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Only In America!


By Ger Rijff / Bob Pakes

Book Of WisdomDuring the 1950’s, and well into the 60’s, everything us Europeans still consider cool today, came from the other side of the Atlantic: the music, the design, the comic books, the cars, the movies, the teen pop culture … The list just goes on and on. And on!
Here at Echoes, we have a soft spot for the weird, the wonderful, and the wacky side of vintage Americana. In this topic we will focus on the funny and sometimes outrageous advertisements from these years. And there was a lot of it back then! So, buckle up and enjoy!

Scatter reads his master from The Book Of Wisdom:
“Quit this Hollywood monkey business, and get your ass back on that stage!”.




“Who’s your daddy now, daddy?”




You wanna get rid of that ugly depression? Become an alcoholic!



For a Christmas to remember: buy each other a rifle!



“Instructions included with each monkey.
Eats same food as you, even likes lollipos.
Live delivery guaranteed.”



Imagine this: you buy a bottle of vodka, and you can win a russian girl!



Radioactive material: “Completely Safe And Harmless!”.



‘Sabrina’ indeed has “the world’s finest equipment”. Oh yeah!



Doctors recommend Camel …

15 16


… and babies recommend Marlboro!

30 31


Uncle Sam’s guarantee: EVERY soldier has syphilis!



Imagine the woman posing for this advertisment’s grandchildren asking here 50 years later:
“Grandma, were you really a syphilis spreading prostitute??”



The (cold) war certainly was a fun-time as it brought many new toys for the kids!



How about a nuclear sub for a birthday-present?



“Genuine GAS MASKS (war surplus) – Loads of Fun!”.



“The explosion can be heard for a block. Really scatters the gang when you throw this baby in their midst”.



Don’t worry about your teeth, Junior. In a few years time you’ll have new ones!
All we need is nipples on these bottles …

14 13


Wrapping the kids up in Cellophane will give you about 2 minutes of time all to yourself (before you need to dial 911).



You hate your kids? Take Bile Beans Laxative Plus, and you’ll love ’em!



This not a very early ad for Land Of The Giants. It’s just a kid posessed by the devil.



Let’s take a look at the position of the female in days gone by.
Judging by the following ad’s, feminism was still far away and women had a long way to go!



“Turns out you gals are useful after all!”



When wife-beating was still considered an art-form. Those were the days!

63 elviskicksass


Now, let’s give something back to the most senstive of all species: the woman.
Nowadays this would be called a vibrator. But in the innocent 50’s people referred to it as: the vibra-finger.
WIFE: “Honey, I’m gonna take care of my gum now”
HUSBAND: “What?? This is your 12th time today …!!”



Every parents’ dream: a house full of ants …



“Be Healthy – Stay Brown The Year Round”
“Sleep under it”: go to bed as Elvis and wake up as Little Richard.



Can you imagine? Nowadays people are constantly being told they should lose weight.
Well, okay, we are an overweight society.
But in the 50’s the ideal girl wasn’t a skinny one at all. Be Glamorous, And Gain Weight!

388 387


How about this for a bleaching ad?
Hard to imagine this kind of stuff was accepted until only a few decades ago really …



What’s the deal with these devilish looking children in those 50’s food ads?

51 52


Scotch Tape, for multipurpose use!
“Won’t fall in eyes”. No, but your kid will cry all the way to the doctor once you’ve removed the tape of it’s forehead!



More toys for kids: Explosions by remote control!
“You can even rig it up to ‘booby trap’ certain private places” …



An Invisible Helmet that is extremely visible!
“You can see people. They can’t see you!” – “Think of how you can put it on and not be recognized”
Imagine the kid walking around with this large red/white/blue eyecatcher on his head, and the rest of the neighborhood going:
‘Look, it’s that idiot Ricky again wearing his invisible helmet …’.



From the live animals department: a miniature dog.
“Carry it in your pocket. You can keep it in a shoe box”



The perfect gift that every dad bought for his daughter, but secretly kept for himself after he inflated her!
“Dress me up for any occasion. Just let your imagination go”
Any my favourite: “Your bound to find hundreds of exciting and unusual uses for me”



“Spread Your Legs!”
The large backseat is there for a reason. Why be subtle?







12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jim #

    Brilliant. I‘ll need to get me some of these things.
    As the title says Only in America.

    June 7, 2013
  2. Alan White #

    I bet daddy was knackered by the end of playtime.

    June 7, 2013
  3. Alan White #

    I remember Sabrina she was famous for her projections, both of them.

    June 7, 2013
  4. Jeroennl #

    Hilarious! Great topic! More Sabrina! :-)

    June 7, 2013
  5. Gerrit de Jong #

    Now here is something to light up my day!
    No worries about my dentist appointment anymore, I’m laughing all the way …

    June 7, 2013
  6. This site is getting better and better.
    Great topic !
    Thanks again.

    June 7, 2013
  7. Jim #

    Amazing, beat up your wife and then buy her a vibrator …
    I wonder which genius came up with these quality items, have they let them out of the nuthouse yet?

    June 12, 2013
  8. Josep #

    Too cool for words.
    In these awful days of PC-ness, it´s refreshing to see some of those ads.
    And no, I would never beat my wife …

    June 13, 2013
  9. Classic!

    June 18, 2013
  10. Alexander Nijeboer #

    Cool stuff … I fell off my chair laughing!

    July 11, 2013
  11. Niels #


    I’m having a great time here!

    July 15, 2013
  12. r&b #

    Oh man, did I enjoy these! Hilarious.

    July 19, 2013

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