Our theme for Sepia Saturday 263 features an old advertisement for air cushion pads for horse's hooves. That odd chap who sets these themes suggests that we might like to go for old adverts or strange and unnecessary products.
My first offering is an old advert dating back to May 1944. It tells us that even in the midst of armed conflict - World War II was at its height - "pretty hair (was) still the main attribute of feminine charm". In order to achieve that feminine charm what you needed was a sachet of Evan Williams shampoo.
I have been unable to discover what was in Evan Williams shampoo. but I did come across this memory of the product from a user on a social history website:
"I remember that we always used Evan Williams shampoo which came in a paper sachet and which we mixed with water in a jam jar. If there was any left over, it set like a lobby jelly which slithered through your fingers"
Another advert from the same magazine illustrates a product which might be considered to be more on the cushioned pads for horses end of the pointless scale - cosmetic surgery. The Hystogen Institute in Old Quebec Street, London was established in 1911 by Charles Henry Willi who had been born in Switzerland in the 1880s. For the next fifty years he ran one of the most successful cosmetic surgery clinics in England and when he eventually retired in 1961 he had accumulated a substantial fortune and moved to live in the fashionable French Riviera.
What is perhaps remarkable - not to say bone-shakingly terrifying - about Willi is that he appears to have had no medical training at all. The various qualifications he claimed in his literature were either fictitious or purchased from fake degree factories. It has been suggested that he learnt his trade by practicing on pigs' heads; a fact that did not feature prominently in his advertising literature.
Both these adverts are taken from a copy of Picture Post dating back to the 6th May 1944, which I bought for a few pence at a Antique Fair a couple of years ago. In addition to such glorious adverts, the magazine in full of excellent photography and fascinating articles on subjects such as the new dance that was sweeping the nation back then - the pooka-pooka! Like pretty hair and a perfect nose, the pooka-pooka managed to pass me by - but I am going to do a search on Amazon to see if I can find some air cushioned rubber paw pads for Amy.
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