Click on image to see it larger. (SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918)
The Pro-Phy-Lac-Tic Brush Company was a health care business established in 1866. Makers of a highly advertised Pro-phy-lac-tic toothbrush, it was acquired by the Lambert Pharmaceutical Co. on February 19, 1930. Based in Florence, Massachusetts, the firm was first called the Florence Manufacturing Company. Its name was changed on September 15, 1924. From 1887-1924 the corporation paid a regular dividend on its common stock.
During World War II the company manufactured dummy plastic bayonets for the USN Mk 1 Dummy Training Rifle for the U.S. Navy. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
And for those wishing to know more about their bayonets…
Beckwith Mfg. Co. and Victory Plastics were very familiar with government contracts having produced scabbards for a few years already, but this was the first Ordnance contract for Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush. Unknown to many P.B. Co was a large maker of toothbrushes. The Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush Company dates as far back as 1843, when Englishman Albert Critchlow, a horn button maker, moved to Haydenville, Massachusetts. The small company changed owners and partners several times before becoming the Florence Manufacturing Company in 1866. This is the date the company officially uses as its inception included on the letterhead stationary they used for official business. The company was experimenting with a new substance they called Florence Compound, which was a crude, brittle plastic made from resin, wood fibers and shellac. This early plastic was used in manufacturing buttons, jewelry cases, revolver cases and, its most successful products, daguerreotype cases. As the then new photographs slowly started to take over Florence Manufacturing needed another outlet for there compound. By installing a few bristles into a block of the compound a hairbrush was created. From that point on all types of brushes and plastics were experimented with and put to use. In 1884 they entered what was to become their largest line, the toothbrush. We must remember back at the time that toothbrushes had not yet been mass created and even Dentistry was in its earliest stages. The problem ahead was to now create a market for this strange new object. And create a market they did. In 1924 the Florence Manufacturing Company changed their name to the Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush Company, it had become their largest line of products.
Pro Brush, as we shall call them, was assigned CAGE Code 82780 for further reference. Today they are a subsidiary of Warner Lambert Co., CAGE Code 82559 and to our knowledge still producing tooth brushes albeit not in the Northampton location which was closed down after the war. In 1942 the Navy approached Pro Brush to work in collaboration on the new idea. The toothbrush maker took on the job and what we know today as the USN Mark 1 bayonet is the end result. A very simple, quick and efficient way of molding was developed to allow for high-speed production. The bayonet blade with the metal insert was produced at a rate of two every four minutes using a two-cavity compression mold. At that speed they far exceeded the rate attainable with steel forged components. It would take ten times that amount of time just to temper a steel blade.
To reach this speed the Bakelite Company sends precut blanks of their resin board to the bayonet manufacturer for molding. After the pieces come from the mold and cool the only work needed on them is to trim the edges, the end gate and any sprue vents. While speaking on this topic we are reminded of other similar plastic uses, the military mess kit knives, machete handles, and even the machine gun elevating levers. Many printers changed over to Bakelite Resin Boards to allow the then standard linotype material to be used in the war effort. Molded resin board had been around since 1932 and was really in its infancy. Necessity really is the mother of invention and with the war effort on, all types of new uses were being found. The trick to the increased strength over regular plastic was the use of small fibers. Today we see this typically in fiberglass products and more recently replacing iron re-bar in concrete. The non fiber Resinox was tested and declined by the Army in 1941 for mess kit knife handles, much too fragile in drop tests shattering from a six foot drop. The added fiber did add strength for its intended limited uses. While the blade is made from two pieces of resin board the guards are made from three layers. The handles on the other hand are made from diced or shredded resin cut to the size of the U.S. Standard Number 6-screen mesh. This allows for the heated material to achieve a proper temperature, consistently, for good molding. (SOURCE: U. S. Military Knives where there is more to this article)



The Olympics would never be the same after Munich in 1972.

In 1973 I made my first trip to Europe. Landing in Frankfurt I remember being stunned to see a plane surrounded by soldiers with guns and tanks. It was an EL AL plane. Welcome to the nightmare.

When I was in Munich, walking around in the park next to the indoor stadium, it seemed so odd to be in the place I’d watched on television less than a year before. Life went on as if all of it had just been a TV drama. I remember being upset that the fellow at the food cart only sold warm Cokes. That was my moment of sanity before I went back to thinking about the nightmare that had played out.

I look at the siege mentality at the London Olympics and it feels hopeless. Instead of things getting better through the decades they’ve only gotten worse. The insanity has become the norm.

I don’t watch the Olympics anymore. The last games I watched were the ones in Barcelona in 1992. I haven’t missed them. I don’t like the way they’re sold, the faux drama in the coverage, and the “us against them” mentality with the medal counts.

It’s sad to mark moments in our lives with shared tragedies because of television. Only a few years before Munich the world watched as we landed on the moon. Weigh the good with the bad moments shared by all of us and I’m guessing the bad will have more weight. More of us will remember the shared horror of what people do to each other.


The ILLUSTRATORS in 1918...continued

More advertising illustrations from the July 1918 Delineator magazine.

Click on any image to see it larger.

(SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918)



I've said before how much I dislike stock photography, specifically of people. I've had to use it over the years and after a few minutes of looking at it, trying to choose the perfect image for the job, I start to feel as if I'm stuck in the town of Stepford. The people all start to look the same. Their clothes are the same. Their smiles all look the same. And their eyes, their eyes look like they're ready for the next pose even before it's happened. They're there to sell product and they know it. They dare not offend. They dare not be original. They are to represent all of us and at the same time none of us. And they're everywhere.

I miss the days when illustration was used throughout magazines. It wasn't just the articles/stories that were illustrated; the advertising was still using illustration.

What follows are images from ads in the July 1918 Delineator magazine. On a few of them you'll see signatures of the artist, but most are nameless. I have removed text for all but one so the product will be unknown.

If anyone has anything to contribute about any of the illustrators I'd be happy to include it.

Click on any image to see it larger.

(SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918)

Now, try to imagine each of these ads done today; lifeless looking people with perfect smiles. Vacuous. Corporate drones. Yes, I miss seeing illustration in advertising with an illustrators imagination at work.



Such a deal! Free shocks for 10 days and then take them back. They of course believe that you will be so happy with your rental shocks that you’ll want to make them yours permanently
“But Henry, they're very expensive. We simply can’t afford them.”
“Nonsense, they’ll pay for themselves in no time. Just the gas mileage savings alone. I tell you, it’s going up a nickel before summer. So don’t star complaining to me when you want to go to Atlantic City in June to visit your mother and we don’t quite have enough money for gas.”
“Well, I don’t…”
“Didn’t baby feel better on the road, no more coccyx pain? Your breasts were barely bouncing. Comeeeeeeeeee onnnnnnnnnn. Just for me, Poopsie. Besides, what could possibly go wrong with a product made by Hassler?”

(SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918)

To read a bit about the product click here to read a page from The Hardware Review, Vol. 42.

Click here to see another vintage magazine ad dating from 1919.

And I know a friend is going to be excited to see the image below which can be purchased here at the George H. LaBarre Galleries in Hollis, N.H.

Or click here to see an actual shock absorber plaque.

And the only biographical information I found in this article which states that Robert H. Hassler of Indianapolis, Indiana was the owner of the company.

I'm wondering if I could get these installed in my desk chair. Maybe my breasts wouldn't bounce around so much in this chair.


SNOW WHITE and the SIX GNOMES cut-outs

This Snow White and her Six Gnomes is from The Delineator July 1918 issue. Sometimes the magazine included paper dolls, other times they were little cut out scenes like this.

(SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918) Click on image to see it larger.

The artist, Robert McQuinn, is rather difficult to research. I cannot find any biographical information about him other than that he did illustration work for publishing and also was involved in costume and set design for the theater.

To see other work by McQuinn click here and here.

Okay, you're probably asking the same question I'm asking...where's the seventh gnome? That could be a mystical question for sure.



When you got sick with a cold as a kid did your folks bring out the blue Vicks jar or the green Mentholatum?

We were primarily a Vicks family. However, I do have one little green jar of Mentholatum purchased long ago in Scotland when I was fighting a cold while on vacation.

This vintage magazine ad is from The Delineator dated July 1918, war time. I'd sure like to know who the illustrator was. And I'm thinking...hmmmm...Mentholatum on aching feet. I might just give this a try. Then again I don't really want to have someone say, "What's that smell?" To which I'd respond, "My feet."

(SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918)  Click on image to see it larger.
The beginning of The Mentholatum Company started when Albert Alexander Hyde left the real estate market in 1889. With the collapse of the market, Hyde established a new partnership called The Yucca Company, located in Wichita, Kansas, which focused on manufacturing and marketing shaving creams, laundry soap, and toilet soap. The Yucca Company was the beginning of The Mentholatum Company.
When The Yucca Company started manufacturing a cough syrup containing a blend of camphor and menthol, named Vest Pocket Cough Specific, Hyde became intrigued by the soothing and anti-inflammatory effects of menthol. After years of research and experimentation, the company introduced the original "Mentholatum Ointment" in December 1894, which consisted of a combination of menthol and petrolatum. Sales went wild. In 1903, Hyde opened a second office in Buffalo, New York, to handle sales and distribution east of the Mississippi River. In 1906, The Yucca Co. officially incorporated the name "The Mentholatum Company" after its flagship product and no longer sold soap. In 1909 a new factory was built in Wichita, Kansas and in 1919 a second factory was built in Buffalo. The Wichita factory was closed after the death of A. A. Hyde in 1935 and the corporate offices were moved to Wilmington, Delaware in 1937 and later to Buffalo in 1945. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)


C. F. SAUER COMPANY, From Bland to Grand!

This vintage magazine ad is from The Delineator, July 1918. Uncle Sam asking you to participate in the war effort. Imagine that? Making grocery shopping political and implying the citizens of a country should band together as one in time of war. Spice up your dinner during wartime. Would we have the stomach for it today? Do you think Uncle Sam could get any of us to do anything these days?

(SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918)

The image below is from the Sunday News, Charleston S. C. on March 17, 1918. Click here to see the paper, it's well worth the time. Note that the blue highlighting is simply Google Books way of saying, "Look here! Here's what you want!"

The C. F. Sauer Company is still in business.
The C.F. Sauer Company was founded on October 13, 1887.
In 1929, Sauer purchased Duke’s Products Company and thus entered the mayonnaise industry. The recipe for Duke’s Mayonnaise has not been altered since it went into production in 1917.
In the 1950s and 1960s, C.F. Sauer Co. introduced Gold Medal spices and purchased Dean Foods (a margarine company). In recent decades, the company also purchased BAMA brand mayonnaise and Spice Hunter brand exotic spices. It was the first spice company to use plastic containers. Their condiment facility is located in Mauldin, South Carolina (southeast of Greenville). They acquired Pleasants Hardware in 1989. In 2011, C.F. Sauer Co. sold its Dean Foods division to a subsidiary of Bunge Limited. (SOURCE: Wikikpedia)
Who was Uncle Sam?  Was he based on a real person or pure fiction?
The Evolution of Uncle Sam
Sam Wilson was a meat packer in New York, who supplied rations for the soldiers. They had to stamp their contractors name and where the rations were coming from, onto the food they were sending. On the package, it was labeled “E.A – US.” When someone asked what that stood for, a coworker joked and said “Elbert Anderson (the contractor) and Uncle Sam,” referring to Sam Wilson, though it actually stood for United States. As early as 1835 Brother Jonathan made a reference to Uncle Sam implying that they symbolized different things: Brother Jonathan was the country itself while Uncle Sam was the government and its power.
By the 1850s the name Brother Jonathan and Uncle Sam were being used nearly interchangeably to the point that images of what had been called "Brother Jonathan" were now being called Uncle Sam. Similarly, appearance of both personifications varied wildly. For example, one depiction of Uncle Sam in 1860 depicted him looking like Benjamin Franklin, (an appearance echoed in Harper's Weekly's June 3, 1865 "Checkmate" political cartoon) while the depiction of Brother Jonathan on page 32 of the January 11, 1862 edition Harper's Weekly looks more like the modern version of Uncle Sam (except for the lack of a goatee).
However, even with the effective abandonment of Brother Jonathan (ie Johnny Reb) near the end of the Civil War, Uncle Sam didn't get a standard appearance until the well-known "recruitment" image of Uncle Sam was created by James Montgomery Flagg. It was this image more than any other that set the appearance of Uncle Sam as the elderly man with white hair and a goatee wearing a white top hat with white stars on a blue band, and red and white striped trousers.
The image of Uncle Sam was shown publicly for the first time, according to some, in a picture by Flagg on the cover of the magazine Leslie's Weekly, on July 6, 1916, with the caption "What Are You Doing for Preparedness?" More than four million copies of this image were printed between 1917 and 1918.
Flagg's image also was used extensively during World War II during which America was codenamed 'Samland' by the German intelligence agency Abwehr. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
So, the message here is "Don't be bland, be GRAND!" Otherwise there's going to be an old dude with a gray goatee at your front door pointing at you for not listening to his recipe suggestions. And no, the old guy with the goatee is not your Uncle Ralph simply having a '60s flashback with a craving for Fritos.



Commercial Art. Visual Communications. Graphic Design. All of the previous phrases were ones I juggled in college and years after.

Being called a commercial artist in the late '60s and into the '70s was a negative. It meant you worked for corrupt corporate America. You worked for "the man." I remember having a "discussion" with someone in line at registration. She was a fine arts major and couldn't fathom how I was going to make a living doing commercial art. If I were to take a wild guess I'm betting I'm the one who has been working in my field since leaving college and she probably never got a show in a gallery. I could be wrong.

Visual communications was the title for a series of core classes designers had to take. At the time I thought it just sounded hokey, but I can't tell you how many times I've used the phrase to explain what good design is about.

Then there's graphic designer. These days the phrase is so common I could scream. Every moron with an Adobe product hangs out a shingle. Knowing InDesign and Photoshop does not a designer make. Life, a good eye, an understanding of far reaching subject matter, AND the ability to use InDesign and Photoshop start to get you into the neighborhood. Once saying you had a degree in graphic design drew blank stares and, "Oh, that sounds interesting." These days it's, "Oh yeah, I do that too. I did some business cards for a motorcycle shop and a poster for a poetry slam at the senior center." It usually takes awhile for my eyes to uncross.

Sometimes when I'm working on a book I think back to Gutenberg and how he is the forefather of what I do. Imagine him seeing a computer and one person typesetting an entire book while listening to NPR then changing their mind in the middle of the night and reformatting the entire book by simply changing some style sheets. The fella's head might explode.

Here is a vintage magazine ad from July 1918 extolling the possible benefits of being a commercial artist simply by studying with the Federal School of Commercial Designing correspondence school.

(SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918) Click on image to see it larger.

No, this is not the "Draw Me!" school. You can read about the school and the other art correspondence schools here.
During the late teens and early twenties, when advertising began a meteoric rise and commercial artists and letterers were in demand, correspondence schools were founded to train illustrators and designers. The most notable included The International Correspondence Schools in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Washington School of Art in Washington, D.C., The Lockwood Art Lessons in Kalamazoo, Michigan, The New York School of Design in New York City, Art Instruction, Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota and The Frank Holme School of Illustration in Chicago, Illinois. The leader, however, was The Federal School of Commercial Designing founded in 1919. The Federal School's headquarters occupied a three story high, block long building in Minneapolis; had branch offices in New York City and Chicago; boasted over seventy-five advisors and full-time faculty members, was larger than any of the other schools; claimed over 3000 home study students annually enrolled and offered "a well-rounded, practical preparation for a profession" that was recognized by the Home Study Institute and the Midland National Bank of Minneapolis. (SOURCE: Draw Me Schools of Commercial Art by Steven Heller at The Designer Observer Group, December 3, 2008)



If you follow my vernacular photography blog you'll know I have a fascination with what I call Time Traveling Celebrities. I occasionally find an old photo of a person who looks like someone famous. My theory is that the famous have special powers the rest of us are not privilege to. They can go back in time and the only evidence is if they are accidentally photographed. Usually they go way back in time, not just a few decades.

I'm thinking Will Ferrell has powers beyond even the regular celebrity. He's bold, willing to be right up front about his time travel. Even possibly willing to be in an ad? Nah, it can't be. Was there ever a man so daring? This is the second time I have caught him in his travels, the first can be seen here. Pretty amazing fella. I nominate him to the Time Traveling Celebrity Hall of Fame.

(SOURCE: Life, August 18, 1972) Click on image to see it larger.

To see other Time Traveling Celebrities visit Will in my grandmother's album and click on the label "Time-Traveling-Celebrity."


The low ENO'S FRUIT SALT diet

Honestly, until I saw this ad in the July 1918 issue of Delineator magazine I'd never heard of this product. Surprisingly I guess it's still being made. You can read about it here and here. Not really interesting enough to post any information other than it was "invented in the 1850s by James Crossley Eno of Newcastle, the Fruit Salt sold like hotcakes to sailors looking for something to keep them healthy on long journeys." However, I love the illustration, which sadly has no signature.

Click on image to see it larger.

And what is an aperient? Not a word I recall ever hearing. Well, it's a drug used to relieve constipation. So, there you go. Learned something new today. Not a total waste.


Take it or leave it WITH A JEEP

From the July 1969 Sunset magazine I give you Jeep camping. Frankly, I didn’t even know you could put a camper on a Jeep, nor do I recall ever seeing one. Here’s proof they existed.

(SOURCE: Sunset, July 1969)

Now the question is was this possibly the stupidest camping spot ever? Cross a stream then camp at the base of a rocky hill on a tiny spec of open space. Of course he drove away leaving her to fend with the falling rocks and wildlife. Or perhaps he was washed downstream.

I’m beginning to think the “Take it or leave it” is referring to his wife. Not a good sign.

To those familiar with Ernie from my photography blog visit Ernie’s wife and daughter with their camper.


Celebrating LIBERTY

This image by William Balfour-Ker is from the July 1918 Delineator magazine.

We were at war on July 4, 1918. Now, 94 years later we're still at war with people on the other side of the globe. It never ends and probably never will.

Liberty seems so logical to most of us, but it's not a universal language. It's too often fighting religion, greed, and political dominance. We're really always on the tipping point. So try to not go shopping for sales to celebrate the founding of this country or wave a flag mindlessly without really thinking about what it means. Don't be a good consumer. Be a good American which means respect people, stop listening to those who yell the loudest, and don't follow every fool who claims liberty is simple if you just think like they do.

As to the illustrator, an avowed Socialist, which means he dreamt of liberty for all, not just the few:
William Balfour Ker was born in Dunville, Ontario, Canada on July 25, 1877 of Scottish heritage. His mother, Lily Florence Bell, was a first cousin of Alexander Graham Bell. The Ker family immigrated to the U.S. in 1880. His early education and training are unknown. As a young man, Ker was an avowed Socialist, his art often reflecting his political beliefs. In the 1890's, he became a naturalized citizen and a student of the great illustrator Howard Pyle.
During this time he met a fellow student of Pyle's, Mary Ellen Sigsbee, daughter of Charles D. Sigsbee, captain of the USS Maine [Spanish-American War]. Politically, Mary Ellen was as far to the left as he was to the right. She and Ker fell in love, and despite her father's vigorous objections, the couple eloped in 1898. After their marriage they lived in Greenwich Village, where they worked out of a small art studio. A son, David, was born in 1906. The following year, they packed up their infant son and went to Paris to paint.
Ker's style was influenced by other Social Realists of the time, particularly Diego Rivera, who was in Paris at the same time. By the time they returned to New York a couple of years later, the marriage was failing, ending in divorce in 1910. Ker married model Josephine Phillips, with whom he had one daughter and three sons. The daughter, Yosene Ker, grew up to marry Lathrop Weld and bore him three children. The youngest was Susan Ker Weld, known to moviegoers as Tuesday Weld. The teen idol of the 1950s and '60s is the granddaughter of William Balfour Ker and Josephine Phillips. (SOURCE: Fine Old Art)