Semi-Nude Women In Late 19th & Early 20th Century Advertising

Using Semi-Clad Women To Sell Products At The Turn-Of-The-Century

Ads That Wouldn’t Cut It Today

Clysmic table water- will….bring you to climax?

Pretty women sell products or so it seems. Since the dawn of advertising alluring images of women have been used to attract potential customers. Many times the image has absolutely nothing to do with the product being offered. That hasn’t changed in the 21st century, just look at any perfume ad.

Though they were not considered unusual at the time they originally appeared, here are some semi-nude advertisements featuring women that would probably cause outrage among the sensitive and hyper-politically correct today.

SuNude women Willow Creek Distillery adWhat this advertisement really says about Sunny Brook and Willow Creek Distillery is open to debate. But I guess we all know that any group of women after drinking rye whiskies will strip and go skinny dipping in a lake.

Brotherhood overalls adBrotherhood Overalls of course?  Did Levi Strauss take this company as a serious competitor? This look apparently never caught on in the 1910s.

Clysmic Table Water Ad Semi Nude

A buck and a partially exposed beautiful woman together at a stream. I get it. This must signify very clean, drinkable water.

Whatever they were hinting at, Clysmic Table Water ran this same ad for a number of years at the turn-of-the-century. As the years progressed they covered up the model a little bit at a time. At first, one breast was fully exposed. The art department then covered both. The dress however always remained semi-sheer and see-through.

Liberator Bicycles copyright Vintage SeekersLiberator bicycles probably caught the attention of people with this ad. Our Wonder Woman warrior is prepared to go into battle with her bicycle. I love the outfit. The only thing that is being liberated as far a I can tell is her breasts. Well, it is a French ad.

Another liquor ad, this one for Absinthe Robette. Actually done quite well in the art noveau style. Eye-catching to say the least.

The next ad for liquor is rather bizarre as Belle of Nelson Whiskey of Louisville, Kentucky has a setting in what appears to be a middle east palace. The two women, one completely garmentless, are being offered hookahs to smoke. Maybe that is whiskey on the table, but how this image even remotely relates to whiskey is unclear.

Pears SoapWhat was once considered innocent and cute, the use of a naked child in advertising, might be labeled kiddie porn today. In this case maybe kitty porn. Pears’ Soap used naked children frequently in their early print ads. Pears’ never got in trouble for it and are still in business today.

Nude Woman 19th century bicycle adGladiator bicycles didn’t bother with partially covering up their model. They showed a completely nude woman to help sell their cycles. There must be a hidden meaning that shall remain elusive.

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