Worst Product Design & Print Advertisement Of The 21st Century

What Are They Selling?

Phallic perfume bottle ad Donna Karan

There is subliminal advertising. Then there is the advertising trying to be subliminal, yet it’s not. It’s a step above subliminal, painfully obvious and the equivalent of blunt force trauma.

It hits so hard that if you turn the page without stopping, you will stop and say “wait a second, what did I just see?” And then turn back a page to double-check.

No, this product shown above is not from the Adam and Eve sex catalog.

I’m not quite sure which magazine this ad appeared in possibly Vogue or an in-flight magazine.  It ran sometime in the early to mid-2000s.

When I saw it, I tore it out, saying to myself this has to be a joke no one would believe this.

Donna Karan phallic perfume ad

Donna Karan Phallic Perfume bottle ad text (click to enlarge –  no pun intended.)

But it’s real. I folded it up showed it to a few friends. Then I saved it in my shoebox full of oddities with the funny poem, the wooden nickel and a mood ring. Continue reading

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Old New York In Photos #111 – Grand Central Depot 1875

The Original Grand Central Depot 1875

Grand Central Depot 1875 Our 1875 view is looking north on Fourth Avenue to 42nd Street. The street is packed with activity including horse drawn omnibuses, delivery wagons and pedestrians.

This albertype photograph prominently shows the first Grand Central built by railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. Designed in the Second Empire style by architect John B. Snook, the depot was built between 1869 and 1871.

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The “Prince” Who New York’s Prince Street Is Named After

Was New York’s Prince Street’s Name Derived From Royalty?

Prince Street Bromley & Robinson 1879 Atlas of New York

Some of the original names given to the streets of New York when under Dutch and English rule have survived to the present day.

Many streets owe their name to local landmarks or the aristocracy and heroes of 17th and 18th century New York, including Delancey Street, Duane Street and Houston Street named after James De Lancey, James Duane and William Houstoun. Continue reading

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Old New York In Photos #110 – Bootblacks By City Hall Park During An Historic 1863 Moment

A Group Of New York Bootblacks At City Hall Park – July 1863

Bootblacks and other child workers New York City Hall posters theater advertisements 1863

A group of eight bootblack boys line up near City Hall for this stereoview photograph.

Taken by the pioneering stereoview firm of E. & H.T. Anthony of 501 Broadway, the view is entitled, “Brigade Of De Shoe Black, City Hall Park.” There is no date attached to the photo, yet, the timing of this photograph is of historical significance. How do we know?

The fence behind the boys is covered with broadsheets advertising several theatrical productions.

From the information on the advertisements we can narrow down the date the photo is from. Continue reading

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Classic Hollywood #93 – Rudolph Valentino & His Brother Alberto

Rudolph Valentino Brings His Family Over To The United States – 1926

Rudolph Valentino and brother with family 1926 SS Leviathin

The Screen Sheik Brings His Family

Rudolph Valentino, popular screen actor, arrives from Paris on the S.S. Leviathan after his divorce. He was accompanied by his brother Mr. Alberto Guglielmi whom he will introduce in the movies. Rudolph also brought his nephew Jean and his sister-in-law Mrs. Alberto Guglielmi. (February 14, 1926 ) photo – Keystone

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Hints For Visitors To New York City In 1964

28 Handy Hints From 1964 For Visiting New York City

The Westsider World's Fair special issue 1964A 1964 issue of The Westsider Magazine contains a list of hints for visitors to New York.

The World’s Fair held in Queens would attract millions of people from around the globe. What important things would a visitor need to know? Continue reading

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Lou Gehrig’s Mom Visits During Spring Training 1930

Lou Gehrig With His Real Mom, March 22, 1930

Lou Gehrig wit his mother at St. Petersburg Florida on March 22, 1930 at Yankees spring training

Lou Gehrig and his mother Christina March 22, 1930 in St. Petersburg, FL at Yankees spring training.

Above is Yankee legend Lou Gehrig with his real mother in contrast to movie Gehrig and mom.

Elsa Janssen and Gary Cooper The Pride of the Yankees 1942

Elsa Janssen and Gary Cooper

Mrs. Gehrig: “I want you to be somebody.”

Lou: “Sure, Mom.”

Mrs. Gehrig Like your Uncle Otto, Louie. He went to university. He graduated. Don’t you see, Louie? That’s why I’m cooking at Columbia, so you can go there some day……and be an engineer like your Uncle Otto. Lou you are going to become an engineer like your Uncle Otto.”

Those are the words Mrs. Gehrig says to young Lou Gehrig in the 1942 movie The Pride of the Yankees. Continue reading

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Goose In Flight – 1934 Spring Training Lakeland Florida

Goose Goslin Jumping High In Spring Training

Goose Goslin 1934 spring trainingBefore Rich “Goose” Gossage another great “Goose” played pro baseball. Suiting up  for the Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and Detroit Tigers  was Leon “Goose” Goslin. Here Goose leaps high to stab a ball at spring training in Lakeland, Florida. Continue reading

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The Lighthouse Without A Light

 Sir John Barrow’s Unlit Lighthouse

Lighthouse or Memorial Sir John Barrow

Sir John Barrow Memorial Hoad Hill Ulverston Cumbria, UK

The “lighthouse” is in the town of Ulverston, a bucolic seaside town which hosts various festivals throughout the year. There’s an annual Dickens Festival each November in which many of the citizens dress in Victorian attire. Then there’s “Another Fine Fest” held in June. The title is a takeoff on the admonishing words “Well… that’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!” Oliver Hardy says these words in countless films to his comedic partner Stan Laurel. Ulverston’s modern claim to fame is as the birthplace of comedian Stan Laurel, who lived here until he was six-years-old.

Levity aside, viewed from afar, the 100 tower off the northern English coast of Cumbria sure looks like a lighthouse. Continue reading

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Spring Training 1940 Ted Williams Takes The Grapefruit League Literally

Ted Williams Smashes Some Grapefruits

Ted Williams hitting a grapefruit March 6 1949

Ted Williams – grapefruit pulverizer photo Acme: March 2, 1940

We know the Florida spring training circuit is known as the Grapefruit Leauge. But that doesn’t mean that grapefruits are a good substitute for rawhide. So, to explain this photo – were they low on baseballs? Or is this just a silly publicity picture dreamed up by a reporter? I can’t imagine Red Sox slugger Ted Williams accommodating a press photographer with a request. Continue reading

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