Tag Archives: technology

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1951 – Rice Krispies and Tide Detergent

Rice Krispies, 1951

Pop, Crackle and Snap have been around a long time, since 1933 as it turns out. Notable bits about this particular advert include the fixed-width font that today would make us think of a primitive computer printout. Given that it’s 1951 though, they’re doubtless going for a typewriter but I fail to see how that businesslike formality will help them sell cereal.

As in all breakfast ads the milk is stone white but in 1951 it might well have been whole milk (or cream) which really is fairly white. Lastly note that the inner bag design seems to be of wax paper. I wish the bags of my cereal boxes opened up so tidily.

From Classic Ads – Food And Drink

Tide Detergent, 1951

She wears the cleanest clothes in town … her “Mom” swears by tide.

Who is this “Mom” person and why is she in quotes like that? The text is straightforward and forceful and the reaction of the gents at the water cooler seems proof that the horrid yellow dress she’s wearing really is attention-grabbing. Note how the guy in the brown coat is just letting the whole jug splash into the drain. This stuff must be good.

Further, the detergent is so magical that you don’t even have to rinse anything. Just wash, wring out and hang up! How easy is that? I’d hate to see the rash you get from wearing soapy clothes all day.

From Classic Ads – Household Misc


Filed under Food and Drink

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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Filed under Household, Peronsal Grooming

1951 Stereo Realist Cameras – w/ Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy

From Classic Ads – Photography

It seems somewhat apropos that such a strange little duo would be found selling such a strange-looking device. The camera was simple in that it simply took two pictures at the same time from two viewpoints. When you looked at the photos through the viewer, which just made sure that your left eye got one picture and your right eye the other, then you saw the result as three-dimensional. This concept was almost as old as photography itself but during the 50s entered wider use with cameras like this one costing only(!) $182. Adjusting for inflation this is a $1,500 camera, folks.

Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy are hawking this little device and as I’m sure you ALL remember from the 30s through the mid 50s they were a hilariously popular radio ventriloquist duo. Let me just allow that to sink in a bit. They were ventriloquists… and they were primarily known for “appearing” on the… radio… yes, yes indeed, that ancient device in which you can hear the people doing the show but can’t actually see them so you would never be able to TELL that one half of the conversation was held up by a wooden dummy. It never ceases to amaze me how creepy they both look in print advertising and how redundantly they use jokes of the form “Charlie’s no dummy he uses product X!” But if it worked then so be it.

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Now your English Mistakes are History – Smith Corona Word processor, 1988

As I sit here typing away on my computer that automatically corrects my spelling and transmits whatever I write to the four people who pay attention to this blog, I’m reminded that there was a day not so long ago when one was responsible for ones own mistakes. Thanks be that those days are gone.

From Classic Ads – Misc


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1954 Motorola Portable Radios

The most notable thing about this ad is that its focus is clearly on the colors in which they’re available: dove Gray, Leaf Green, Cherry Red, Mocha, Clover Pink, Azure Blue, Black, Grass Green, Middy Blue, Flame, Hot Chocolate and Maroon.

Digging deep into the fine print we find technical features but on the surface, it’s all about exterior aesthetics.

From Classic Ads – Music Equipment

Looking past the rainbow, these units boast “instant warm-up” (when’s the last time you waited for any electrical appliance to “warm up”?) and instant switch from AC to DC. Two things that have passed entirely from our collective consumer consciousness.

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Filed under Entertainment, music equipment

Smart Set, Stories from Life – December 1927

Yesterday we looked at The Literary Digest from 1911 in all its affluent glory. Today we look at Smart Set Magazine from the 20s. The two audiences couldn’t possibly more different. Smart Set is just the sort of magazine that one of our 20s Flappers would sit down to read between flaps. Most of the content is vacuous romance drivel and the ads seem to focus fairly firm on makeup.

Usually I don’t bother with the covers since they’re not really advertising but this one struck me very firmly about the eyeballs. She makes quite a fitting icon for the times.

From Classic Ads – Misc

The majority of ads were for makeup and various accessories related to it. On the back of the front cover we find Norida powder cases. Who would have thought such a thing existed and deserved such a prominent spot in the zine?

From Classic Ads – Misc

There are a few familiar names. Irene Rich (yes, THAT Irene Rich) uses Maybelline. Never heard of that Maybelline stuff but Irene Rich… WOW!

From Classic Ads – Misc

Tangee Beauty Aids offered a wide range of women’s make-up goop stuff. You can tell how attuned I am to this particular line of marketing.

From Classic Ads – Misc

And Kissproof seems fairly suggestive of potential not-really-related-to-makeup activities though the woman in the picture looks like she might just be wielding a knife.

From Classic Ads – Misc

When our flapper friends weren’t making themselves up for a night out, they were having a smoke behind the barn. They’re better because they’re toasted! We haven’t yet gotten to the Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco era.

From Classic Ads – Misc

I do notice too that retailers are practically jumping out of their skins to hand out credit to customers. Send only $1! Take a year to pay whether you want fine jewelry…

From Classic Ads – Misc

…or a Buxkin Velour Mandell Fur coat!

From Classic Ads – Clothing

Lastly, we know that any Flapper worth her salt can dance up a small storm. Since you can’t dance without music, we bring you the Mello-Phonic Console Phonograph. You’ll have to draw lots though to see who gets stuck with the job of winding it up.

From Classic Ads – Music Equipment

If you prefer your grinding without the winding, check out the All-Electric Radio. This beasty would cost you the equivalent of $700 back in the day.

From Classic Ads – Music Equipment

Oh, but wait. I found this last little advert just hanging tenaciously on by a thread. Even flappers, it seems, suffered at times from irregularity. Luckily though there’s Feen-a-Mint.

From Classic Ads – Food And Drink

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