The reputation of Pabst Blue Ribbon in 2022 is more for nostalgia’s sake than for any prestige that it might hold in a world of craft IPAs, ciders, stouts, and porters. Around here, they price It low for hipsters to drink it ironically. But the Tibbetts seem to be enjoying it. And who were they? Well, Lawrence was an opera singer, actor, and radio host. His mustache never suited him, and he evidently drank heavily for years. In fact, he fell in his apartment and hit his head on a table, which proved fatal. I doubt anyone here has ever heard of him. But Laurel and Hardy did.
When better automobiles are built, Buick will build them.
But until then, drive mediocre automobiles. What? I don’t get it. Buick WILL build them? As in the future? So what are you doing now?
… just like Bogie and Bacall. ♪♫♫ While sparking up may have been a turn on for his much younger 4th wife, Bogey’s health would head south soon after this ad. Turns out smoking’s not good for your lungs. But they sure looked cool at the time.
Esophageal cancer was his diagnosis, which led to surgery, and included removal of his esophagus, two lymph nodes, and a rib. Ouch! Bogie wasted down down to 80 lbs and passed away in early ’57. Lauren Bacall smoked for decades and died just shy of 90. Life’s funny that way.
While I have partaken of Dad’s root beer (“tastes like root beer should”), I confess I’ve never heard of any of the top recording stars listed above. A quick YouTube search didn’t ring any bells, but one piece of footage did prove amusing. Several months after this ad was printed in the summer of 1958, the Diamonds visited Dick Clark on the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show to perform “Little Darlin’.” Evidently, they were kind of a big deal, as the clip has been viewed over nine million times. I think you will agree that they were quite the cut-ups.
The video that immediately follows shows them singing a more recent version of the song, proving that they only improved with age. What a fun find!
In 16 seconds, a trotter can travel one furlong. That’s a sentence I bet you’ve never said. We can deduce that the one trotting, the horse, is the trotter. Back in 1949, when this ad debuted, most folks knew what a furlong was: 1/8 of a mile or 660 feet. That’s further than I have to walk to go to my neighborhood mailbox. The Kohl’s is a half a mile away, so it’s half of half of that. Now I can picture it. I bet I could trot it in a flat minute, but surely not 16 seconds. And that’s the value of language in advertising; making sure your readers are on board. Today, the only furlong referenced is Edward, the hot mess of an actor, bless his heart.
Bayer came out in the century before the one we were all born in, unless you’re wee and Generation Z. And it’s the gold standard for folks with any heart issues to take each morning; I myself took a yummy chewable low-dose one for two years before I could discontinue it. It’s time-tested and cardiologist-approved. If you don’t take it, you’ve got friends or family who do. And if by chance, they want to sprint a furlong, they won’t drop dead of cardiac arrest while doing it.
If you’re the kind of person who wants extra credit and likes to learn old measurements, I’ll toss this bonus pic in for you.
Feel free to incorporate it into this weekend’s conversation, perhaps talking about how one day you’d like to retire and live on an oxgang. Wouldn’t we all?
Last year, when travel was limited, I shared with my dear readers, in two separate posts, some lovely vintage postcards from the Côte d’Azur. Today, we add the third and final installment.
Today we take a quick look at yearbook ads in the back of my 1955 University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida yearbook. Yes, ads might seem banal, but I enjoy the localized details, like this dry cleaning ad.
The cartoons are simple but fun; you can even see cleanliness emanating off the fabric. I like the dime price, the cellophane, and the so very Florida salute to the explorer who led the first Spanish expedition to the state over 500 years ago, Ponce de Leon. In case you’re wondering, yes “peaceful protesters” did vandalize the Ponce de León statues in Miami. What else are you going to do when you’re on unemployment to kill time?
Next up is a BBQ menu with prices one can’t even begin to process.
Have you ever heard of “corn-on-cob”? I’ve only eaten corn on the cob, but I respect the brevity. To think that in one lifetime, a rib plate could go from $1.35 to now $19.00 under this administration is absurd. Why, two chicken plates back then would barely buy me an iced tea today. Another fun fact is the location on the Dixie Hi-Way, which of course, doesn’t exist. The Dixie Chicks had to become the Chicks, Lady Antebullum had to become Lady A, so the Dixie Hi-Way gave way to a series of roads with boring names.
With Florida only being a stone’s throw from the not yet communist-oppressed Cuba, how could they not peddle some cigars? And look! If you buy two instead of one, you save an entire penny! One red cent! Go on, get your college kids some smokes to burn off the steam from finals.
We wrap it up with an all-American product that may surely contribute to diabetes, but don’t it go down nice?
Ah, yes, the delicious and refreshing teeny weensy bottle of Coca-Cola. Imagine how much energy it could provide to the person who had to draw that ad, with all those little lines upon that hand. Plus, it’s fun to note the six digit phone number. Well, that’s all from Coral Gables, y’all. Go out and enjoy a $19 rib plate.
Both of these ads are tucked inside my January 1951 LIFE. Both cough drops, both wild cherry, both manufactured by brothers. Which to choose?
The Smith Brothers were the first to produce cough drops in the US, initially sold from glass jars on countertops. However, to ensure that drug stores sold their quality product instead of fakes, they began to shove them in little boxes with the faces of the bearded brothers.
The Pine Brothers, by comparison, began selling their glycerine tablets out of a confectionary shop, not a drugstore. In these ads, Pine Brothers cost twice as much. Is it because glycerine doubles as a laxative or because they have PINE printed on them? The drops are still stamped PINE to this day, and softish as could be. Softish? Yes, as in stool softener.
Personally, I’ve never had either. We’ve always been Luden’s folks. What about you?
Now in Detroit! I’m not sure why this ad was targeted specifically at Detroit, giving its citizens (comprised of avid surfers along the Detroit coastline) access to the friendly Pepper-Upper. “Frosty, man, frosty” seems consistent with the beatnik counterculture depicted in the Dobie Gillis show that would air the following year. But isn’t the temperature of the drink dependent on its storage, and not its ingredients? Couldn’t any drink be frosty, man?
Like a pineapple, which is neither pine nor apple, Dr Pepper is neither medicinal nor peppery. But that didn’t stop the jingle makers of the 1977 commercial from using the bandwagon formula of letting all of America know that he, she, and they are peppers, and you might ought to get in line and become a pepper yourself. My friends and I loved to sing along with David Naughton when he appeared on our little black and white screens, donning a vest, and cavorting about. Oh, to be peppers!
Having lived in Texas my entire life, where DP was omnipresent, it was always an option. Many of us have visited the Dr Pepper Museum, as well as the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company. We know it was created by a pharmacist in Waco 100 years before we started drinking soda, and we knew the period after Dr was dropped in 1950.
However, it could never top Coke in my opinion, so I opted out of consuming it thrice daily during times of low blood sugar (10, 2, and 4). In fact, I’ve never even ordered one at a restaurant. Perhaps it’s a guy thing. My husband adores it. Oft times, I’ve ordered Coke in a restaurant, and been challenged with “Is Pepsi okay?” which it never is, so I settle for iced tea. But no server ever asks, “Is Mr. Pibb okay?” Never. DP is always available, and unlike a box of chocolates, you always know what you’re gonna get.