Category:
Advertising

Alfred Sohm’s Time-Hiding Clock

Benton Harbor News-Palladium - July 18, 1940



A "thinking clock" with no hands and designed to make time-telling difficult has just been invented and built by an ingenious Benton Harbor manufacturer, Alfred L. Sohm, who operates the Acme Game company at the Benton Harbor Industrial center.

The clock, first of its kind ever to be built, announces the hours by a complicated system of lights, buzzers, chimes, and bells. Its inventor proudly claims that several minutes will be required by the average person to tell from the new clock just what time it is.

While the person is trying to tell the time, he will receive all sorts of other information that is designed to distract his attention and confuse him even further. The revolutionary design of the new instrument is expected by its builder to make "clock watching" a fascinating pursuit.

While the new device is perhaps reminiscent of a Rube Goldberg patent, apparently there is a sound principle behind it. The object is to attract attention and discussion for advertising purposes. Instead of merely glancing at the hands of a clock to get the time, people using this clock will have to ponder a bit, and meanwhile they will be taking in concentrated doses of advertising.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 01, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Technology, Rube Goldberg Devices, Advertising, 1940s

Follies of the Madmen #526

Are these supposed to be 18-year-old coeds at university? If so, why do they look 45?

From the SATURDAY EVENING POST for 1/14/1961.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 17, 2022 - Comments (8)
Category: Business, Advertising, Stereotypes and Cliches, Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages, 1960s, Women

Brainbeauism

While serving in World War II, Lt. George E. Lemon suffered a head injury from a jeep accident. As he described it, this gave his brain a "tilt" which resulted in a "me-to-me talkathon" and ended with him realizing "the only way to end war, inflation, unemployment, trade deficits and death."

Lemon stewed on his realization for almost four decades until he retired in the 1980s. Then he renamed himself J.C. Brainbeau and began placing classified ads in various magazines offering to share his comprehensive "4 WAY PEACE PLAN" with anyone who sent him a self-addressed stamped envelope. Those who responded to him, however, just received more ads.

Donna Kossy offers some analysis in her book Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief:

Philosophical ads existed before Brainbeau. They can still be found in the back pages of magazines like Gnosis, Fate or Biblical Archeology Review. Typically, such ads proclaim "Esoteric Secrets of the Egyptians can be Yours," "You Possess Hidden Powers," and once in a while something like, "Jesus Never Existed." While ads such as these might lead you something philosophical, their main purpose is to peddle books and amulets, not to communicate ideas.

For Brainbeau, the ads themselves were esoteric truths. Those who sent Self Addressed Stamped Envelopes (SASE) to Brainbeau expecting to receive literature, products or information received even more ads! They revealed Brainbeau's plans, bit by bit, ad by ad. Several sheets of closely spaced Brainbeau ads could be fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, but the resulting picture would be just another sheet of ads.

I figured someone on the Internet would have archived Brainbeau's bizarro ads. But I found nothing. So below are some of his ads that Kossy reproduced in her book.

You can read more about Brainbeau at Kossy's Kook Museum, which is now archived at the Wayback Machine.





Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 02, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Eccentrics, Crackpots, Advertising

Follies of the Madmen #525

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 02, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Sports, Advertising, Junk Food, Dogs, Asia

Follies of the Madmen #524


Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 27, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Robots, Technology, Advertising, Cats, Asia, Pregnancy

Join the Dodge Rebellion

I'm not sure what all the near-disasters that Pamela Austin was made to face had to do with a "Dodge rebellion," but apparently this series of ads was very popular in the 1960s.

Info from Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood:

In a series of commercials for the automaker, the game starlet [Pamela Austin] can be seen "falling off cliffs, shooting out of cannons, and cracking up airplanes" a la Pearl White, all to get the audience to "Join the Dodge rebellion!" Austin was an immediate hit and fan clubs sprung up all across college campuses. Her impact was huge. She took advantage of the publicity and starred as the ultimate damsel-in-distress orphan Pauline in the projected TV series The Perils of Pauline opposite Pat Boone as her star-crossed lover. The pilot was reworked three times before being rejected by the network and wound up being re-edited for a theatrical release in 1967.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 20, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Advertising, 1960s, Cars

From bashful schoolteacher to man-about-town

Sounds to me like the guy bought a Mustang and became a jerk.

Life - Nov 6, 1964

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 15, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Advertising, 1960s, Cars

Follies of the Madmen #523





Source (pages 10 and 11).

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 05, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Aliens, Advertising, Comics, Cereal, 1950s

Ads between telephone rings

I can only imagine how annoying it would be to have to listen to advertisements between rings whenever you phoned someone. And unfortunately the technology to do this has been developed. Neil Sleevi was granted a patent for it in 1989 (Patent No. 4,811,382), and Bell Atlantic promptly bought the rights to it.

Omni - Dec 1991



Faced with public outcry, Bell Atlantic subsequently claimed that, even though they did buy the rights to the patent, they never had any intention of inserting ads between telephone rings, dismissing the entire notion as a silly rumor. But I'm pretty sure they would have done it if they had thought they could get away with it.

Baltimore Sun - Dec 14, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 02, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Technology, Telephones, Advertising, Patents, 1990s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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