by anaerobic bacteria are located that cause bad breath.
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Buy a No Soliciting Sign That Really Works!

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That Really Works!
 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Funny Vintage Ads (82)

 

 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.

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Holman's Liver Pad
Holman's Fever & Ague & Liver Pad can rid you or malaria and "all other diseases growing out of a disordered liver." (1875) 
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Atari Pong
Pong was the first commercially successful video game, and it helped to establish the video game industry in the early 1970s.
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Camels Doctor - 1952
In 1946, in response to concerns about smoking and lung cancer, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company introduced a print and radio advertising campaign for its Camel cigarette brand with the slogan "More Doctors Smoke Camels."
R.J. Reynolds also used celebrities to promote their brand, but while the ads mentioned celebrities by name, the doctors were never named because they could risk losing their licenses.
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Ninja Training  - 1975
The 1972 TV series
"Kung Fu" starring David Carradine was a huge hit and it inspired many a con artist to post ads in comic books.
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Viceroy 20,000 filters - 1956
  Does twice as many filters "for the smoothest taste" mean that I can smoke twice as many cigarettes?
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Talking Machines - Victor & Edison
 The first "Talking Machines" intended for home use were sold in the early 1900s. 
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Kalamazoo Range 1936
Prior to the widespread adoption of affordable gas and electric stoves, many housewives kept a wood fire going in the stove from early in the morning till after dark.
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The Product 19 Story
The Product 19 Story: We put more chemical vitamins on our flakes!
Kellogg's introduced Product 19 in 1967 in response to General Mills' Total, which was "fortified" supposedly with the entire daily nutritional requirement of vitamins and minerals. 
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Scott's Emulsion
For centuries, sailors knew that cod liver oil was high in vitamins and great for health, but the taste kept many from enjoying those benefits.
In 1873, Alfred B. Scott came to New York City and along with partner Samuel W. Bowne, developed a more palatable mix of cod-liver oil called Scott's Emulsion. Through extensive advertising, the product became a great success and for almost a century, it was considered essential in preventing rickets in children. Scott's Emulsion is still being sold today. 
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The Bionic Battle - Steve Austin vs Maskatron
The Six Million Dollar Man TV show (1973-78) about a cyborg was a huge success and it spawned lots of action figures play sets and accessories. Maskatron was an evil robot villain that could imitate any person it wanted to, by just changing its face.
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Magic Lanterns - McAllister - 1896
"A profitable business for a man with small capital."
Movie cameras and projectors were invented in the 1890s. Before that, audiences were sometimes entertained with "Magic Lanterns" that projected images from glass plates like modern slide projectors. The more theatrical of the magic lantern operators would add narration, music and sound effects to their presentation.
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Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush Co - Whistle Brush
The Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush Co of Florence Mass began manufacturing in 1866. The Whistle Brush came out in 1949. 
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Imperial Wallcoverings -1970
Yes, you will want to remove that wallpaper very soon, like later the same day. 
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GE Tank Destroyer Radio
 General Electric was incorporated in 1892, by Thomas Edison to market his incandescent lamp and other later products. General Electric soon became one of the largest and most diversified corporations in the world, and stayed that way for over 100 years. Then a series of investment mistakes in the 2010s forced them to sell off most of their portfolio, and focus on energy solutions, jet engines, and healthcare technologies.
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Applehead dolls
Is that Drena, or one of her dolls?
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Liberty Bond 1918
"Hey buddy, where's your button."
By 1918, Uncle Sam was grabbing people by the collar and telling them to cough up. The guy looks like he knows he's about to get a beating.
During WW1, Americans were directed by the government to prove their loyalty by various means and to monitor the loyalty of others.
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Bayer Aspirin - Two Seconds
"In only two seconds Bayer Aspirin is ready to go to work." And faster than a charging Rhino. OK, but will it actually stop a charging Rhino?
 
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Keller car
George Keller, the designer of the Keller Car was on the cusp of success when he was found dead of a heart attack at the age of 56. Despite desperate efforts to keep the company going, Keller Motors immediately folded. Only 18 Kellers were manufactured in Alabama from 1947-49, and 2 Bobbi-Kars were built in San Diego. 
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Surfs-Up Skate Board by Skate-Em
When
polyurethane wheels were developed for skateboards in the 1970s they were an instant success and turned skateboarding into a sport and a culture.
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Buck Rogers Sonic Ray
"You press the trigger. It lights! It sounds! It flashes!"
The Buck Rogers Sonic Ray had a "Uranium Power Chamber" and a "Cyclotron Chamber."
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Bowler Never Gets Appendicitis - 1916
This 1916 directory of Washington DC area bowling alleys grabs your attention.

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Self Threading Thimble
The first thimble was made in England in 1695, and called a ” thumb-bell” because it was worn on the thumb, and shaped like a bell.
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Hypnotize easily - 1964
"No long, technical, mumbo-jumbo explanations are given."
The comic book "learn to hypnotize" ads always featured an image of a guy hypnotizing a hot girl.
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Meadow Gold Butter - 1912
Founded in Topeka, Kansas, as the Continental Creamery Company, Meadow Gold Dairy has been producing fresh dairy products since 1901.
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Heroin for Cough Relief
  In 1898, Bayer & Co. introduced heroin as a pain reliever and cough suppressant. Although it worked very well against coughs caused by serious and then-common diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, physicians and pharmacists soon noticed an unhappy side effect—patients required ever larger doses.
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Ayer's Hair Vigor
J. C. Ayer and Company, Practical and Analytical Chemists, Lowell, Mass., began making Ayer's Hair Vigor
in the 1860s, claiming it, "Restores grey hair to its natural vitality and color," but "does not color the hair."
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Kelloggs Exploding Battleship
Kellogg's "Exploding Battleship With Submarine And Torpedoes" was available in 1958, for 35¢ and one box top.
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White Horse Scotch-wears-the-pants-chooses-the-scotch

Two versions of the same White Horse Scotch ad for two very different markets.
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Wellsworth Glasses
American Optical Company in Southbridge MA was founded 1869, by the merger of several other lens manufacturers whose origins in the town date back to the 1830s.
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La Parle Obesity Soap
That $2 Norwood Chemical wanted for two bars of obesity soap in 1903, is equivalent to about $70 today. "Never fails to reduce flesh when directions are followed" sounds like a great excuse for why it didn't work. In 1926,
La Mar Reducing Soap was declared a fraud by the U.S. Postmaster General. 
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Buy a No Soliciting Sign That Really Works!

 Buy a No Soliciting Sign
That Really Works!