Sunday, January 22, 2012

vintage toronto daily mail ad of the day

Vintage Ad #1,811: Cheerfulness is Wearing Tooke Bros.

At first I laughed at the absurdity of this ad’s claims: turning into a misanthropic wretch because of an ill-fitting shirt. Then I remembered I’ve been guilty of yelling in anger or cursing my physical shape whenever a shirt that fit well on its first wearing shrank after being washed. This is especially true if the shirt cost more than my usual apparel budget. There have been times where I’ve been ultra-paranoid about purchasing clothes out of fear they would shrink by 50% or, if it was a type of garment I knew was prone to a water-induced diet, remain in an enlarged state suitable for a clown costume.

In other words, the man in the ad deserves his moment of cheerfulness.

Source: the Toronto Daily Mail, January 23, 1892

Monday, January 16, 2012

vintage toronto world ad of the day

Vintage Ad #1,680: That Blood Poisoning Victim Looks Suspiciously Like a Zombie...

How to turn a nice sketch of a turn-of-the-century gentleman into a depiction of a hideous victim of venereal disease: assign the printer to randomly drop ink over a second copy and switch his fancy tie into a bow tie.

The victim in today's ad looks not so much like a tragic sufferer of syphilis, but more like an Edwardian conception of a zombie or a gentleman whose portrait was painted by Basil Hallward

Source: the Toronto World, May 21, 1902.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

join the international tacky poetry society of toronto

Vintage Ad #1,809: Don't Read This Ad! (but we know you will anyways...)

There once was an ad
Whose opening was mad
And celebrated poetry so bad
It made us kinda sad
But not as much as Vlad
Who tried to write a poem about plaid
While sprawled in his pad
Next to his sleeping dad
For a recent literature grad
He did not think his prose was so rad.

Source: Now, March 30, 1989.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

famous dead poets adopting rural ontario roads department

Road Adopted by Dylan Thomas (2)

Do not go gentle down that good road...

Photo taken on Royal Oak Road, west of Little Britain, September 14, 2011.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

vintage better homes and gardens ad of the day (with a message to jessie)

Vintage Ad #1,801: Get Dreft and Get Both

With the backlog of material sitting here, it takes a while before I get around to thoroughly browsing magazines I've picked up on a whim because they could be useful for future research or a tossed-off blog post.  When I finally get around to reading them, the notes previous readers left behind jump out at me.

Such is the case with today's feature presentation, taken from an early 1950s issue of Better Homes & Gardens I purchased in Herkimer, NY during a roadtrip to Boston last spring.  I was walking off lunch from a nearby diner (a massive Denver omelette, accompanied by biscuits served with gravy that didn't resemble wallpaper paste) along the town's definitely-seen-better-days main street when I stopped in a quirky antique shop. Unlike similar establishments, the prices weren't going to break the bankthe magazine was one of several items I purchased for a buck apiece. Took a quick flip, saw its potential, tossed it in the trunk, and rediscovered it on New Year's Day.

The back cover featured a typical period detergent ad...but what's the upside-down message handwritten near the bottom right corner?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

photo du jour

Construction Carries on at the Toronto Reference Library

Construction continues on the ground level of the Toronto Reference Library. Coming during 2012: a new browsery, expanded gallery space, and a branch of Balzac's.

Also coming in 2012: a return to regular posting on this site. 

Photo taken December 28, 2011.