Keeping with the theme from yesterday about companies advertising their products during World War II, even if they weren't available to the general public due to rationing, I give you Bell and Howell. The copy is pretty interesting. Try to imagine a company saying this to customers today.

From the November 1943 National Geographic.

Bell and Howell_1943_tatteredandlost

Click on the image to see it larger.

To read an interesting bit of history about the use of Bell and Howell cameras during WWII go to The World at War.


  1. We still use fear to advertise, but not quite like this. More typical for today would be some ad that shows a hugely magnified bed bug or dust mite.

  2. Yes, or the fear that you just aren't good enough. It's never if you're smart enough, it's always that you aren't worthy unless you use the product. Your life is incomplete without their product.

    And if you thought this one was scary just wait.

  3. Fascinating advert and thanks for the useful link which pointed me to a book on combat camera men I hadn't come across - but now ordered!
    Having taken photographs in Sarajevo, Bosnia and the first Gulf War, I am always interested in this sort of thing. And, of course, America produced the world's greatest war correspondent - Ernie Pyle!

  4. Laurie,

    Excellent. Glad to hear the post was useful.

    When I was 7 years old, not long after my family had moved to Hawaii, we went to Punchbowl Cemetery where Ernie Pyle is buried. My folks specifically wanted to go to his grave. I didn't understand who he was so they stood there and tried to explain his story to me. I've never forgotten that. Recently when I was talking to someone they said they had gone to Punchbowl specifically to stand at Pyle's grave. In time he'll be forgotten, but for now there are still people alive who remember him.

  5. Ernie Pyle's grave? Wow! I was fortunate enough to visit the library in Albuquerque which was Ernie Pyle's house and try on his hat!

  6. Doubly wow! I wish I'd done that when I went to Albuquerque.