The present-day equivalent of this, I think, would be the feelings of desperation and rage that persistent telemarketers can cause. (Though thanks to caller ID, I just never pick up when they call, which is multiple times every day since the "do not call list" is apparently a complete farce.)
Kingsport Times - Apr 10, 1929
Insurance Agent Pesters Prospect to Near Suicide
CONCORDIA, Kans., April 10 (AP) —Hoping to rid himself of a persistent life insurance agent, Walter Cyr, a young farmer, left a goodbye note to friends and then disappeared.
For three days he was sought in the vicinity of his farm home by hundreds of men and finally was located sitting on a straw stack. When searchers approached he swallowed a small quantity of poison but experienced no ill effects because of prompt medical attention.
Cyr said he had wandered about the countryside for 72 hours, attempting to nerve himself to suicide. He asserted he knew no other way to escape attentions of the insurance man who had been "bothering" him.
Lloyd McManus, president of the Southern Iron and Metal company, insured his brain for $100,000, noting that, "I make my living with my brain."
The inevitable jokes followed in the media: A penny for his thoughts, what happens if he has a brainstorm, etc...
The Bridgeport Telegram — Jan 17, 1957
A Scottish cruise line felt the need to take out an unusual insurance policy. They are covered in the event that the Loch Ness Monster
should damage one of their ships. That is sure to make their passengers feel so much more secure.
Gosh, this looks like a really not boring, laugh-a-minute game. And perfect for these economic times!
Stick to your kitty cats, Andy!
More pix and info here.
Yes, we believe our clients are dumber than a sack of troll dolls, and are not afraid to insult them to their faces.
This illustration, by the way, comes from the great Abner Dean
for December 1936. Two image files, click separately.]
Sniffles = Death.
Not the most subtle or believable of Madison Avenue appeals. Sure, in that pre-antibiotic age, pneumonia was deadly. But I can't imagine that the proportion of cold-sufferers who contracted pneumonia--at least among the affluent audience for Fortune
--was any higher then than it is today. In other words, miniscule.