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“Stay fit and slim by taking amphetamine,” and other questionable advice from the past. With pictures.

Probably good advice.
Probably good advice.

We’re going way off-topic for this one. Some good advice, and bad advice, from days gone by. (After the jump.)

Not a good idea.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this “magic powder” is probably not such a good idea.
Good advice. Lions are large, wild animals.
Good advice. Lions are large, wild animals.
I'm going to say "good advice." Have a good time. Be your freaky self.
I’m going to say “good advice.” Be your freaky self.
Very bad idea.
Very bad idea.
Good idea. I mean, what the heck, it's good cardio, and you're probably not going to sprain anything.
Uh, good advice? I mean, what the heck, it’s decent cardio, and you’re probably not going to sprain anything.
Bad idea. Just say no to  peer pressure!
Bad idea. Just say no to peer pressure!
Uh, good advice? I mean, if you're both consenting adults, and you're not in monogamous relationships with anyone else, why the heck not?
Uh, good advice? I mean, if you’re both consenting adults and not in monogamous relationships with anyone else, why the heck not?
What? I mean, it's good to plan for all contingencies, but dude, you're creeping me the fuck out.
What? Sure, it’s good to plan for all contingencies, but you’re creeping me the fuck out.
Bad idea. If animals start ordering you to do things, do not listen to them. Animals cannot talk. Did you just take peyote? Try to remember.
Bad idea. If animals start ordering you to do things, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. Animals cannot talk. Did you just take a massive dose of peyote? Try to remember.
Uh, it's dog food. I dont think you need to smell it.  Look on the internet to see what brands are safe and healthy for your dog.
Uh, it’s dog food. It’s going to smell gross. Look on the internet to see what brands are safe and healthy like a normal person.
I don't know what the fuck is going on here but whatever you do, DO NOT DRINK ANY GROVE'S TASTELESS CHILL TONIC. I REPEAT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT DRINK GROVE'S TONIC.
I don’t know what the fuck is going on here but whatever you do, DO NOT DRINK ANY GROVE’S TASTELESS CHILL TONIC. I REPEAT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT DRINK GROVE’S TONIC.
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Robert
Robert
7 years ago

Ninja’d! Also, Dr. Oz endorsing regularity definitely destroys any credibility it may have still had.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
7 years ago

@GrumpyOldMangina

Dr. Oz…really. When will people realize that a heart surgeon is not a doctor that specializes in bowels or anything other than taking out and putting in hearts? Hell, he’s not even a heart doctor. It’s like asking an architect to fix your car because they’re both engineers.

@Robert

Yeah, when I was googling “laxative addiction 1960s” (because all the websites on plain “laxative addiction” were all eating disorder sites), Louis Armstrong did come up. I found it super weird that he was brought up, especially since it mentioned this “Pluto Water” stuff, which I’m pretty sure is plutonium water even though I didn’t check the wiki page yet.

Also, radioactive water was a thing people used. And radioactive underwear.

(*crosses fingers and hope these fancy new-fangled italics work*)

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
7 years ago

Nope. Pluto Water had no plutonium. Nevermind.

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

Pluto Water had no plutonium.

Aww; we’re never going to get any Ninja Turtles at this rate.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
7 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw

Oh, I’m sure they’re out there, somewhere, because of all of these.

reymohammed
7 years ago

The Grove’s Tonic ad is incomprehensible today, but at the end of the 19th/ beginning of the 20th Century, thinness was seen as a precurser to tuberculosis, a disease that was frequently fatal. It was thought that by keeping children, adolescents, and adults younger than 30 chubby, one protected them from consumption– and, in a time when many people could not get an adequate diet, such tonics seemed like an affordable substitute.

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

You know, all things considered, the “Teach your wife to be a widow” thing was probably not merely appropriate, but actually a bit progressive, bordering on the subversive, at that point in time.

It reminds me, in a way, of that jewelry billboard campaign in India awhile back. “You can’t choose your husband, but you can choose your jewelry.” It was roundly condemned in the West–but the fact is, in much of the world, arranged marriages are still totally a thing, and in India, specifically, the one thing a woman can rely on getting after a divorce is the jewelry. So the ad was basically telling women, “Hey, if he turns out to be shit, you want to have an escape parachute ready.” Again–downright subversive in that society. Not exactly feminist–feminsim, of course, would just say ditch the arranged marriage entirely. But at least it highlights the flaws in the existing system, which might in turn lead to a further feminist push.

And to bring it back around, I can see women looking at this book, in ’50s middle-class America (and note, the surroundings there are definitely middle-class for the day, as is their clothing), and thinking, “Okay, yeah, I need to know this stuff–so why haven’t I ever learned it before?”

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
7 years ago

You know, all things considered, the “Teach your wife to be a widow” thing was probably not merely appropriate, but actually a bit progressive, bordering on the subversive, at that point in time.

But damn if the whole thing isn’t paternalizing, and dominant/submissive image above still infuriating.

I’ve learned through work that too often both members of a couple can end up completely lost if their partner dies. I hope there was a complimentary “Teach Your Husband to be a Widower”. Seeing how lost someone can end it is a life lesson on why a committed relationship needs to be a true partnership.

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

Tabby: Oh, totally agree on the image, especially. I shudder to think what would have been in the reverse book–cooking and housekeeping tips, most likely.

Robert
Robert
7 years ago

Freemage – Esquire had a column back in the post-war years called Man the Kitchenette. It was aimed at young single men, and gave practical advice in a gently humorous fashion. The idea was for the reader to be able to cook for and feed himself, as well as impressing women the reader might be dating.

Of course, once married he would never be expected to cook again.

maistrechat
7 years ago

Re: Teaching your wife to be a widow

When I worked circ at a public library people got books on the same subject with similar though less creepy titles through ILL all the time. This was within the last 5 years.

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

@ maistrechat

I bought a book on teaching yourself to drive (published in the 60s) that promised on the cover” So simple; with this book, even your wife could learn how to drive”.

That wasn’t the end of it. It condemned the practice of dipping headlights on the ground that “If his eyes are so weak; he shouldn’t be on the road”

It was quite moral though. When facing a choice between saving your own life or risking a pedestrian “You must do the honourable thing”.

kevin
kevin
7 years ago

‘Teach Your Wife to be a Widow’ – and where the arsenic can be bought…lol.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

That’s not funny. That’s ugly and ammunition for MRAs to use about murderous misandrist wives.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
7 years ago

@marinerachel

I was just about to put on my MRA glasses and argue that the book was clearly a plot by evil 1940s feminists to convince men to teach their wives these useful skills, after which the wives could safely kill them. It seems like them. Not to mention that I’m pretty sure there must be at least one MRA out there who’s argued that wives should be kept dependent specifically so they don’t kill their husbands.

Still, the husband seems pretty jolly about this idea of being dead soon. Oh, wait, I know! It’s because he’ll be freed from his harridan wife!

[Removes MRA glasses] Right, that’s enough of that. My head hurts.

@ellesar

[…]here in the UK as we used to have, for working class families, the practice of the male wage earner giving nearly all or all of his wage packet to his wife to manage totally. There was no question that she would not manage it better than he.

It’s one of the unexpectedly charming things about Boris Yeltsin that even as President of Russia, he still handed over his paycheck to his wife every month. Admittedly, said paycheck may not have included his various unreported earnings. But I continue to find it delightful.

@tabbylavalamp

I hope there was a complimentary “Teach Your Husband to be a Widower”.

Alas, at a guess it would have read, in its entirety, “Damn it, man, marry yourself a new wife, and be quick about it. Your kids need her!”

Aside from that, I can’t decide whether the most impressive thing about the Get It On poster is the blatancy with which that couple is not [nudgenudgewinkwinksaynomoresaynomore] getting it on, or the fact that it’s an ad for trousers and not for roller skates.

Also, I think the formerly depressed lady in the phosferine ad has had quite enough wine of any type, thankyouverymuch.

Chele
Chele
1 year ago

What used to be mens “little black books” is most definitely their now modern days phones. Also, 1 sure fire way of “teaching your wife to be a widow”. Lmfbo Similar to those old adds about having a different girl in every city. Yeah, we’ll all help get you to the one who does not care. Stay there. Cause the rest of ua do and do not want you

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