Category Archives: Household

1967 Dash Detergent and One-A-Day Vitamins

It’s a two-fer Saturday here on Golden Oldie Ads…

1967 Dash Laundry Detergent

There are several things about this advert that get ones attention.

Firstly, the hairstyle is to die for. Geometry all the way. The photo just screams 1960s. I’m also stunned at the text which indicates that most laundry detergents require over a cup of detergent per load. Even a large box wouldn’t last more than a couple of weeks. Perhaps people just didn’t wash their clothes as frequently 50 years ago?

It’s also noted that unlike other detergents, Dash is for laundry only. This was apparently a novel idea in the day. Oh, and keep in mind that you can’t use Dash with your tub and wringer. It’s only for automatic washers. Yeesh.

From Classic Ads – Household Misc

1967 One-A-Day Vitamins

This ad makes me want to get on a soapbox in about 10 different ways. Firstly, I’m vastly unimpressed at the picture this paints of women. Apparently they’re vain and shallow creatures who go to ridiculous lengths for something as vaguely defined as ‘beauty’. It’s always been my long-held belief that the cosmetic industry is self-perpetuating. Just leave your faces alone and they’ll be just fine.

Apparently too the average woman in 1967 was dieting and found nothing more exciting than trying on a new shade of lipstick. *grumble* At least the advertisers are trying to emphasize health in some vaguely selfish way.

From Classic Ads – Misc Personal Items

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1934 General Electric Refrigerators

The year is 1934 and based on the text of this ad, a refrigerator is a luxury that some people just haven’t quite gotten around to appreciating yet. “Luxurious convenience every day in the year” the ad promises and now you can safely save leftovers. It even has a foot-pedal door opener, automatic interior lighting and semi-automatic defrosting. You can’t beat that!

1934 General Electric Refrigerators

1934 General Electric Refrigerators

I have to say, those women look PRETTY happy. Maybe we should all buy our wives refrigerators!


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1919 Simplex Ironer – Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift…?

This 1919 ad for a rather large household device to do the ironing touts itself as a “never-to-be-forgotten gift”.  I can say without fear of contradiction that that’s exactly true.  She’ll remember it and you’ll remember the beating that she’ll lay on you after you give it to her.


1919 Simplex Ironer - You're sure to get a beating.

1919 Simplex Ironer - You're sure to get a beating.

What sort of culture made it appropriate to gift such things? Or perhaps advertisers were just duping the male populous into such misinformed gift giving. Woe to the man that listens. He’s likely to find himself doing his own ironing for a while.


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Gilbert Radium Dial Clocks – 1919

I suspect that many of you may have been saying to yourselves over the past few ads, “But what does one DO with such a thing you happen to have a paper copy?” I, for one, have found them to be wonderful gifts to give at random to whoever you happen to have in your vicinity. From all the aching and swollen belly of history there is so much to choose from that you can tune your gift to a razor point and not only entertain but represent well the person receiving it. So in this spirit, I give you my personal favorite gift given.

It wasn’t so long ago that the radium clock was all the rage. Give the Gilbert Radium Dial clock and slowly irradiate all your family and friends!  I produced this bit o’ art in 2009.  I title it simply, “Folly”

Gilbert Radium Clocks - 1919

Gilbert Radium Clocks - 1919 (Click to view the original and zoom to see all the fiddlybits)

The background collage for this piece is a collection of all the most grim things I could find throughout history. Political cartoons from World War I, ads for Asbestos shingles, Colt 45 revolvers, Eugenics, the sinking of the French ship Bouvet and the headline on new chemical warfare techniques.  We’re a pretty grim species sometimes.

PS: As I look at this I realize that there are a LOT of people to whom I owe something of this kind.  I did about 10 of these a few years ago and they were received with varying levels of… tolerance.  It’s time to begin again, methinks.  Anyone out there in radio land who would be interested in obtaining a custom-made work need merely drop me a line and we can work out the terms.

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Reach out and Touch Someone – Bell System [1979]

Well here it is the day before Christmas and I don’t know about you but to me nothing says “Holidays” like creepy clowns making long-distance phone calls. So harken back to the days when phones had cords and slogans like “Reach out and Touch Someone” didn’t have really uncomfortable subtexts.


Reach out and Touch Someone

Reach out and Touch Someone (Click to view or download full-size)


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No fingerprints for everyone – Whirlpool Refrigerators [1979]

At some point I think I must have lost touch with the refrigerator-buying public. Sure, I’ve heard of the roving bands of gang members looting Sears and carrying off refrigerators and washer/dryer units but I am apparently sadly unaware that the headline in 70s refrigerator technology is that they were not sufficiently fingerprint resistant. In 1979, that all changed…

1979 Whirlpool

1979 Whirlpool

Ad Text:

At Whirlpool we know how you feel about fingerprints. So we designed a refrigerator with textured steel doors that help hide fingerprints.
Now we’ve put the same beautiful textured steel doors on all the kinds of refrigerators we make. And we make more kinds of refrigerators than anyone.
Side-by-Side. Freezer-on-the-top. Freezer-on-the-bottom. And the Serva-Door refrigerator, with the unique door-within-a-door. It lets you get to the foods you use most often without opening the whole refrigerator. Some models even come with a new ice dispenser that lets you get ice without opening the freezer door. Others offer ice water through the door.
More models have humidity sealed crispers to help keep food fresh. And porcelain enameled interiors that are especially easy to clean. Plus textured steel doors that hide fingerprints.
We do all this because we want you to like your Whirlpool refrigerator, and us, for a long, long time.

So the headline here is that the doors resist fingerprints while buried in the tiny text hide the innovations that we all take for granted today? Clearly this was a different time with different priorities when an immaculate exterior was more important than not fanning the door every time you wanted a drink of water. I’ll also point out that if you tried to sell a fridge in the sort of sad brown/tan color they show here you’d have a very hard time today. Though you could make a few extra bucks selling cans of spray paint to knock back the dull a bit. My how society’s taste in colors has changed.

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Any Child Could Keep a Toilet Clean and Pure – Sani-flush [1938]

I’m no expert but I’m fairly certain that if you give your small child powerful, caustic chemicals and expect them to use them to clean the toilet, certain individuals at Child Protective Services might just give you a visit.

Sani-Flush 1938

Sani-Flush 1938

Ad Text:

No more scrubbing toilets. No more smelly disinfectants.  Don’t even touch the bowl with your hands.  SANI-FLUSH is made scientifically to clean toilets!

Just dash a little in the bowl.  (Follow directions on the can.)  Flush the toilet and that’s all there is to it!  Stains and spots vanish.  Odors are banished.  Germs are killed.  The hidden trap that no amount of scrubbing can reach is purified.  The bowl glistens like new.  SANI-FLUSH can’t injure plumbing connections.  It is also effective for cleaning automobile radiators (directions on the can).  Sold by grocery, drug, hardware, and five-and-ten-cent stores.  25c and 10c sizes.  The Hygienic Products Co., Canton O.

I’ll give them credit.  The product sure SOUNDS easy to use.  I’ve seen chewing gum wrappers with more complicated instructions.  Clearly though, this is a vast oversimplification.  And one has to admit that the can must just be absolutely crammed with directions.  It’s practically a comprehensive manual on how to clean everything from toilets to car radiators.  I’m fairly certain that sometime in the 40s this product was also sold as a delicious bedtime snack.  Sani-Flush: Good for what ails ya!  And it’ll clean your toilet too!



Filed under Household