Just Because It Made Me Laugh

From an ad for Nature’s Remedy tablets, Delineator, January 1935.

I try to resist reading all the ads in Delineator — I still have hundreds of copies to go. But sometimes an ad that has nothing to do with fashion catches my eye — Like this constipated bride.

So did this one …

Ad from Delineator, March 1937. Courtesy Remembered Summers.

… especially when I realized it was from the American Frog Canning Company. Things got so bad during the Depression that my father even tried panning for gold. But he didn’t invest in this scheme for getting canned frog legs on the dinner table in every American home.

Sorry I don’t have a photo of the complete Nature’s Remedy ad, just this much:



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9 responses to “Just Because It Made Me Laugh

  1. OMG, the frogs — “Honey what’s for dinner? Creamed frog, dear.” In the mid-50s my mother fell for something like this, only it was earthworms and we were not supposed to eat them. She ordered a container of worms, I still remember exactly what it looked like. She had prepared a couple of wooden boxes full of dirt for them, but she took one look and could not touch them. I think she actually paid me to do it for her. Unfortunately they all found their way through cracks in the boxes and made their way into our garden. Hilarious really.

  2. A sharp eye and a sense of humor! You rock, Susan.

  3. D

    Constipation! Yes it’s funny by today’s standards. However, in the 19 century constipation was considered to be dangerous, even to the point of death. I’ll avoid the impolite details, but a lot of centered around “auto intoxication” (self poisoning!). If you google books child care you can find comments that indicate that the well brought up child had regular bowels. My first husband had an aunt who claimed that as a girl in the 1900s?? her Saturday mornings were spoilt because she had been “dosed” on Friday nights!

    Although the advert (1935) talks to brides I suspect that the ad is aimed at older women, say in their 40s and 50s. They would have been brought up to the idea of “must go every morning” in the late 19 century when the fear of constipation was at its height.

    • For me, the humor was the implication that marriage made her constipated. I am only too familiar with the obsession with “regularity” of previous generations; my parents (born in 1904) shared the obsession. As a child I was dosed with castoria, syrup of figs, and worst of all, liquid milk of magnesia. 19th century children, especially those in schools or orphanages, dreaded daily spoonsful of blackstrap molasses or cod liver oil. Movies Silently recently wrote amusingly about Daddy Longlegs (1917) in which “orphan” Mary Pickford leads a strike against institutional prunes. Ironically, the widespread adoption of white bread in place of whole wheat eliminated many vitamins (still undiscovered at the turn of the century) and fiber which our bodies need. My parents insisted on fruit at breakfast every day, but, sadly, it was usually canned in heavy syrup. (Unlike the orphans, I did love stewed prunes.)

  4. Pingback: Take In and Trim Off | fit for a queen

  5. Wow. My grandmother gave us cod-liver oil with a molasses chaser every week. I had no idea it was a “thing.”

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