My look at some of the advertisements and products of yesteryear. Some weird and whacky, some surprisingly still around today. Here are their stories.
1930 - PEP Vitamins
Pep was a brand of whole-wheat breakfast cereal produced by the Kellogg Company, and introduced in 1923. Pep was a long-running rival to Wheaties, and also the sponsor of Mutual Radio's The Adventures of Superman radio series. One of Pep's advertising slogans was "the Sunshine cereal".
The blogger Zim has this to say about the advert:
Often listed under “Sexist Ads of the Past,” this 1930s Kellogg’s PEP cereal advertisement sure does speak about time in which it was created. In 1938, the Kellogg’s Company introduced several new innovations including Kellogg’s PEP cereal. According to Kellogg’s, PEP was the “first cereal fortified with vitamins B and D through the ‘spray’ method, marking the beginning of the cereal industry’s food fortification processes.”
The two-part advertisement features a husband and wife who are depicted in a photograph and a smaller cartoon. The larger photograph shows the husband dressed in suit as if just returning from work. The women, clothed in traditional housewife attire (dress, heels, apron and feather duster), is embraced by her husband as he exclaims, “So the harder a wife works, the cuter she looks!”
1931 - Milky Way
The Milky Way bar is a chocolate-covered candy bar manufactured and distributed by the Mars confectionery company. The American version of the Milky Way bar is made of chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel and covered with milk chocolate and sold as the Mars bar everywhere else.
Jeff Wells has this to say on the product:
It isn’t named after our galaxy!
The Milky Way bar is actually named after malted milk, a popular drink around the time it was first released, in 1923. Started as an infant formula in the late 1800s, malted milk was prized for its taste and reputed health qualities, and became a key ingredient in the malted milkshake, or “malt.” Eager to capitalize on its popularity, Milky Way’s early ads claimed the candy bar had “more malted milk content than a soda fountain double malted milk!”
To produce a giant candy bar for cheap, Mars filled his Milky Way with mostly nougat, which was (and pretty much still is) just eggs, sugar, and air. Over time, the company added in more caramel, and today Milky Way’s gooey, stringy caramel filling is a major selling point.
1932 - Filmo
Filmo is a series of 16-mm and 8-mm movie equipment made by the Bell & Howell Company. The line included cameras, projectors and accessories.
The Filmo camera series started with the 1923 Filmo 70, beginning a series of models built on the same basic body that was to continued for more than half a century. It was based on Bell & Howell's brilliantly designed 1917 prototype for a 17.5mm camera intended for amateur use.
All models had spring driven motors that had to be wound up using a crank or large key attached to the side. A fully wound camera would allow one to shoot for 35 to 40 seconds at 24fps
By 1983, Bell & Howell would be out of the photographic business entirely. The Filmo product line would be purchased by Alan Gordon Enterprises, one of the foremost dealers for the camera and moved to California.