Roaring Twenties Advertising and The New Yorker

Although Mad Men is great to watch, as I expect anything including actor Jon Hamm would be, for an unparalleled advertising era, look to the Roaring Twenties.

An advertisement for Corona In Colors, specifically Moutain Ash Scarlet, promises that “Even a dull college essay begins to sparkle when typed on this most modern of portable typewriters.”

GLYCO Thymoline, under a sketching of feminine hands clutching lit cigarettes, warned that “Lady Nicotine imposes a penalty upon her newly found friends.” It promises to keep feminine voices clear from “the taint of masculine huskiness”.

A luxury apartment building reassured prospective residents that it trained its servants as well as they trained theirs. What could have been worse than moving into a building with your own well trained servants only to find out that the doorman and the elevator man were performing below par? Quelle Horreur!

Canada Dry coyly said that, “For two years this fine old ginger ale was served only in the most exclusive clubs in New York and it was little known outside of those select circles.” Yes, that means speakeasies. And it was made from real Jamaican Ginger! Jamaican Ginger contained a form of alcohol that could cause neurotoxicity. In slang, it was called Jake Leg — a high stepping walk. Perhaps the ginger ale mix diluted its dangerous potential.

And then there’s the cruise ship advertisement, with a regal lady passenger, who announces she loved their chef so much she almost hired him away! Really? In modern times, if you take a luxury cruise, and can seriously consider hiring the chef away, there’s only one name for you: Oprah.

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