Constipation is murder! and other gems from early advertising of the West
August 12, 2009 1:14 PM   Subscribe

The University of Washington Library's Early Advertising of the West, 1867-1918. posted by mudpuppie (22 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for this. I have books and books of these. If you really want a window on the world, print ads from the period really give it to you.

A preoccupation with health and absolutely NO way of achieving it.

I often wonder if future generations will laugh at our drug commercials. Especialy the "if you have an erection lasting longer than 4 hours..."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:25 PM on August 12, 2009

Ahhhhhhhhhh. It sooths me.
posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM on August 12, 2009

These are amazing. Thanks!
posted by milestogo at 1:47 PM on August 12, 2009

omg awesome
posted by dersins at 1:55 PM on August 12, 2009

Man, Aunt Jemima's really mellowed out over the years.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:56 PM on August 12, 2009

Does your husband complain of late breakfasts? Does he come home cross? Do you want more rest? Buy a package. Give him a pancake. Use pancake flour.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:01 PM on August 12, 2009

posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:05 PM on August 12, 2009

The ever-relevant Achewood (tiny cartoon nudity) provides the correct lingo for ancient Viagra.
posted by adipocere at 2:06 PM on August 12, 2009

Burhanistan - probably for hernias, is my guess.

Also, it amuses me that the water closet ad on the first page lists toilets No. 1 and No. 2.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:17 PM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure what's being ruptured here, but it seems important enough to merit a proper noun. Perhaps it's best that I don't know and just pretend everything is encased properly.

No one outside my immediate family will be amused by this, but the "Rupture expert" looks EXACTLY like my dad.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:29 PM on August 12, 2009

Children doing a maypole dance around a huge icy-cold bottle of beer? That miiiiiiight not get past Standards and Practices these days.
posted by ardgedee at 2:39 PM on August 12, 2009

This post took Mr. Productivity out behind the barn and put two bullets in his poor, misshapen head. Thank you!
posted by ford and the prefects at 2:53 PM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

From the aluminum eyecup ad: "I want you to read my book because I believe without a doubt that is the best book of its kind ever published..."

Because I know more about this than I think you can possibly imagine.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:17 PM on August 12, 2009

Oh, PS, I am totally printing out and saving the ad for the Reed School For Nervous and Backward Children to pull out and use as a threat for my own future children.

"Eat your peas or I'm sending you to the school for nervous and backward children!"
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:18 PM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

These are absolutely captivating! One could really do some interesting anthropology just by studying advertisements from cultures/times past. Changes in social mores, gender roles, public concerns, favored typography, all laid bare in a single advertisement for a product to cure a problem we don't have anymore.
posted by MoreForMad at 3:40 PM on August 12, 2009

all laid bare in a single advertisement for a product to cure a problem we don't have anymore

To take that a little further, they're mostly problems we never had to begin with, but that people were trying to scare us with in order to get our money.

Not much has changed.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:46 PM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

oh my, thank you. fantasticulous timewasting ahead
posted by Rumple at 4:12 PM on August 12, 2009

My sister is about to start her thesis on the subject of health-seeking in the West during this time period. I sent this along to her. Thanks for a cool find!
posted by zoey08 at 5:15 PM on August 12, 2009

I love the beer ad with all the little kiddies dancing around the bottle. "Pure air, pure food, pure drink are essential to healthy growth... SO GIVE YOUR OFFSPRING RAINIER BEER! IT'LL MAKE THE LITTLE PERISHERS JOLLY AND AMENABLE!"
posted by languagehat at 5:20 PM on August 12, 2009

MetaFilter: For Nervous and Backward Children

Thanks for this - what a find!
posted by rtha at 8:34 PM on August 12, 2009

Computing snobbery is apparently far, far older than the contest between Mac & PC...
posted by Graygorey at 9:17 PM on August 12, 2009

1870 "Railroad companies begin massive advertising campaigns to attract settlers to their land grants in the West, sending agents to rural areas in the eastern states and throughout Europe to distribute handbills, posters and pamphlets that tout the rich soil and favorable climate of the region."
posted by Twang at 1:42 AM on August 13, 2009

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