Category Archives: Odd

Green Giant Peas — 1952 (Valentine’s Day)

You know, I kind of think this is the result of an agency brainstorming session that got out of control. Someone dared a colleague that they couldn’t make a Valentine’s ad about canned peas. Silly. Of COURSE you can! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Carter’s Trigs — 1951

Another odd underwear ad from Carter’s Trigs, this one at a baseball game. Others can be seen here. …It’s worth it.

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Jell-O Pudding & Pie Filling — 1953

This is the most off-putting ad ever for coconut cream pie. Wonder what happened in the studio that day? Maybe a fire? Loss of power? Fist-fight? Maybe everyone was rushing so they could get home to watch footage of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation? Whatever happened, they should have just scrapped this and started all over the next day.

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Borg-Warner Atomic Power Plant Nuclear Pumps — 1957


I buy ALL my nuclear pumps from Borg-Warner. They’re just that good.

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Muriel Cigars — 1956

This is an ad that actually makes me kind of panicky. Imagine being trapped underwater, in a deep-sea diving helmet, smoking a cigar. Seriously — this seems like one of the horrible sadistic tortures that would not have been out of place in a Dr. Phibes movie.

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PRI Scintillator Geiger Counters — 1955

I’ve heard about the uranium prospecting craze of the 1950s, but this is the first ad I’ve seen for a geiger counter. This was a top-of-the-line model costing $495 (or about $4,100 in today’s money). This page has a lot of cool uranium-rush items, including a bunch of geiger counters with names such as the Snooper, the Lucky Strike, the Vic Tic, the Babbel Counter, and the Nucliometer. The most expensive model from PRI (Precision Radiation Instruments) was the Royal Scintillator (or in France, Le Scintillator Royale … with cheese) at a whopping $1,995 (the equivalent of over $16,000!). The rush is on, kids — yeah, even you, housewives!

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Westinghouse Odorout Lamp Bulbs — 1952


With the text a bit bigger:

This is pretty interesting — a light bulb that deodorizes a room. From a message board I see this: “It appears that they were sold in the 1950s as a deodorizer that worked by producing Ozone via UV light…. The bulbs themselves look like standard incandescents until you power them up. When powered up the gas inside the bulb radiates an intense pale blue light.” Followed by the warning: “Be careful with those :o those produce a lot of UV which can RUIN your eyes, AND give you a sunburn.”

Fram Oil Filters — 1956

Um … what?

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Ammen’s Medicated Powder — 1950

Wow. No doubt a widespread malady back in those girdle-loving days.

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Johnson’s Baby Oil and Baby Powder — 1948

This ad copy is notable for giving us the phrases “afterbath smoothovers” and “urine irritation” (not to mention a gratuitous “hep”). And, wow, that’s a big baby.

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