I don't think I ever saw a Paul Bunyan pinball table in the wild, but it's a beaut.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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!
I can honestly say that it has never occurred to me to make replica fireworks out of hot-dogs.
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.
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.