Old advertisements
September 30, 2010 4:48 AM   Subscribe

Old advertisements from old theatre programmes. Indexed by date and category.

Oldridge's Balm Of Columbia ... Is the best and only certain remedy ever discovered for preserving, strengthening, beautifying, or restoring the Hair, Whiskers, or Moustache .... For children it is invaluable, as it forms the basis of a magnificent head of hair....

The Charing-Cross Bank .... Assets, £512,475 18s. 2d. Liabilities, £209,475 18s. 2d. Capital and Reserve, £303,000. Loans of £30 to 2,000 Granted at a few hours' notice ....

The Pianista. A Patented Mechanical Apparatus, which can be adapted to all Pianos, and will perform with the greatest accuracy and delicacy of expression, Dance, Operatic, and Sacred Music ....

Beer is the National beverage. Ask for Mann Crossman's because it retains the Nutritive Qualities of Malt.....
posted by primer_dimer (7 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'm glad we no longer live in times when a sealskin paletot is an aspirational item, because I have no idea what one is.
posted by shinybaum at 5:14 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

In the same vein, I'm glad we no longer aspire to have our garments made by the choicest workers of the Irish peasant women.
posted by primer_dimer at 5:26 AM on September 30, 2010

This reminded me of a picture I took on a trip to Stratford last year as part of my master's degree program. Among other things, I got to see a program from an 1888 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. From what I can tell, the Victorians really liked corsets, pianos, and champagne.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:54 AM on September 30, 2010

Given entire satisfaction to all who have used it.

I have that on a sign over my bed.

/try the veal
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:30 AM on September 30, 2010

Imagine Sherlock Holmes' outer coat with the oversized cape like shoulder hanging. That is a paletot.

If you lived in constant drizzle and fog without central heat and a dryer you might change your mind on how nice it would be to have a seal skin overcoat.

Things have changed dramatically. Now our garments are made by the choicest workers of the Chinese peasant women.
posted by Babblesort at 7:56 AM on September 30, 2010

One of the things I write regularly are "study guides" for productions put on by theater companies. One of the companies I used to write them for did revivals of shows produced in the "Gilded Age"; the New York Public Library has huge clippings and program files on every play ever produced...well, pretty much ever, so that was usually one of my first -- and most fascinating -- stops. So I've seen a lot of these kinds of ads.

One of my favorite moments, though -- one of the plays I was researching was for a revival of a show called The Easiest Way, a play from 1908 that dealt with a chorus girl who was the "kept woman" of a Broadway producer. In 1908, this was scandalous stuff, so much so that in one of the programs I saw -- one from about midway through the original run -- the producer, David Belasco, printed a lengthy "Producer's Note" defending the production, on the grounds that "like it or not, this kind of thing happens here in theater, and if we expose it in an artistic context, perhaps it can serve as a cautionary tale to innocent, naive young women to be wary in this theatrical life, and a gentle warning to young men to conduct themselves with better decorum."

On the very same page, DIRECTLY under this note, was an ad placed by the theater itself, suggesting to the single young men in the audience that some of the girls handing out programs were also single.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:43 PM on September 30, 2010

Not theater related, but a nice searchable collection of old magazine ads...1930-69
posted by timsteil at 4:23 PM on September 30, 2010

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