How did farmers in the 20s, 30s and 40s learn the tricks of their trade? Why, by subscribing to Successful Farming magazine!
Yet, today, I'm not going to tell you how to go whole-hog in tending those pigs...
Or how to be popular with the chicks (petite pullets, that is)...
Or even ask you to lend an ear on growing corn.
Nope! Today, in the first part of The Thrift Shop Romantic's special two-part post, we'll dig into the magazine's advertising-- a wild and wondrous world of disembodied heads, testimonials from people you've never heard of, wagonloads of exclamation points, and cartoons, cartoons, cartoons...
We start here with... Sal Hepatica laxative. "Sal Hepatica"... Hm, sounds like the name of a personal injury attorney from my hometown in Jersey.
Here we meet Mrs. A, and Mrs. B... And we're told the bazaar is spoiled for Mrs. A...
Once she gets to that church parking lot, she knows the competition will be fierce. Yessir, she's got to sell more desserts than that haughty Mrs. B, or she'll never live it down!
Why, last year, that woman rubbed it in for months, simply because she sold three cupcakes more than Mrs. A did. Three cupcakes! Is that kind? Is that Christian?!
So having to leave suddenly for, well, personal reasons would almost certainly put Mrs. A behind-- in more ways than one.
And so, like the trooper she is, poor Mrs. A. goes to the bazaar anyway, and is surprised to discover that her constipation seems directly-related to the marketability of her baked goods.
Yes, it was a simple case of being unable to get her bundt in gear.
Mrs. B, on the other hand, has a lovely day...
These church bazaars are just teeming with women who need laxatives. But the morning of the bazaar, Mrs. B. called on her old buddy Sal Hepatica, and he came to the rescue right away. So how were Mrs. B's sales?
It's all in the salesmanship, we see! And in the Sal Hepatica.
Okay, well, moving on, let's examine another topic. And what have we here?..
How nice that Mrs. Chas. W. Hallock of Suffolk County shares with us her recipe for muffins!
Erm... bran muffins.
"They're not only nourishing, says Chas. W. Hallock, the chef's husband, "but they also give you bulk to help prevent constipation!"
He looks really happy about it, too, doesn't he? Sitting there with his cartoon breakfast.
I bet you didn't know this, but everyone ate hand-drawn breakfast back in the 40s. Yep, illustrated eggs over easy... Stipple-effect bacon... Dry brushed toast... It's why everyone was so slim. The most illustrated meal of the day, they used to say.
"Life is Swell, When You Feel Well..." Words of wisdom!
Well, now that we've taken our Sal Hepatica and enjoyed a bulky bran muffin, let's check out another ad...
For Fletcher's Castoria castor oil. Perfect for-- yes, you're probably starting to notice the trend here, you clever bunnies-- constipation. In this case, we enjoy a short, Castoria-sponsored morality play.
Bill Todd's anger management classes haven't been working out and he seems to have ticked off his sister-in-law, this Judy Garland impersonator. He claims the wife went to the hospital to have a baby, but who knows? It's going to be pretty hard for her to explain those shoe-shaped bruises, either way. It's no wonder little Billy's next on the hit list.
Let's see what drove Bill Todd to this, shall we?
"...You've never heard a rumpus like the one Billy made when he saw that laxative!" says Mr. Todd.
Or maybe, just maybe, he noticed that shoe you were holding behind your back, Sir. Toddlers have wicked-good eyesight for things like that. And, of course, the answer for a child who's uncomfortable and cranky in his lower intestines is...
To beat the livin' tar out of his delicate regions with a hard object. Yes, that'll loosen things up, all right.
But thankfully, Judy Garland intervenes. She says beating him with a shoe-- oh, wait, no-- giving him adult laxative, could shock his nervous system. So what is the answer?
Fletcher's Castoria! And it's so effective, it will "solve Billy's laxative problem for years!" One dose lasting for years? Wow, now that's powerful.
The best part is Little Billy loves the Castoria! Indeedy, kids do love a good dose of castor oil. Right after they enjoy a big plate of liver, eating all their vegetables, and cleaning their rooms.
A giant family-size bottle of Castoria has saved the day! And it's more safe and effective than a visit from Child Welfare Services! Thank you, Judy Garland impersonator!
Now here we have a little girl "Doing her best for Daddy," and setting the table with all the Monarch brand products Daddy loves...
The text reads:
"All women are born with the knowledge that men like good things to eat. She is a lucky woman who learned as a little girl that the Monarch's 'Lion's Head' trademark always means pleasing and satisfying foods. More then 200 items bear this dependable token of Purity, Flavor and Excellence."Yes, it's innate, that knowledge. We females come out of the womb and think, "Gosh, I bet my dad could use a Pure and Flavorful can of Monarch Teeny Weenie Sardines and a cup of Monarch Coffee right about now."
We just don't know how to articulate it.
Now, I loved this one. "Are You a Modern Motorist?"...
If so, you probably have:
- An automatic windshield wiper
- And front and rear bumpers
Yep, front and rear bumpers! The 1927 coolness equivalent of SatNav.
Have you been taking your front and rear bumpers for granted lately? I know I have. So the next time you get in your car, give 'em an affectionate pat. They've earned it.
And here we have a Creepy Sneering Bellboy or a Pink-faced Organ Grinder Monkey telling us...
...Philip Morris cigarettes are healthier for us than other ciggies! Yes, indeed, protect your throat with these finely made sticks of cancer. The text reads:
"It's a fact-- all smokers sometimes inhale. More smoke reaches delicate nose and throat passages. And chances of irritation increase! But now look at the findings of eminent doctors who compared five leading brands of cigarettes... and report that:
In striking contrast to Philip Morris-- irritant effects of the four other leading brands averaged three times as high-- and lasted more than five times as long!
Some inhaling goes with smoking... but worry about throat irritation need not go with inhaling. Change now to Philip Morris-- for pleasure without penalties. Why wait?"
Um, yeah. No comment.
But hey-- why is Uncle Sam looking so stern?
Let's take a closer look...
"Uncle Sam says we must drive our cars longer." And so who is there, ready to give us terrific advice on ways of making these cars last longer and save on resources...? These American cars whose fuel burns red, white and blue... ?
Some unshaven French dude in a beret! And French Dude (Dude de Francais) recommends Hastings Steel-Vent piston rings. Thank you, Dude de Francais! Now my American car can endure even more trips to the cabaret to listen to Marlene Dietrich-styled torch songs, while I eat pomme frites and caviar and drink boujoulais.
Ooh-la-la! Uncle Sam will be so proud.
But before we go...
Yes, yes... We know already. You folks never tire of bran. It's been made abundantly clear.
Join me for Wednesday's post, when we take a look at a few more ads from Successful Farming. I know that may seem a bit irregular, but I assure you-- this time the ads won't be.
Hope to see you then!