Back in the 1920s, footwear manufacturers and merchants decided that X-ray shoe fittings could bring in lots of customers – people who would be thrilled to let a recent scientific advance help them find the perfect shoe. There was just a little problem…
Vintage health & medical
Here, see what experts then were saying a century ago about how the height of women has changed over the years. They suggested that women were indeed growing taller – and modern data backs that up.
The insecticide DDT was introduced in the 1940s, and originally thought to be safe for people and pets. It was marketed with happy cartoon characters and family-friendly products, but, as we eventually discovered, the poison was bad for people and animals, too.
One of the most unusual ad campaigns of the seventies featured gruff Western star John Wayne pitching Datril, a pain-relief medicine that was competing against Tylenol. Find out more about the ads here.
The old-fashioned benefits of breastfeeding are many, no matter what century you’re living in. Here’s a look back at some of what experts were saying about nursing babies back in the early 1900s.
This vintage ad featured the tagline ‘I had a headache this big… and it’s got Excedrin written all over it.’ That sentence ended up becoming one of the most enduring slogans of the eighties.
If you’ve ever wondered what it might have been like to walk the streets of a major US city a century ago, here, take a peek at the streets of old Washington DC as they were back in the twenties.
Edward Jenner, the discoverer of vaccination – including the smallpox vaccine – and one of the greatest benefactors of the human race, performed his first test experiment in 1796.
Here is an assortment of vintage drugstore products – many strange ones that you won’t find anywhere today, but were popular in markets nationwide in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Did Coca-Cola once have cocaine in it? Amazingly, yes. Originally marketed as a health drink when it debuted in the 1880s, Coca-Cola was said to cure everything from a migraine (aka “sick headache”) to physical exhaustion to depression.
Good news about cesarean childbirth How did cesareans come to be among the safest of all major operations? Here’s a fascinating account of these baby-deliveries
Ayds was a diet candy that debuted in the ’40s – basically a piece of caramel or fudge that contained an appetite suppressant. For years, Ayds candy was a big seller… and then came AIDS.
In the ’60s, 70s & ’80s, kids across the country competed for the coveted Presidential Physical Fitness award. Here’s a look back at the exercise requirements, the awards, the badges and more!
Vintage Reef mouthwash may be memorable only for the name that calls to mind saltwater and tropical fish — not exactly minty freshness.
Retro ’70s fitness basics! Stationary bicycles, rowing machines, slant boards & more home workout equipment from 1976 & 1977 Glide-A-Matic exerciser: A lawnmower-style treadmill Jog
The measles vaccine was invented because it was a common but dangerous disease that could cause inflammation of the brain – and could also be fatal.
In these vintage ads from the ’50s, the message was clear: ‘If you don’t wash with Lysol, you’ll smell bad, and your husband won’t love you anymore.’
The 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people – the majority of deaths from pneumonia following an attack of influenza.
These vintage bleach ads from the ’50s show how obsessed women were supposed to be about getting their laundry perfectly white.
Though she was born famous, then grew her fame as an actress, Jane Fonda’s workout videos were one of her greatest successes. Here’s how it happened.
Find out how X-rays were discovered, see the earliest X-rays, learn where the name came from, and meet Wilhelm Röntgen – the man behind the innovation.
Radium earned Marie Curie worldwide fame, and changed the face of medicine. Here, she describes how this historic scientific discovery was made.
What’s the history of Q-Tips – the little cotton swabs found all around the world? This big brand had a little baby-sized beginning. (Also find out their terrible former brand name.)
Through observation, experimentation and genius, scientist Louis Pasteur was able to create the first rabies vaccine – even though he didn’t exactly know what caused the disease.
Although penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, real research and production started in earnest in mid-1941, thanks to World War II.
On the way to today’s super-simple, pregnancy test sticks that give results in minutes, women had to use these chemistry set-style vintage home pregnancy test kits, then wait hours for a result.
Companies promoted it. Celebrities touted it. Everyday people paid attention, and then spent hours in the sun, trying to get the perfect suntan.
How the Salk vaccine works to fight polio (from 1955) By Herman N Bundesen, MD – The Plain Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) May 13, 1955 The
Back in the ’70s, this ‘New Facts About Marijuana’ pamphlet alarmed parents nationwide, telling them ‘Never have so many turned on with drugs and dropped out of society.’
Advance easy-to-read Colorstick pregnancy test sticks (1987) Now you can be positive… even if it’s negative. Easy-to-read Colorstick Only Advance has an easy-to-read Colorstick that
If women of the ’60s needed slimming or trimming for their legs, they might have tried these retro leg exercises, created for maximum leg-watching appeal.
In the ’50s, doctors started testing Thorzaine on patients – a drug capable of powerful, sweeping effects on the emotions, used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Everybody’s doing it. Swingers, congressmen, housewives, businessmen, engaged couples, secretaries and kids. They’re all out there jogging.
Exercises to take off inches, and diet to drop off pounds – this program was planned for the readers of Woman’s Day by the famous beauty expert Elizabeth Arden.
“Wooden doll” illness noted at university (1960) The Valley News (Van Nuys, California) October 7, 1960 A recently recognized type of emotional illness characterized by
The expensive facts: Can you afford a baby? (1976) By Richard Flaste NEW YORK — Forget, for a moment, the buzzing confusion that greets infants
Camel cigarettes at Thanksgiving? You enjoy food more — have a feeling of ease after eating when you smoke Camels between courses and after meals.
Every year, hundreds of children were stricken with polio. Before testing iron lung machines on humans, two dozen cats had to die under anesthetic.
What is the average lifespan for men and women in America? Among the curious things shown by the census of 1880 is the new data relative to the US life expectancy.
See a timeline and find out about the life and career of this Ulysses S Grant, best known as a Civil War General and as the 18th President of the United States.
Hot chocolate. Roast beef. Bread with butter. Naps. No, this isn’t the ideal vacation, but tips on how to gain weight from a famous actress of long ago.
Here’s some eye-opening insight into the invention of contact lenses! The contacts were made of glass, and although they worked much like they do today, they were thick, uncomfortable, and even a little dangerous.
True autism is defined by specific characteristics — characteristics guaranteed to have any mother, babysitter, and even many doctors climbing the wall.
Two big questions that have emerged over the years: Did George Washington have wooden false teeth? Did George Washington’s dentures include actual human teeth that came from slaves? Find out here!
While Benjamin Franklin may be known for ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,’ that wasn’t his only insight on the subject of sleep. In the summer of 1786, he wrote this, ‘The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams.’
Fat girls’ diet, from 1959 Tested practical ways to take off fat, rushed by return mail in a plain wrapper at special prices. Ann Sheridan
Organic foods: Are they modern-day cure-all elixirs sold by modern-day hokum medicine men? Or are they a more wholesome alternative to the chemically-treated foods we customarily eat?
Based on the state of plastic surgery in the 1920s, and with regular improvements in science, one journalist suggested in 1922 that soon women wouldn’t have to age – ‘I mean shriveled or waddling old and all that.’
When the little one gets the colic By Leonard Keene Hirshberg, A.B., M.D., Noted Baltimore Physician and Author The usual American child, born at full term of
Around the turn of the century, cigarette smoking was on the increase among the women — and it only became more prevalent after that. Here’s a look back!
“Angel of the Battlefield” revered by all soldiers Florence Nightingale’s life was one long sacrifice for the cause of suffering humanity The first Army nurse
How you can lose weight – and eat what you want! “It happened to me,” says Zsa Zsa Gabor No Drugs… No Diet… Results Guaranteed!