Nine Turn-of-the-Century Advertisements

Nine Advertisements From Collier’s Weekly -1901

And you thought Ralston-Purina just made pet food? Apparently not.

And you thought Ralston-Purina just made pet food? Apparently not.

It is always fascinating to look back on how products and services were advertised long ago.

These ads all appeared in various issues of Collier’s Weekly Magazine during the autumn and winter of 1901.

Colliers Ad Snoring Stopped InstantlySnor-O-Dont promises snoring will be stopped instantly and that failure is impossible and no medicine is involved. So what is the secret of Snor-O-Don’t? I don’t know. By the looks of the illustration the man is so sleep deprived that he may be reaching behind him to cover her face with a pillow. Suffocation, that’s a permanent snoring solution.

Colliers Ad Iver Johnson Revolver Features Child Iver Johnson, manufacturers of bicycles. guns and revolvers says that “accidental discharge is impossible” with their safety hammerless automatic revolver. What better way to demonstrate the safety of a handgun than to show a cherubic child poised to fire it?

Colliers Ad You Are A ChumpNothing like being direct…chump.

Colliers Ad To Fat PeopleAnd of course there was no such thing as political correctness in 1901. Got that, fat people? Henry C. Bradford was just a “regular physician” specializing in “the reduction of surplus flesh.”¬† He was not to be confused with the dozens of other quacks and charlatans promising weight cures. Bradford’s pamphlet “Obesity, Its Cause and Cure” apparently doesn’t cut back on food intake as another ad by Dr. Bradford¬† addressed to “Fleshy People” which says “you can eat as much or as often as please” and still lose weight.

Colliers Ad Air MattressThen there are those surprise ads of products that were ahead of their time. Who knew that in 1901 there were air mattresses, air pillows and air cushions?

Colliers Ad Militant CorsetCorsets have been making something of a comeback in the 21st century. Thomson’s “glove-fitting” corset from 1901 looks uncomfortable and rather bizarre on this model who has a huge posterior or is wearing a bustle beneath her undergarments.

Colliers Ad Spinal DeformitiesThat corset looks a hundred times more comfortable than this torture device by the Philco Burt Mfg. Co. The photograph of the man reminds me of the destitute chap who has no clothes and has to wear a barrel. Rather than cure spinal deformities, I’d be willing to bet that this caused more harm than it did good.

Colliers Ad Japanese Smith and WessonFinally, some copywriter was stretching here. Does any American reader really care that “a Smith & Wesson revolver is the choice of the Japanese Navy”?

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