A GLASS OF LITHIUM each day ought to do it

The small marginal ads in the back of vintage magazines are usually incredibly fun. Both legit companies and hucksters used the small ads to promote their products without having to pay huge ad fees. They could bombard lots of magazines at the same time with their tiny ads.

I bring you a rather dull looking generic ad from The American Magazine in October, 1936.

Now, my first reaction is what I imagine most people would be thinking. Pluto water comes from the dwarf planet Pluto which is comprised of ice and rock. So I guess you could say it's best to have Pluto water on the rocks. (I'm sorry. Really, I am. Sometimes I just have to get these things out.)

The alternative thought, well...we just don't want to go there, do we? Pluto the dog from Disney. How many jokes were there about Pluto water after Disney introduced him in 1930?

As to the actual Pluto Water:
Pluto Water was a trademark for a strongly laxative natural water product which was very popular in the United States in the early 20th century. The water's high native content of mineral salts generally made it effective within one hour of ingestion, a fact the company played up in their promotional literature. Company advertisements stated the laxative was effective from a half hour to two hours after ingestion. The water was an extremely popular product. In 1919, it took 450 railroad cars to transport the bottler’s output.
Pluto Water was bottled at the French Lick Springs, in French Lick, Indiana, a location with natural mineral springs that was also the source of a competing product, Sprudel Water. It was advertised "America's Laxative" with the slogan "When Nature Won't, PLUTO Will". The bottle and many advertisements featured an image of the devil, while its namesake was Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld; so named because of the water's origin underground.
The active ingredient of Pluto water was listed as sodium and magnesium sulfate, which are known as natural laxatives. The water also contains a number of other minerals, most notably lithium salts. Sale of Pluto water was halted in 1971, when lithium became a controlled substance. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
And direct from the planet Pluto where the dog Pluto hails from I give you the Pluto Water Spring gazebo. Available for small parties. Give your guests a parting gift that keeps on giving long after they're on their way home. Put the large 50 cent bottle in their gift tote. In fact, let's see if we can get the 50 cent bottles in this years Academy Awards gift bag. Just a thought.


  1. Replies
    1. Does Martian water work in half the time?

  2. French Lick is the home town of basketball legend Larry Bird. His nickname in college was The Hick From French Lick. Just thought you'd like to know.

    1. That's quite fun to know. Thank you.

  3. What did the first pluto bottle look like? I have some that have ribbed glass and screw caps. Where these early or late bottles?

    1. Sorry, but I have no idea.

    2. Anonymous7/04/2016

      The screw caps are a later variety of bottle. The original ones would be of a cork type. The French Lick Springs Resort has various bottles on display! Come by for a visit sometime! James