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.
Snor-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.
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?
4 Cylinders, 30 Horsepower, With Speeds Reaching Up To 50 Miles Per Hour!
In the first couple of decades of U.S. automaking, there were so many car companies competing for what was originally a very limited business. From 1895-1930 it is estimated that there were over 1,800 car manufacturers in the United States alone. Cadillac is one of the few companies that survived those early days and have flourished into the 21st century.
I found this ad which appeared in the September 8, 1906 issue of Scientific American Magazine while researching the previous story on the Singer Building. Cadillac Motor Car Co. proclaims several things for the new Model H:
A veritable wonder in hill climbing!
Perfect planetary transmission
Double acting steering device that greatly increases safety
Maybe In 1955 This Type Of Advertising Attracted Women To Products
These advertisements featuring women and various products are all from the December 12, 1955 issue of Life Magazine.
If you believed the advertising, a scale may have seemed like an appropriate gift, because the ad proclaims, “the Counselor Capri is the scale for you… or as a gift for others.” By others I’m assuming those people you want to give a not so subtle hint to.
While an electric razor is a practical gift I am dubious of the ad’s claim that “Now every woman wants Lady Sunbeam.” I doubt that this would make any woman’s top ten…. ummm, better make that top 100, gift wish list today.
Remember folks that this isn’t just any vacuum, it’s a Lewyt. A Lewyt? I like the way the woman is dressed for vacuuming.
It wasn’t just Lewyt’s roller and nozzle on wheels that was a breakthrough in vacuuming, Apparently vacuums had some other big innovations with the Eureka Roto-Dolly. Also “no dust bag to empty,” means Mrs. 1955 Housewife won’t soil her chic white dress that she does the vacuuming in.
“The Christmas gift that rings a bell,” the Bell Telephone System says. Something as simple as installing a kitchen telephone will have your wife saying, “I have the nicest husband.” This appears to be a large kitchen. So one question: is that the best place for the telephone? Please take note of the length of the phone cord.
Fifth Ave and Broadway Looking North From The Top of the Flatiron Building 1904
The Fuller Building known more commonly as the Flatiron Building sits at the convergence of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street. It is a great place to get a nice view of Manhattan, so the Keystone View Company sent a photographer to take this picture on a clear late summer day in 1904. This photo shows the two principal avenues of Manhattan splitting north after 24th street with Broadway branching off to the left and Fifth Avenue on the right.
The streets are busy with horsecars, trolleys and a few automobiles making their way up and downtown as all streets had traffic running both ways. Continue reading →
“Gee. Look At That Pair Of Skinny Scarecrows. Why Don’t They Try Sargol?”
Early 20th Century Advertising
As this 1915 ad proclaims it is “no longer necessary to be “thin scrawny and undeveloped.”
Our thin conscious society today might be a good market for this product, except for the fact that the United States is thefattest country in the world, so we don’t need any help in putting on weight.
The usual cause for being too thin in the early 20th century was poverty and disease, not bad eating habits. People suffering from tuberculosis, diabetes, malassimilation of food, chronic diarrhea, Bright’s Disease and other malady’s were prime candidates to use Sargol. And since hundreds of thousands of people were concerned about being underweight they looked anywhere they could for cures. Sargol promised them the hope that they could put on weight.
But as with most ads of this nature, the Sargol Company was selling quackery.
Sargol started their business in 1908 and teamed up with Parke, Davis & Co. to manufacture their fat pills. Sargol was sold primarily through mail order to the public by taking out hundreds of ads in newspapers, magazines and almanacs to push their nostrum. The ingredients in their “miracle” drug was nothing more than saw palmetto; calcium; sodium; potassium; lecithin and nux vomica.
Sargol’s scam netted them over $3 million before the government fined them $30,000 in 1917 after a thirteen week trial and shut them down for good.
The Intersection of 23rd Street Where 5th Avenue and Broadway Meet – 1900
This view of 23rd Street at the intersection of Fifth Ave and Broadway was taken around 1900. The ornate street lamp and multitude of signs and advertising make this a great street level photograph. There is also something very interesting that I have rarely seen in any late 19th century photo of New York and that is another photographer taking a picture at the same time that this one was taken. He is directly to the left of the street lamp and the tripod is clearly visible while his head is under the covers to line up his shot.
From the approximate direction his camera is pointing, it looks like he is shooting straight up Broadway toward the Worth monument. I’d like to imagine that behind the camera is Joseph or Percy Byron of the famous New York Byron Company.
The famous Fuller Building, better known as the Flatiron went up in 1902 Continue reading →
Avery Corman Talks About: Dating, Restaurants, High School in The Bronx, The Advertising World, Getting Published and Having His Books Adapted To Film
We continue our interview with Avery Corman, author of the new book My Old Neighborhood Remembered A Memoir (Barricade Books) 2014, and his story of growing up in the Bronx during the 1940’s and 50’s.
Divided into 5 parts the first two parts of the interview can be seen here.
In part 3 Avery Corman discusses dating, blind dates, sex, going to the movies, the differences between eating out and restaurants, dessert havens like Krum’s, Addie Vallins and Jahn’s and the coming of television.
Part 4 Avery Corman recalls his high school years at DeWitt Clinton High School and his decision to go to New York University. Upon graduating Continue reading →
The Second Avenue Elevated (El for short) was one of four elevated train lines that ran in Manhattan. This photo was taken 100 years ago today on Wednesday, January 13, 1915, and shows the view looking north from the 14th street station and First Avenue. That is correct, the Second Avenue El ran on First Avenue up until it turned west on 23rd Street to continue north on Second Avenue.
Enlarging the photo, at track level we can see the next station at 19th Street. At street level there is little activity, with a few people going about their errands. We see on the left side of the street a wall advertisement for Mecca Cigarettes and on the right side of the street on the second floor, a pawn shop window advertisement saying they’ve been “here since 1880” and a warning to any criminals that they have Holmes Electrical Protection (inventors of the modern burglar alarm).
The Els in Manhattan were discontinued over a 17 year period. The first to shut down was the Sixth Avenue El in 1938, followed by the Ninth Avenue El in 1940 and the Second Avenue El in 1942. The Third Avenue El ceased service in 1955 (the Bronx part of the Third Avenue line continued running until 1973), bringing a close to the era of Manhattan elevated trains.