Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Good for What Ails You - Part 1

This isn't a postcard, but a trade card from around 1880; it's called a metamorphic trade card.
We may make fun of the miracle cures and snake oils of yesteryear, but in fact we have many similar and equally questionable remedies today. And some remedies like this one were probably very effective. It's an ad for cod liver oil, Van Stan's Emulsion. Cod liver oil went out of fashion a long time ago, but we have rediscovered it. I take fish oil, so I'm hoping it will make me look younger just like it did these people. Besides that, it will cure scrofula, whatever that is.
All you have to do is flip back the top of the card and the miraculous cure has taken place:
The woman looks dramatically younger and healthier. I'm going to go out and buy a couple of bottles.
The other side of the same card has another equally good advertisement for a cement glue (Van Stan's Stratena):

Fold back the top and everything is fixed!


  1. Ah großartig,
    vorher- nachher.
    Von diesem Zeug hätte ich gern was.
    Ich wünsch dir einen schönen Tag

  2. It was fortunately before my time. I did have to take Geritol tablets as a kid because I was going through a skinny period. The tablets smelled awful. Tv commercials are sometimes like that as a sick woman instantly has better hair, make up, nice clothes and is smiling. Neat postcards.

  3. There's so much to like on these - the great graphics (I love the messages on the tablecloth!), the medical claims, and the poems. You could rework these for your blog:

    Other blogs were tried and bored,
    When reading them we often snored.
    See how our smiles of joy now beam,
    The Daily Postcard makes all serene

    The before and after images may prove a bit trickier . . .

  4. Fascinating and hilarious. We haven't learned a lot in 100+ years!

    BTW, when I requested an address off postcrossing yesterday, I got you! What a coincidence!

  5. Oh my, how wonderful!
    I think I like these comments even more than I like this card. I'm always thrilled to hear from Janine and Larry, and Our Porch in Hillsborough's poem just made my day. But then, to top it off, Aimee has drawn my name in Postcrossing. What are the odds? I asked myself that question last week though too when I was given the name of someone I knew. It's happened twice in one week now, along with all of the other addresses from Finland, China, France, Belarus, Korea, etc. Maybe these Postcrossing people are omniscient. Anyway, you four really made my day and I thank you.

  6. Cement or emulsion Alan? I'll take a case of both!

  7. Christine, I'm not as poetic as Our Porch, but I agree. Your blogs are SO informative and interesting, not to mention well-written and fun...I love the way you described those smiles on a couple postcards back:)

  8. Thanks Trishia - I really appreciate your praise.



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