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“Stay fit and slim by taking amphetamine,” and other questionable advice from the past. With pictures.

Probably good advice.
Probably good advice.

We’re going way off-topic for this one. Some good advice, and bad advice, from days gone by. (After the jump.)

Not a good idea.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this “magic powder” is probably not such a good idea.
Good advice. Lions are large, wild animals.
Good advice. Lions are large, wild animals.
I'm going to say "good advice." Have a good time. Be your freaky self.
I’m going to say “good advice.” Be your freaky self.
Very bad idea.
Very bad idea.
Good idea. I mean, what the heck, it's good cardio, and you're probably not going to sprain anything.
Uh, good advice? I mean, what the heck, it’s decent cardio, and you’re probably not going to sprain anything.
Bad idea. Just say no to  peer pressure!
Bad idea. Just say no to peer pressure!
Uh, good advice? I mean, if you're both consenting adults, and you're not in monogamous relationships with anyone else, why the heck not?
Uh, good advice? I mean, if you’re both consenting adults and not in monogamous relationships with anyone else, why the heck not?
What? I mean, it's good to plan for all contingencies, but dude, you're creeping me the fuck out.
What? Sure, it’s good to plan for all contingencies, but you’re creeping me the fuck out.
Bad idea. If animals start ordering you to do things, do not listen to them. Animals cannot talk. Did you just take peyote? Try to remember.
Bad idea. If animals start ordering you to do things, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. Animals cannot talk. Did you just take a massive dose of peyote? Try to remember.
Uh, it's dog food. I dont think you need to smell it.  Look on the internet to see what brands are safe and healthy for your dog.
Uh, it’s dog food. It’s going to smell gross. Look on the internet to see what brands are safe and healthy like a normal person.
I don't know what the fuck is going on here but whatever you do, DO NOT DRINK ANY GROVE'S TASTELESS CHILL TONIC. I REPEAT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT DRINK GROVE'S TONIC.
I don’t know what the fuck is going on here but whatever you do, DO NOT DRINK ANY GROVE’S TASTELESS CHILL TONIC. I REPEAT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT DRINK GROVE’S TONIC.
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anarchodin
anarchodin
5 years ago

When I saw the “teach your wife to be a widow” one, I have to admit my first thought was: Great! There were too many cases where women were left helpless after their husband’s death, good that someone saw it as a bad thing and wanted men not to cause that.

I rather think the stories here reinforce that view.

Assuming, you know, that’s really what the book is about.

Lynne Daniels
Lynne Daniels
5 years ago

I think the Teach Your Wife to be a Widow book is referenced in Lynn Peril’s Pink Think. I know I’ve heard of it before,and that’s the most likely place. The title is meant to be a grabber, and the contents are about letting a (possibly very sheltered) woman , who may have never held down a job in her life, know what to do in the event of her husband’s death. How to handle taxes,file insurance claims, stuff like that. In some homes, even non employed women handled all the finances, but in others , the man did everything and made pretty much all the decisions, and the book is meant for those women especially. Having to suddenly understand how to deal with financial contingencies and home maintenance while also wresting with grief is a terribly steep learning curve.

The reviewers insist on posting “humorous” reviews pretending it’s a how-to murder guide, but the rationale behind the book was certainly valid for that era:

http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Wife-Be-Widow/dp/B000BK2F9S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430657403&sr=1-1&keywords=teach+your+wife+to+be+a+widow

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

Though I imagine the Redpillians don’t give a damn what might happen to their wives and families after they’re gone.

Evidence suggests that Redpillians don’t give a damn what happens to their wives and families even while they’re still alive. :/

ejshoko
5 years ago

Unfortunately, amphetamine works for weightless 🙂

sn0rkmaiden
5 years ago

@Sunnysombrera,

true, sadly true.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Using amphetamine for weight loss is still less disturbing than purposely ingesting parasitic worms that live in the intestines and steal all your nutrients.

I’m honestly surprised that hasn’t come back in fashion. I read an essay once written by a woman who got infected with that parasite not on purpose. She became sick, malnourished and underweight. What happened? Other women were envious. She got increased male attention and it went untreated for a long time because the doctors kept gaslighting her and assuming she was anorexic and just needed to eat a sandwich.

Spindrift
Spindrift
5 years ago

@sunnysombrera “Evidence suggests that Redpillians don’t give a damn what happens to their wives and families even while they’re still alive.”

Some of them seem to care about making their wives miserable though, I guess that’s a sort of care. Just not a good kind.

Cthulhu's Intern
5 years ago

“Teach your wife to be a widow?” There’s an easy way to do that: die.

Mari
Mari
5 years ago

mildlymagnificent, I’d forgotten about the women who didn’t know how to drive. My parents taught two women, a widow and friend whose husband left suddenly, to drive. Not only had their husbands done all the driving, they’d convinced their wives it was some difficult skill beyond their feminine abilities. We weren’t aware of how controlling that tactic had been until Mom and Dad had to build up their self esteem just to get them into the DMV to apply for a learners permit. My parents made a good team, my mother being bracing and positive, while my father was endlessly patient and constantly pointing out the women in his life who were good drivers. He held me up as an example of someone who could not only drive but deal with a flat and change the oil, things he’d taught me to do.

When the divorced and cash-strapped woman got her license, my father announced he was buying himself a new car, walked her over to vehicle registration, and sold her his elderly but well-maintained Oldsmobile for $2. And now I’m sitting here thinking how much I still miss him and how much I owe him.

katz
5 years ago

The story behind the term “snake oil” is fascinating. It’s used in traditional Chinese medicine, so it came to the US in the late 19th century with Chinese immigrants. US patent medicine sellers didn’t want the competition, so they spread the idea that snake oil was fake medicine sold by charlatans.

But here’s the interesting part. Snake oil, like fish oil, contains omega-3s, so it’s actually really good for you. And of course patent medicines were useless and sometimes harmful. So our term for “useless, harmful medicine” was created by the people who sold fake medicine and used to refer to real medicine!

BritterSweet
5 years ago

Doh! I didn’t know the amphetamine one was fake. In my defense, there were a lot of really creepy and very very wrong drug ads in those days.

Have to agree with you there. Tapeworms for losing weight, vagina bleaching with Lysol, the reality is absurd enough for the fake to be believable. Curse you, Poe.

Irene
Irene
5 years ago

Is there actually evidence that the amphetamine ad is fake? The art could have been used twice.

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

Bile Beans sound distressing. Although, from what I’ve read, some foods with bitter qualities (e.g., collard greens) stimulate the gall bladder to release bile; this actually helps you digest fats. One of the reasons eating such foods, besides the nutrients.

There was a time, not so long ago, when doctors and dieticians believed that ‘non-nutritive fiber’ was unnecessary, possibly even detrimental to health. I can believe that someone eating a diet rich in meat and dairy, but devoid of fiber, would become concerned about bowel function.

Curious thing about intestinal parasites; there is some evidence that they influence the human immune response. Since a vigorous immune system would destroy them, they secrete biochemicals that damp it down. Experimental use of deliberately introduced parasites has reduced the severity of conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

Robert – it is thought that the rise in allergies is in part due to us having virtually no intestinal parasites now.

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
5 years ago

There are still plenty of elderly widows out there who don’t know how to put gasoline in their cars, because their husbands did all that. Fortunately there are still a few places where they fill your tank for you…

Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

I have been thinking about the widow thing. I think that there must be quite a cultural difference here in the UK as we used to have, for working class families, the practice of the male wage earner giving nearly all or all of his wage packet to his wife to manage totally. There was no question that she would not manage it better than he.

Widowhood was still a major disaster though, as if the wage earner died his widow could not hope to earn more than half of what he had.

Georgina Hale
Georgina Hale
5 years ago

My 1910 Everywoman’s Encyclopaedia has many useful homemade cosmetic recipes – all based on healthful white lead (lead carbonate)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Ellesar

for working class families,

Indeed. There was once a fascinating interview with Les Dawson. He spoke about his “Cissy & Ada” characters. He had a lot to sat about how working class communities, especially Northern ones, were essentially matriarchal.

It was interesting how this all tied in with the tradition of “mother-in-law” jokes.

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

At one time (mostly in the 50s and earlier) it was widely believed that “regularity”, meaning not only that one must shit every day but at the same time every day, was essential to health. I overheard many discussions about the fact that my grandmother (who died when I was 11) had become a laxative addict late in life. Apparently this was a common problem — people trying to be more “regular” than their bodies were set up to be would take regular doses of more and more powerful laxatives, the effect of each one wearing off with time, forcing the sufferer to go up a notch.
In those days there was a lot of belief in regimenting and scheduling things. Dr. Spock became influential for the parents of the boomer generation because he suggested the radical idea that infants should be fed when they were hungry — that perhaps they knew instinctively when they needed to be fed. Previously it had been thought that unless you held infant feedings strictly to an arbitrary schedule it would irreparably damage the child in some unspecified manner.
There were a lot of ideas that did not survive the 60s — if they even got there in the first place. A lot of the turmoil of the 60s was blamed by conservatives on the “permissive” upbringing promoted by Dr. Spock, who responded by getting himself indicted and tried for counseling draft evasion.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
5 years ago

@GrumpyOldMangina

Laxative addiction…

Okay then

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
5 years ago

@GrumpyOldMangina

I’m not trying to dismiss it, I just really need a better insight on how the hell laxatives can be addicting? Well, I guess something doesn’t need an addictive property to become addicting, but it’s just REALLY weird to think that laxatives can be addictive.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
5 years ago

@GrumpyOldMangina

And also not have laxative addiction in the context of an eating disorder but just keeping your bowels moving and shit.

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

It’s not a true addiction, of course, but if you take a laxative every day for an extended period the effect wears off and you have to go to increasingly stronger laxatives. It is quite possible that extended use of laxatives does interfere with the normal functioning of the bowels, but I don’t know of any evidence for this. The period I’m talking about is one in which the importance of dietary fiber was not understood, so probably the underlying problem was that she just didn’t have enough fiber in her diet. I understand that today laxative abuse is associated with eating disorders, but the obsession with having a bowel movement every day at the same time has mostly disappeared.

On the other hand, here’s our old pal Dr. Oz: “And finally, you’ve got to toilet train yourself. I know it sounds crazy, but you’ve got to get on a routine. It works. It works for kids. It works for adults. You’ve got to go to the bathroom the same time everyday. You’ve got to train yourself. If you are not ready to go, push yourself a little bit, work at it a little bit. When you are regular, it’s heaven.”
So apparently the idea is not quite dead yet. Although given the “quality” of Dr. Oz’s advice in general; …

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

From what I’ve read, laxative ‘addiction’ can happen when someone uses them (especially the powerful chemical ones, e.g. phenolphthalein or magnesium citrate) regularly.* The GI tract, for some reason, becomes dependent on the artificial stimulus; when the user stops using, natural peristalsis fails to commence.

So you wind up having to dose yourself, or you experience even more severe constipation.

This was one of the selling points of Swiss Kriss, Gaylord Hauser’s first product. It was senna extracts in a base of powdered herbs, promoted as a safe, natural alternative to the harsh laxatives then popular. Louis Armstrong was a fan.

*Pun intended.

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

I found this on Wikipedia concerning stimulant laxatives, which were much more heavily used in my grandmother’s time:
“They are the most powerful among laxatives and should be used with care. Prolonged use of stimulant laxatives can create drug dependence by damaging the colon’s haustral folds, making a user less able to move feces through the colon on their own. A study of patients with chronic constipation found that 28% of chronic stimulant laxative users lost haustral folds over the course of one year, while none of the control group did.”

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

Ninja’d! Also, Dr. Oz endorsing regularity definitely destroys any credibility it may have still had.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
5 years ago

@GrumpyOldMangina

Dr. Oz…really. When will people realize that a heart surgeon is not a doctor that specializes in bowels or anything other than taking out and putting in hearts? Hell, he’s not even a heart doctor. It’s like asking an architect to fix your car because they’re both engineers.

@Robert

Yeah, when I was googling “laxative addiction 1960s” (because all the websites on plain “laxative addiction” were all eating disorder sites), Louis Armstrong did come up. I found it super weird that he was brought up, especially since it mentioned this “Pluto Water” stuff, which I’m pretty sure is plutonium water even though I didn’t check the wiki page yet.

Also, radioactive water was a thing people used. And radioactive underwear.

(*crosses fingers and hope these fancy new-fangled italics work*)

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
5 years ago

Nope. Pluto Water had no plutonium. Nevermind.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Pluto Water had no plutonium.

Aww; we’re never going to get any Ninja Turtles at this rate.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
5 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw

Oh, I’m sure they’re out there, somewhere, because of all of these.

reymohammed
reymohammed
5 years ago

The Grove’s Tonic ad is incomprehensible today, but at the end of the 19th/ beginning of the 20th Century, thinness was seen as a precurser to tuberculosis, a disease that was frequently fatal. It was thought that by keeping children, adolescents, and adults younger than 30 chubby, one protected them from consumption– and, in a time when many people could not get an adequate diet, such tonics seemed like an affordable substitute.

freemage
5 years ago

You know, all things considered, the “Teach your wife to be a widow” thing was probably not merely appropriate, but actually a bit progressive, bordering on the subversive, at that point in time.

It reminds me, in a way, of that jewelry billboard campaign in India awhile back. “You can’t choose your husband, but you can choose your jewelry.” It was roundly condemned in the West–but the fact is, in much of the world, arranged marriages are still totally a thing, and in India, specifically, the one thing a woman can rely on getting after a divorce is the jewelry. So the ad was basically telling women, “Hey, if he turns out to be shit, you want to have an escape parachute ready.” Again–downright subversive in that society. Not exactly feminist–feminsim, of course, would just say ditch the arranged marriage entirely. But at least it highlights the flaws in the existing system, which might in turn lead to a further feminist push.

And to bring it back around, I can see women looking at this book, in ’50s middle-class America (and note, the surroundings there are definitely middle-class for the day, as is their clothing), and thinking, “Okay, yeah, I need to know this stuff–so why haven’t I ever learned it before?”

Tabby Lavalamp
5 years ago

You know, all things considered, the “Teach your wife to be a widow” thing was probably not merely appropriate, but actually a bit progressive, bordering on the subversive, at that point in time.

But damn if the whole thing isn’t paternalizing, and dominant/submissive image above still infuriating.

I’ve learned through work that too often both members of a couple can end up completely lost if their partner dies. I hope there was a complimentary “Teach Your Husband to be a Widower”. Seeing how lost someone can end it is a life lesson on why a committed relationship needs to be a true partnership.

freemage
5 years ago

Tabby: Oh, totally agree on the image, especially. I shudder to think what would have been in the reverse book–cooking and housekeeping tips, most likely.

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

Freemage – Esquire had a column back in the post-war years called Man the Kitchenette. It was aimed at young single men, and gave practical advice in a gently humorous fashion. The idea was for the reader to be able to cook for and feed himself, as well as impressing women the reader might be dating.

Of course, once married he would never be expected to cook again.

maistrechat
5 years ago

Re: Teaching your wife to be a widow

When I worked circ at a public library people got books on the same subject with similar though less creepy titles through ILL all the time. This was within the last 5 years.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ maistrechat

I bought a book on teaching yourself to drive (published in the 60s) that promised on the cover” So simple; with this book, even your wife could learn how to drive”.

That wasn’t the end of it. It condemned the practice of dipping headlights on the ground that “If his eyes are so weak; he shouldn’t be on the road”

It was quite moral though. When facing a choice between saving your own life or risking a pedestrian “You must do the honourable thing”.

kevin
kevin
5 years ago

‘Teach Your Wife to be a Widow’ – and where the arsenic can be bought…lol.

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

That’s not funny. That’s ugly and ammunition for MRAs to use about murderous misandrist wives.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
5 years ago

@marinerachel

I was just about to put on my MRA glasses and argue that the book was clearly a plot by evil 1940s feminists to convince men to teach their wives these useful skills, after which the wives could safely kill them. It seems like them. Not to mention that I’m pretty sure there must be at least one MRA out there who’s argued that wives should be kept dependent specifically so they don’t kill their husbands.

Still, the husband seems pretty jolly about this idea of being dead soon. Oh, wait, I know! It’s because he’ll be freed from his harridan wife!

[Removes MRA glasses] Right, that’s enough of that. My head hurts.

@ellesar

[…]here in the UK as we used to have, for working class families, the practice of the male wage earner giving nearly all or all of his wage packet to his wife to manage totally. There was no question that she would not manage it better than he.

It’s one of the unexpectedly charming things about Boris Yeltsin that even as President of Russia, he still handed over his paycheck to his wife every month. Admittedly, said paycheck may not have included his various unreported earnings. But I continue to find it delightful.

@tabbylavalamp

I hope there was a complimentary “Teach Your Husband to be a Widower”.

Alas, at a guess it would have read, in its entirety, “Damn it, man, marry yourself a new wife, and be quick about it. Your kids need her!”

Aside from that, I can’t decide whether the most impressive thing about the Get It On poster is the blatancy with which that couple is not [nudgenudgewinkwinksaynomoresaynomore] getting it on, or the fact that it’s an ad for trousers and not for roller skates.

Also, I think the formerly depressed lady in the phosferine ad has had quite enough wine of any type, thankyouverymuch.