Differences between corn and unicorn, brought to you by Ethyl

On the Vintage Ads LJ group, the infinitely amazing Man Writing Slash posts a collection of Ethyl gasoline ads from 1950-1952 that emphasize the advantages of leaded gasoline through humorous graphic comparisons -- a kind of precursor to today's HSBC "We see the world differently" ads.

18 Ethyl Gasoline Ads "-- and there is a powerful difference, too,..."


      1. It seems unlikely that Wood was inspired by Dalí—”How To Tell The Birds From The Flowers” was published in 1907, when Dalí was just three years old! But there are certainly antecedents, for example Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

  1. Cool, I remember I had these collected and reprinted in a free A&P encyclopedia.  Thanks, Cory, I had been looking for them!  Hmmm…. where is the “walrus/ walnuts”  image?

  2. It’s extra humorous because lead poisoning can cause hallucinations and delirium!

    1.  Now we’ve got corn-based ethanol additives in our gas instead – unless you’re running yours on unicorn-based additives, of course, but we’d probably know that from the rainbows coming out of your tailpipe.

  3. That thing on the left looks more like a dead unicorn left rotting out in the sun for a while. Complete with insect.

  4. If you don’t know the story of Thomas Midgley Jr, the man who beat the tetraethyl lead in gasoline, you should.  He not only put lead in gasoline but also invented Freon.  He’s probably the one human being in the history of humanity who effected the global ecosphere more than anyone else.  His death is interesting too.  He was indeed the first geoengineer.

    1. He was pretty arguably innocent RE: Freon, nobody knew that punchline until well after the fact; but he and everybody involved in an authoritative capacity with the Ethyl Corporation ought to have been lined up and shot for that little stunt…

    2. Is my memory accurate, that he also didn’t know of the harm of both of these products in his lifetime? Something fascinating about creating two damaging substances like this to never know the actual implications.

      But ye, it can take a long time to find out this stuff, especially when it comes to combining substances in practical use. This being the primary reason I’m not a big fan of unnecessary chemicals in things like soap and food.

  5. There is a powerful difference between gasoline and the watered down crap that they sell at filling stations these days.

  6. “Ethyl” = tetraethyl lead.

    I can see how that would make you confuse a monkey with a flower.

Comments are closed.