Odd Ads of the Past: Old Gold Cigarettes , 1950s

31 October 2014

In these 1950s Halloween-themed advertisements, Old Gold Cigarettes is trying to downplay the effects smoking has on one’s health.

Photo Credit: Mascola Group

Photo Credit: Mascola Group

The photo above is from 1950 and states, “We don’t try to scare you with medical claims…Old Gold cures just one thing…The World’s Best Tobacco.” It looks like even the pumpkin wants nothing to do with the smoke!

Photo Credit: Gray Flannel Suit

Photo Credit: Gray Flannel Suit

This advertisement ran in 1953 with the tagline “Scare claims fool no one so… Trust Old Gold for a TREAT instead of a TREATMENT.” Additionally, it goes on to explain some things about health issues associated with smoking:

“Until you try King Size OLD GOLDS, you’ll never know how wonderful a King Size cigarette can taste. We’re tobacco men…not medicine men. OLD GOLD cures just one thing: the world’s best tobacco…to bring you some famous OLD Gold Blend in both Regular and King Size!”

One thing even OLD GOLD can not cure? Lung cancer.

Halloween party at the Hopewell Hospital, ca. 1917

30 October 2014

Patients in costume are shown celebrating Halloween at Hopewell Hospital, Minneapolis City Hospital’s quarantine hospital and tuberculosis sanatorium. The hospital operated from 1907-1924 and was later renamed the Parkview Sanatorium.

In Their Words: William Shakespeare

29 October 2014



28 October 2014
Sign stating DAMNIT! SLOW DOWN A TANK MAY BE COMING posted at intersection somewhere in the American sector during the campaign to take the Anzio area from occupying  German forces.

Photo Credit: George Silk/LIFE

A sign stating “DAMN IT! SLOW DOWN: A TANK MAY BE COMING”, is posted at intersection in the American sector during the campaign to take the Anzio area in Italy from occupying German forces during World War II.

Children in Halloween Costumes at High Point, Seattle, 1943

27 October 2014

The High Point housing project was built to house workers and their families who came to West Seattle during World War II, when the area’s shipyards and airplane factories provided many new jobs. The project’s 1,300 apartments were ready beginning in April 1942. During the first year, kindergarten was held at the community hall and later a 12-room High Point School opened. This photo shows children at a party, probably being held in the community hall.

Founding Fathers as Pin-ups

26 October 2014

Have you ever wondered to yourself “What if the Founding Fathers were pin-up models?” Well, never fear my friends, I have come to the rescue.

You’re welcome.

Filling Ice Cream Cartons, 1939

24 October 2014

Filling cartons with ice cream mix at a creamery in San Angelo, Texas in November 1939.

Mug Shots: Pep the Dog

23 October 2014

Mug shot: A photograph of someone’s face especially one made for police records. The word ”mug shots” comes from the British slang word “mug” meaning “face.”

Pep “The Cat-Murdering Dog” was a black Labrador Retriever admitted to Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania on August 12, 1924.

According to prison legend, Pep was sentenced to life without parole after killing Governor Gifford Pinchot’s wife’s cat. The governor used his executive powers to hand down this unusual sentence. The legend seems to hold some truth as prison records list Pep’s inmate number as C-2559.

However, the governor’s son tells a different story of Pep’s time in the prison. Pep was a gift to the governor’s family by a nephew. The family enjoyed their time with Pep but it was overshadowed by his instance on ripping up cushions. The governor thought there could be another use for Pep that was not so destructive. So, he took the dog to the prison to be used as a therapy dog.

Regardless of the actual reasoning behind Pep’s time at Eastern State Penitentiary, he was loved and treated well by the prisoners. After about a decade, Pep died of natural causes and was buried at the prison.

Whether guilty of cat-killing or acting as a therapy dog, Pep’s mug shot shows him to be guilty of something – stealing our hearts!

In Their Words: Confucius

22 October 2014

Confucius QUote

Public School 88 War Garden, 1918

21 October 2014
School children holding one of the large heads of cabbage raised in the war garden of Public School 88, Borough of Queens, New York City. The garden covers a tract of 1< acres and yielded over $500 worth of produce, ca. 1918.

Photo Credit: National Archives

School children holding one of the large heads of cabbage raised in the war garden of Public School 88, Borough of Queens, New York City. The garden covers a tract of 1< acres and yielded over $500 worth of produce, ca. 1918.

Recoilless Rifle Team, 1951

20 October 2014
Recoilless rifle

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Powder smoke and dust billow as a recoilless rifle team of Co. D, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd U.S. Infantry Division, fire their weapon at Chinese Communist position on Hill 200 near Qnmong-Myon, Korea on November 9, 1951.

Frank Hayes: Died at the Reins

17 October 2014
A modern steeplechase race. Photo by John Holloway

A modern-day example of a steeplechase race. Photo by John Holloway

June 4, 1923 was an unusual day for thirty-five-year-old jockey Frank Hayes.

Hayes was riding a bay mare named Sweet Kiss, a horse owned by Miss A. M. Frayling, in the steeplechase race at Belmont Park on Long Island, New York. Steeplechase is an interesting race as it is as much a speed race as it is an obstacle course. In this race, the horse and rider have to make jumps over fences and ditches of water. The particular race Hayes was participating in was a two-mile course. This was only his second time wearing racing silks. He was considered long shot with 20-1 odds.

The race was very close. The race favorite was J. S. Cosden, who was riding Gimme. Throughout the race, Gimme and Sweet Kiss were separated only by two or three lengths. It was a nail-biter. Rounding the last turn, Sweet Kiss almost collided with Gimme but was able to right himself.  With the finish line approaching, the two dug in. Sweet Kiss crossed over first by a length and a half. Both horses slowed into a walk. Hayes had won his first race!

The excitement and sweet taste of victory was short-lived. The spectators noticed that Hayes was bent over Sweet Kiss. The general thought was that he was adjusting a stirrup. Next thing they saw was Hayes dropping to the ground while the horse stepped over him and continued to walk. A crowd went to help Hayes, among them was Dr. John A. Voorhees the track’s physician. Dr. Voorhees quickly examined Hayes and pronounced him dead.

In a New York Times article dated the day after his day, said that he had actually dead right after crossing the finish line and bringing Sweet Kiss to a walk. However, others say differently. According to Guinness World Records, Hayes died during the race – before Sweet Kiss crossed the finish line. He is now cited as the only jockey to win a race while dead.

The official ruling was that he dead of heart disease. The New York Times also speculated that it was due to the rigorous training jockeys often do to maintain a certain weight level as well as the overall excitement of a big race – and, perhaps even, winning the race. So, June 4, 1923, was a bittersweet day for Frank Hayes.

New York Times, “Jockey Dies as He Wins His First Race; Hayes Collapses Passing the Winning Post,” June 5, 1923.
Guinness World Records, “First deceased jockey to win a race.”

Finding Relatives in Sicily, 1943

16 October 2014

Vincent J. Orivello of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an American soldier, found some relatives in Sicily. Here is is seen eating ice-cream at a sidewalk cafe in Palermo, Sicily with three of his cousins around September 1943.

In Their Words: William James

15 October 2014


Girl Reading “Wonder Woman”

13 October 2014
Photo Credit: NPR Fresh Air Tumblr

Photo Credit: NPR Fresh Air Tumblr

An unidentified girl is taking some time to read Wonder Woman under a “Women Working” sign.

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