Category Archives: advertising

Learn something new!

Again with the late in the year ads. This one is from December 13, 1902, right below an ad for a “manly” boarding school:

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Did anyone fall for this? Probably, and that makes me sad…

Quackery is a saddening thing for me to think of and see. People who, using the hope of medicine, defraud those desperate or unable to see through their crap impostures.

So, still in 1905, on July 1st, the back page of the Literary Digest (I swear I’ll get out of this issue eventually, but there is so much in it to blog about!):

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I ought to be in everybody’s mouth

Every one is familiar with the change in meaning that the word “gay” has undergone over the years. This leads to amusingly sexualized phrases like “to have a gay time”.

Here is another one of those silly word games that only Time (not the magazine, this was from the Literary Digest) can play.

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Drink your shrubbery

Going back to New Year’s Day, 1898, in the Literary Digest we find some quackery for blindness cures and this:



No, it’s not what you think. Turns out that a shrub was once a term used to describe a kind of “acidulated” drink. I am pretty sure, given the claims, context and nature of the writing, that it is also a fraud. Possibly an addictive one, since they are giving it away free. There were numerous tobacco ads back then that let you “sample” so much of their wares free.

School days in the open windowed house

I have posted before about my dislike of current day public architecture, including windows that don’t open. I do admit that there could be problems, but it seems like screens would obviate that.

What they won’t do is avoid the problems associated with air pollution, as suggested in this January 22, 1916 ad for Sturtevant fans and blowers. Not the first time we’ve seen some blowing action, but this is for humans, not musical instruments.

Evidently the company in question, B. F. Sturtevant, was quite the innovator and projector of many improvements in what is now tituled air handling. Per their historic\fan site, it appears the company’s lineage ended definitively in 1989.


Sturtevant HVAC ad. January 22, 1916

Worth noting in the fine print is the claim that they supply all three branches of the federal government: the executive mansion, the halls of Congress and the Supreme Court (which at the time, worked out of the same building as Congress, if WikipediA is to be believed).

I have to recommend the web page, Sturtevant Survivors, for its very broad collection of various products of the firm in various locations (so far away as New Zealand and Russia!) and also its mention of the Antique Fan Collectors Association, which I did not know existed.

My town supervisor (think mayor, but bigger) has a “cute” AOL Email address on his business card. It’s one letter different from “huckster”. If they weren’t shutting it down, I’d try and send him a message on AIM.