April 4, 2008

When straps were straps and soap was profound.

A subway car from the early 20th century (at the NY Transit Museum):

Old subway car

I loved the old ads on display. Let's concentrate on the soap:

Old soap ad

Old soap ad

Old soap ad

ADDED: One more:

Ads in old subway cars

19 comments:

rhhardin said...

The important point is that the lightbulbs have left hand threads.

Trooper York said...

Did you go down the manhole? Cool.

Trooper York said...

And no, that's not what you think it is Titus.

There is a tour where you go down a manhole to see old trains in an abandoned tunnel. Very cool stuff.

rhhardin said...

Then there were the days when the $.25 DC bus tokens fit the $.15 NYC subway turnstiles, in case you had any left over.

Kirk Parker said...

As anyone who has lived amount subsistence farmers in the Third World knows, soap is a luxury not to be taken for granted. (So are many other things, like a decent, sturdy cardboard box.)

That our current ads focus on other things is just Yet Another Measure of how wealthy we've become in the West.

AllenS said...

My grandmother made our soap until the mid 1960's. Lard from pork, and I can't remember if she used wood ashes/water or lye. I used to marvel at the fact that my friends had soap that smelt so good.

SGT Ted said...

Note the ad pointing out that the soap floats. Back before showers were commonplace I would imagine.

HoraceGumdrop said...

Oh, back before public transportation seemed so public.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

The ads for soap were there because the trains were so dirty. I remember the trains in the sixties were actually left over from the 1940's with wicker seats that would tear your clothes.

Now the ads are all about immigration lawyers and hemorrhoids

Windbag said...

When my big sis lived in NYC (Astoria--Hell's Kitchen) and we visited, I always HAD to wash after riding the N train back to her house. Rich, warm colors in the photos.

Jake said...

I have a collection of Lux Radio Theater programs going back to 1936. Most of the ads for Lux soap from 1936-1939 tried to convince women to bathe every day

ricpic said...

Subway To THE CITY

Yellow seats and yellow lights and red clay colored floors
And the long grind through the dark
From one sour station to the next and the next and the next
And then our station where we take the stairs two at a time
And emerge into the cool light of day
And the always excitement of the everywhichway to and fro
And are surprised again for the hundredth time --
Damn, What A Town!

Trooper York said...

There is no greater feeling in the world of transportation, than to be in a jam packed 4 train as it rocks back and forth and suddenly it comes out into the sun and you see Yankee Stadium. Ohhhh baby.

Chip Ahoy said...

For crepe de chine or
Georgette Crepe waists, and
All the other crepe that soils your clothes
try Lux and
Lukewarm water.
Lux

Middle Class Guy said...

I remember Fels Naphtha laundry soap. The red, green, and white label. I also remember the taste of it; ma would shove a bar down the throat for perceived poor language.

I also remember Ivory Snow. It made cool foam for making snowman art.

Ronald Reagan did those ads on his show for twenty mule team Borax.

God I'm old.

Middle Class Guy said...

Trooper York said...
There is no greater feeling in the world of transportation, than to be in a jam packed 4 train as it rocks back and forth and suddenly it comes out into the sun and you see Yankee Stadium. Ohhhh baby.

I feel the same way when I take the el in Chicago and it pulls into the Addison street stop. There is Wrigley Field. I used to work there as an usher when I was a kid. The Bears played there too sometimes. Life was so good.

Susan said...

Trooper York said...
The ads for soap were there because the trains were so dirty. I remember the trains in the sixties were actually left over from the 1940's with wicker seats that would tear your clothes.

That's why my mom would always make me wear little white cotton gloves - the Purell of the 50's. The gloves would be black by the end of the day but my hands would be clean! And I think my earliest memories of all are the marks those wicker seats left on my skin. Thanks for the reminders.

former law student said...

The Woodbury's Complexionville ad was a ripoff of Sapolio's Spotless Town series of a previous generation:

http://imagehost.vendio.com/preview/vi/vintageads4u/Sapolio1901BW1.jpg