Follies of the Mad Men #7


[From Fortune 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.

     Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 31, 2008
     Category: Business | Advertising | Insurance | Death | Family | Hygiene | Medicine | Couples

NotPiffany--I'm very glad to hear of the good outcome from your spouse's abandonment of smoking. It's true that some folks are more naturally susceptible to this disease--"the old person's friend," as it used to be called--than others, for whatever reason.
Posted by Paul on 07/31/08 at 10:45 AM
Phred22--it does seem logical that the trouble would be in the lungs, not the nose.
Posted by Paul on 07/31/08 at 12:27 PM
John--it does seem thought that panicking at every case of sniffles and rushing to the doctor with claims of pneumonia is overdoing things a tad.
Posted by Paul on 07/31/08 at 03:54 PM
Rob--of course pneumonia is dreadful and has claimed many victims, illustrious and otherwise. But that history does not render it immune to our mockery, when circumstances demand it!
Posted by Paul on 07/31/08 at 03:55 PM
Harrison--good point. And of course, as many people have mentioned, the amount of text in these old ads, and the presumption of advanced reading abilities, is a sad testament on our modern illiteracy.
Posted by Paul on 07/31/08 at 03:56 PM
This ad is from about the time of a pandemic flu that killed millions (IIRC) so it's just another case of the pharmaceutical outfits taking advantage of the times.

Has everyone taken their "Purple Pill" today?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/01/08 at 01:12 AM
Outeast--I like those more positive interpretations better than my own half-illiterate tirade.
Posted by Paul on 08/01/08 at 11:18 AM
Expat47--the big flu pandemic of a couple of decades prior was indeed probably still a specter.
Posted by Paul on 08/01/08 at 11:19 AM
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