Even More Brow-furrowingly Funny Vintage Ads


Last Sunday, we dug into Successful Farming magazines of the 20s and 40s, a time where the people were of, um, unnaturally strong fiber.

So today, join me for part two of this excursion into the past, as Mrs. Willers gives us the willies over "Glasbake"...

We learn the right way to use "spandy-clean" in a sentence...

And we meet the, um, hot chicks of farming, 1927-style...

Let's get started!


We begin with a whole new level in garment suds-boosting hydro-submergence technology (okay, laundry... doing laundry). Introducing new "Anti-Sneeze Rinso"...


"The Rinso people aim to please..." sing delighted cartoon ladies on ice skates. "They've made new Rinso Anti-Sneeze!"

Yessir, I always croon about my laundry detergent al fresco as a form of personal Ice Capades. Doesn't get the really big crowds going, of course, but is great exercise and good way to get the message out to the local hockey team...

Those jerseys could be whiter.

Like so many ads in the 40s, Rinso emphasizes the benefits of their product through broadly-smiling generic comic character endorsements.

Here our Housewife Heroine tells her smiling husband just how much they're saving using Rinso...


The friend, Mary, of course, is just a genius about these things. All the smart housewives in the neighborhood turn to her for tidbits of information on everything from Rinso and Spamburgers, to how to know if that lipstick on their husbands' collars really belongs to the secretary.


"And Ed, look how spandy-clean your shirts are?" Yep, I bet Ed can barely enter the office without coworkers stopping him, gasping and saying:

"Gosh, Ed-- your shirt's looking so spandy-clean today! Just how does that wife of yours do it?"

And Ed says, "Why, I'm glad you asked, Bob! I agree, my shirts have never been more spandy-clean since Peg started using Anti-Sneeze Rinso. That gal is sure is swell!"

I'm not sure why the, er, Pro-Sneeze Rinso prior to this appears to have been, in fact, less spandy-clean. But then again, I'm not entirely certain I want to know the answer to that, either.

Well, once you've done the wash, it's time to make-up that face of yours. And who will show us how to do it?... Who?... Who?...


Marge Simpson's grandmother, for Armand Cold Cream Powder!... Didn't know that famous blue -do was hereditary, did you?...

The text reads:

"Your prettiest face...
It's the one you look at last
as you leave your mirror...
Is groomed and dainty....
Fresh as a June rose. The
problem is: to keep it that
way always when you're busy
...dancing, working or en-
gaged in outdoor sports.

So basically, it's a really nice way of saying, "Look, lady, this is as good as it gets and it's all downhill from here. "

But Marge's grandmother knows: the cold cream powder helps her tone down that famous, jaundiced complexion, and keep it looking fresh as a yellow rose.

So after you've made up your face? Then why don't you make yourself welcome and... um...



...Stop scaring off small children with your bad breath? Ah, but it isn't just children is it? No!! It's manicurists! One-hundred and eleven of 'em!:

111 Manicurists say that halitosis is apparent in about every third customer-- every one of them men from the better walks of life. Who should know better than they? Fact to face evidence.
That's right-- one in three well-to-do men will apparently spend money on getting themselves a nice set of French tips, but not on an economy-sized bottle of Listerine. And hey-- if 111 manicurists say so, why, it simply must be true!

Of course, you'll need fresh breath-- for all the gasping and crazed laughter you'll apparently be doing when you get your FREE GLASBAKE SET!...


"Just say the word to your husband... and see how easy it is to get this whole set!" the ad tells us.

Down at the bottom of the ad, you'll note Mr. Martin Willers is a whole lot less enthused about the "famous, genuine" Glasbake than Mrs. Willers is up top. In fact, what they're not telling us is, Mrs. Willers gets just as excited about peas... And checkers... And gowns that tie in the back.

Yes, you guessed it, Mrs. Willers is an inmate of Sunnyside Sanitarium! She won't actually be allowed to take the Glasbake with her-- she could shatter one of the pans and use the glass to injure herself or others.

But, as Mr. Willers says, "Daggumit, jest look how happy she is! You gonna take that away from her?"

They'll order it and bring the Glasbake to see her on visiting days.

And now we go from the manically-ecstatic, to the mildly-entertained land of disembodied heads...


"In my opinion, insulated Texaco motor oil is an oil that ensures protection," say Herbert Harloff, whom we've never seen before in our lives but we automatically trust, due to his good-natured smile and nifty Gabby Hayes hat.

And if Herbert isn't enough to persuade you, Texaco offers you three more floating heads to offer the kind of sincerity heads with bodies just cannot provide...


Like Elliot Ness up top, who wasn't quite paying attention because he had a few other things on his mind...

And then that, um, German villain from Raiders of the Lost Ark below him...

And then, lastly, maybe the first husband of this stunning starlet...


Mrs. Jim Moore... Under that mild, spectacled exterior lurks a woman who is bound and determined to give you "here, for the first time, the one thing you've always wanted."

Money? Fame? Gregory Peck?

No! Who wants all that rubbish when you can have chickens! And not only does Mrs. Jim Moore sell chickens but she's also "hiring men or women chick agents-- no experience necessary!" Chick agents?

So, um, when the chick agent closes a deal does he have to place a call to his peeps? (yeah, yeah, I know, but I had to.)

Ah, but now we see Mrs. Jim Moore has some tough competition-- from this elegant beauty...


Gusta B. Atz. But Gusta doesn't sell chickens... Nope-- she sells "chix." It's interesting to see chicken sales was such a female-dominated business. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "hen party."

I love, too, how much times have changed. Check out what Mrs. Atz says here:

"I enjoy the confidence customers are manifesting in us with their hard-earned cash... Parting with cash in advance requires confidence. I repeat that we appreciate this and personally pledge myself to retain this confidence."

Today, it'd be more like:

"I enjoy the confidence customers are manifesting in us with their hard-earned cash... Parting with cash in advance requires confidence. We appreciate this and should be having a grand ol' time in the Cayman Islands soon. We will send you a postcard."

It does seem, though, that being a chick agent was a rough life. Those women look so terribly sad...

Or perhaps they'd just had this for dessert...

Apple jewels in tapioca... beeee-oootiful!

Perhaps the aesthetic beauty in the 20s/40s was different than today? What do you think?

Hope you enjoyed today's 100% laxative-free post.


If not-- perhaps I'll see you Sunday! Hope you have a lovely week. (And stay warm!)

17 comments:

Da Old Man said...

This is one of the best yet, but I have some serious questions that will remain unanswered for all eternity.
Why do the Chix have to be ordered by March 9th?

Could there possibly be a more random date?

I've always wanted chicks guaranteed to live 30 days, so that ad makes perfect sense to me.

chyna said...

Is it me or does that dessert look like sloppy gunk from the botton of the kitchen sink?

I agree the chick pimps sure don't look too happy with this little venture they've got going there. Maybe they didn't get their bottle of Listerine and didn't want to smile for fear of the fumes wafting from their mouths. Just a thought. hehehehehe

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Da Old Man- Well, like Marshmallow Peeps, they have an expiration date! (Heh, of course neither of us have any clue about livestock-- both being from Jersey!) :) If they don't talk about it in Pathmark, how would we know?

Chyna- Yes, yes, it does... See, the great thing about these ads is, you folks see and make your own PERFECT connections between products. I LOVE that!

Gail said...

As a woman who read "Successful Farming" as a child and with my sisters took care of the chickens, I know that the baby chicks had to started in the late spring and the seller would have to know how many eggs to hatch to fill the orders. Chickens were always the responsibility of the women on the farm and the egg money belonged to them.
I don't remember the ads being so funny but then I was a child in the 50's.

Bird said...

Do you know where I can get some of that Anti-Sneeze Rinso? Snorting something so powerfully anti-sneeze will surely do my terrible cold no end of good. It seems to have already worked wonders on the lady with the free Glassbake set - I'll DEFINATELY have some of what she's having!

Andrea said...

We specialize in SEXING??? My dear Mrs. Atz, are you sure that this is a word?? And do you realize that your name alone caused me to sit up and take notice...starts with A and ends in Z?? And only three letters long!
The En-Ar-Co people claim that "nothing is easier to clean than glass!", so would they please send a crew over to my house to wash my windows this spring? I'll skip the insulated oil and lubricants though. Oh no, that's Texaco. Sorry, Gabby...tell The Duke that I said howdy.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Gail- AH! This explains the amount of ladies being "chick agents" :) I would have loved to have seen "chick agent" written on a business card!

Bird- Oh no, you have that big sneezing/coughing up lungs cold that seems to be going around? Everyone around here is sick! (So far I've avoided it, but time will tell.) We'll see if we can swing some of that Anti-Sneeze Rinso your way!

Andrea- I do believe it is called sexing, determining the sex of an animal-- although it surely looks strange to see in an ad. I DO think you're onto something with that Atz thing, now. A-to-Z? Hm.

I could use that window-washing myself. Double-panes make for double pains. :)

Adullamite said...

Aaaaah, how lovely to see a woman doing the washing,it's what she was made for.........

white o'morn cottage said...

Priceless! You always find treasures (of many different genres_)

Keep it up...please...love...Pam

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Adullamite- Yeah, yeah, nice try, Mister... I'm not taking the bait on that one. :)

Pam- Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I hope you're having a good new year so far.

Debbie said...

Hi Jenn....I've been visiting blogs all evening but had to save the best for last...I always get a kick out of reading your takes on old advertising. I thought of you over the holidays when I found some old recipe pamphlets...LOL

Hope you are having a wonderful New Year!

Debbie
www.shabbycozycottage.com
www.patchoulirose.com

Melanie said...

Black and white just doesn't do justice to tapioca. I love tapioca, but that just looks icky.

Now, that texaco oil guy Herbert, can I take him home with me? He's just too cute! But the floating heads just give my the willies.

Great post as always Jenn.

Oh, and yes, sexing really is a word.

Carolina Gonzalez said...

Once again, you made my day! What an amazing writer you are :D!

Lana Gramlich said...

Spandy-clean??? *ROFL!*

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Debbie- Hey! Thanks so much! There are some hysterical old ads out there, aren't there? I hope your new year's going well so far, too! I think about you.

Melanie- I like tapioca too, but that is one weird photo. Those apple slices sticking out like horns or appendages... (shakes head) And yes, please take Herbert-- he needs a good home. :)

Carolina- Thank you. :) Nothing better than making someone's day!

Lana- Yup, spandy-clean. And I expect you to use it in a sentence this week. :)

film said...

Our friends said that I want to know why my March 9 ? (:

film izle said...

Hope you are having a wonderful New Year!