Boing Boing 

Paul Bunyan pinball table ad

I don't think I ever saw a Paul Bunyan pinball table in the wild, but it's a beaut.

June 28~Paul Bunyan Day

Mid-century modern kitchen

Now that's a kitchen!

1950 Armstrong Mid Century Modern Kitchen

Red scare ad for Canadair

I'm a bit baffled by the context for this Canadair red-scare ad -- maybe Korean War?

Do We Actually Know WHERE to Face Communism?

Rare three-axle 1959 Lincoln

Phil Are Go has performed the vital service of close-cropping the finned beast from this 1959 Lincoln ad, for your clip-art pleasure, but not before adding a much-needed third axle. A vanilla two-axle model is also available.

1959 Lincoln - Fab one and a half.

Sugar ad: your diet is depriving your kids of vital sugar!

Here's an undated ad from "Sugar Information, Inc" (our old friends), warning mothers that if they include their kids in their sugar-free, dieting lifestyles, they will be depriving the poor kiddlees of vital sugar and exposing them to "exhaustion." Obviously, this was before the cancer scares and other stuff about artificial sweeteners, because surely that's the major reason to keep your kids away from artificial sweeteners. I love the fact that they recommend sugar for dieters, too: "gives you the va-va-voom you need for all those exercises!"


Anatomical art-school ads

DDB Brazil's poster campaign for the art school at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo displays famous painters who appear to have been dissected, revealing organs depicted in their iconic painting styles. Street Anatomy has the whole set. Shown here: Dali (above) and Van Gogh (right). It's a pity no one's making those t-shirts, they're fab, especially the Van Gogh.

Art School Dissected

Gun ad: you can keep this one cocked under your pillow

Though slightly less extreme than the ad that suggested letting your kids play with your guns in bed, this 1913 Colt ad that advertisement makes hay out of the fact that they make the kind of piece you can "safely" keep under your pillow while sleeping is a bit on the weirdo/paranoid side.

Colt (1913)

Mary Blair AT&T/Tomorrowland ad

On the Vintage Ads LJ group, a widescreen, two-page Mary Blair ad for AT&T and Disneyland's Tomorrowland. It's everything I love about Blair's illustration in an x-wide package. There's a 1600px+ wide version that deserves your scrutiny.

Tuesday Two-Pagers: AT&T/Disney/Mary Blair

Using deadly snakes to sell batteries

This 1949 Winchester Batteries ad was posted to the Vintage Ads LiveJournal group by noluck_boston, depicting a mother-daughter pair whose wise choice of reliable Winchester Batteries have rescued them from the terrible fate of being bitten by a deadly snake in the dark. Now they can be bitten by it in the blinding light of their flashlight. There's also a generous, 1829x1610 scan on Flickr.

Winchester Batteries

1930s monkey ad for Ethyl,

Long before there was a "tiger in your tank," Ethyl wanted to assure you that this delightful simian would speed your jalopy along.

Knock! Knock! Who's there?

AT&T ad boasting about armored payphones, 1971

On the Vintage Ads LJ group, Uptown Girl has assembled a collection of AT&T ads spanning 80 years, including this wonderful, boasting 2-page spread from 1971 that's all about how bad-ass the new payphone designs are.

AT&T brings you fairy magic and the future (1913-1993)

Hordes of expressive little folks doing stuff in postwar booze ads

A delightful post on Phil Are Go! looks at the postwar Calvert Reserve ads, boozy portraits of suburban life populated by a surprising number of expressive little people doing surprising things.

Calvert wanted to be the official drink of the relaxed, fun-loving suburbs, so they commissioned this illustration of idealized suburban Americana as their image of recommended sophistication. Who'd they commission? I can't tell. Somebody whose initials seem to be "CB". The Research and Googling team came up empty-browsered after a rigorous three-page search for the identity of this artist. Reader assistance is appreciated.

Even though the figures in the illustration are really small, there's a lot of personality and expressiveness to be found. You just have to skillfully arrange the character's silhouette. The first thing I notice is the sense of urgency in all the little people who need to get to the party. How did the artist do that? Well, Wwhen people are hurrying comically, they bend at the waist in a kind of rushed hunch. It makes it obvious that they really need to get where they're going. This Calvert-fueled party is THE place to be!

Calvert Reserve - Country for old men

Pyrotechnical hot-dog serving suggestion

I can honestly say that it has never occurred to me to make replica fireworks out of hot-dogs.

Creepy kid aside, those are some AMAZING ways to serve your wieners.

(Image: 1941 ... playing with his food!, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from x-ray_delta_one's photostream)

Lumpy kids on a 1913 sportswear catalog

This 1913 athleticwear catalog cover illo sure makes their customers look like a bunch of swell kids -- like Hal Roach/Our Gang stars who've got the mumps.

Cue the creepy kids!

(Image: 1913 ... Lumpy and Lousey, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from x-ray_delta_one's photostream)

1977 CB radio ad

This 1977 CB radio ad has it all, from the heavy metal concept album lettering to the lens-flares on every surface -- even a halo for the holy gizmo itself.

1977 CW McCall Midland CB Radio

Gun ad: your kids can safely play with this gun

This undated Iver Johnson ad may just be the most disturbing thing I've ever seen posted on the LiveJournal Vintage Ads group. Not just for the odd spectacle of the little girl playing with a pistol in bed above the legend "Accidental Discharge Impossible," but for the accompanying caption "Papa says it won't hurt us." Even without reaching for some kind of sexual abuse innuendo or subtext, the idea that a father would show a small, untrained child a loaded handgun and say, "Don't play with this, daughter, but if you do, it won't hurt you!" is, well, weird.

Iver Johnson Revolvers are not toys…

Betty Crockers through the ages

For all of us who swooned with Bloom County's Milo Bloom as he crushed on Betty Crocker, here's a nice retrospective of the Betties of times gone by.

Betty Crocker Thru' The Ages, Stories Behind 10 Famous Food Logos

Most risque ad for drain-clog remover, ever


Official Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Commercial (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Beverage for young vampires: Borden's Hemo

The rather unfortunate product name ("Borden's Hemo") along with the odd, stilted smile of the young man as he approaches the beverage suggests a vampiric note that probably wasn't intended.

Bordens Hemo

Freedom sounds like fighter-jets

This ad hearkens back to the days before America came to mistrust its military-industrial complex, the dreamtime when the scream of jets was a sound to comfort your children.

Freedom Has a New Sound

World wrapped in plastic: 1948 cling-film ad

This 1948 ad for Viking's "VisQueen" plastic film paints a utopian vision of a world where everything is entombed in airtight plastic layers, rendering it sterile and impervious to the world's depredations and imperfections. My grandmother practiced this sort of mummification in her living room and most of the kitchen until all her grandchildren were well past adolescence.

A plastic cover for everything!

When Listerine made cigarettes

A long-lost brand, and singularly odd one. Like discovering Spicy Cajun Visine Hot Sauce lurking in the product's history.

listerine cigarettes.....

Jolly Green Giant in a dickie

The Jolly Green Giant was always the most ambiguous and slightly threatening of the tinned food mascots. Tilt your head and squint and this is a cruel titan who's toying with the mortals at his dinner table before turning them loose for the Wild Hunt. Plus: Mexicorn!


Space-age Lestoil ad

From the Boing Boing Flickr Pool, this contribution by V.Valenti, showing a superb space-age Lestoil ad.

Lestoil Woman of the Future, 1968.

Monster-movie drive-in poster

A near-perfect example of the monster-movie drive-in poster-maker's art.

"The Biggest THING in Town!"

GameStop competitor: we're not as bad as GameStop, but neither is getting kicked in the testicles

This ad for, a games retailer/reseller, focuses on how incredibly awful shopping at their major competitor, GameStop, is. A quick look at our archives confirms that GameStop is hardly a paragon of corporate virtue.

GameStop Protest (via Super Punch)

Air France's 1947 sleeper service

There's loads to love about this 1947 ad for Air France's sleeper service -- just look at that cutaway diagram! -- but the chart-topping eye-grabber is that awesome sleeper-service bed. Man, if Air France was still flying planes with that interior, I'd never fly anything else.

Loads more mouth-watering vintage aviation luxury ads here.


Pan-Am's ad for poseur cowboys

This Pan-Am ad from 1983 really grabbed my attention with an oddly disharmonious message: first you have the cowboy, sleeping with his hat over his eyes, a symbol of ruggedness and the ability to relax and sleep anywhere, out on the range under a cactus. But then you have the ad's USP: "Delta has spacious, comfortable seats." Do cowboys really value comfort? Isn't that a little citified? You know: "The chores! The stores! Fresh air! Times Square!" Or "East is east and west is west and the wrong one I have chose."

Ah, but the cowboy is wearing a suit. He's not a cowboy, he's a poseur, a nouveau riche oilman who likes to play pretend-cowboy as he jets from one five-star suite to the next. He doesn't clear brush on his ranch, he hires real roughnecks to do that, because otherwise he'd ruin his fancy manicure. So the value proposition here comes down to: Fly Pan-Am, it's the airline for insecure fake cowboys who have too much money.


Contest Entry: Pan Am, "FIRST In Space", 1983

Norwegian butter crisis predicted a year in advance in "funny" ad from butter monopolist

This year-old butter ad from TINE, Norway's "butter monopolist" manufacturer, eerily presages Norway's notorious, Atkins-fuelled butter shortage.

Reklamefilm TINE Smør - Superchef (Thanks, Samurai!)

Bohn Aluminum's hypermodernist futuristic wartime ads

Here's a gallery of advertisements from the Bohn Aluminium and Brass Corporation, illustrated in super-modernist, streamlined style by Arthur Radebaugh. They run the gamut from future farms to future vehicles to exploded engine diagrams, with monorails and super-jumbos and transparent curvy refrigerators for all. They're full of wartime pluck, with ad copy like, "When peace is established, a great variety of new products for the housewife will be forthcoming. One of these will be a new refrigerator... When Victory comes, Bohn will continue such work as designing new refrigerator parts..."

Imaging the Future, Arthur Radebaugh, Bohn Aluminium and Brass Corporation, advertisements (via How to Be a Retronaut)