Vintage Ads from the Great Depression or “Are You Gonna Eat the Rest of Your Paste?”


1931 Saturday Evening PostLast night, I was browsing through this 81 year-old Saturday Evening Post (I’m trying to catch up on my reading), when I came across this ad:

This ad states that in 1931,  Gluey Paste was used in over half of schools in the United States.  It doesn’t say what the other half used,  I’m guessing Pastey Glue.

And since it was the Great Depression,  it’s also probably safe to assume  that whether it was Gluey Paste or Pastey Glue — it was certainly the favorite breakfast choice for United States school children everywhere.

Underneath that ad was this happy thought:

Dr. Scholl's SolvexAs the ad so carefully blurts out, if your feet (and toes) are itchy you, could have anything from Athlete’s Foot to Gym Foot — maybe even going so far as to have contracted a case of Golfer’s Itch which is apparently a subsidiary itch of the athlete or the person who frequents a gym.

The ad also mentions ringworm right after mentioning
Golfer’s Itch.  So apparently back in 1931, it was common place to contract ringworm while golfing.

Of course, it was nothing to worry about since Dr. Scholl’s Solvex could be used as a remedy and purchased for a buck.  And if that didn’t work, you could always steal some Gluey Paste or Pastey Glue off some United States School children and give that a go.

And of course, what man could hold his head up in public without:

Apparently in 1931, there were two ways to wear one’s hair.  Brushed or Well Brushed.  The pinnacle to which one could aspire hair-wise in 1931, was to have “well brushed hair all the time,” in addition to a “healthy scalp” (Apparently a healthy scalp wasn’t a given and there were a profusion of unhealthy scalps to be encountered at every turn that one must politely ignore.) 

The ad goes on to imply that in order to get both well brushed hair all the time AND a healthy scalp simultaneously, one must pour liquid hair dressing on one’s head taking great care to smell it first. 

If it was unscented it went on the head-; if  it was scented it went on the head of lettuce.

It goes without saying, of course, that said wearer should thoroughly saturate the hair and scalp in order to get that freshly applied “oily glow” hence the catchy name: Glo-co

So there you have it, Dear Reader!  And what did we learn today?  Let’s review in case you suddenly find yourself whisked away to the Great Depression:

  1. We learned that in 1931, Pastey Glue and Gluey Paste were an important part of every child’s breakfast.
  2. We learned that in 1931, if you didn’t have ringworm, you probably weren’t a very good golfer.
  3. We learned that in 1931, men with oil dripping down the back of their necks had healthy scalps.

Until next time . . . I love you

42 thoughts on “Vintage Ads from the Great Depression or “Are You Gonna Eat the Rest of Your Paste?”

  1. As always, thank you for the insights into prehistoric social rituals of the North American Neanderthal.
    One question – why in the Gluey Paste ad is there no further mention of the cat man math genius???

  2. I think while shopping for dinner tonight I’ll stock up on some Ceaser Salad dressing. My hair is looking a little unwell. I might as well stock up on some Pastey Glue for dessert while I’m at it.

  3. Hahahahahahaha! : D
    I, personally, don’t know any girl who can resist a man with oily hair. I love the feel of a good lubricated head.

    I like that back-in-the-day Ring Worm and Athlete’s foot were the same thing. It gives me comfort to think that my grandparents had access to advanced medicines like, Solvex.

  4. Hahaha! You might remember the old Brylcreem ads. Brylcreem a little dab’ll do ya, take more only if you dare! But watch out — the girls will all pursue ya, they’ll love to run their fingers through your hair. Apparently they were referring to you, Lisa! 😀

    I bet Solvex was really advanced for the time. It probably contained Casteroil, Syrup of Ipecac and Laudanum! Maybe it didn’t get rid of the ringworm entirely but they behaved better. 🙂

  5. I love these.
    We used Perkins paste. I loved the big pots with the red label and the smell still takes me back to wooden tables and too short chairs. I’m not sure how much we glued with it, but we ate a great deal.

  6. wow you wouldn’t have to be – or it seems they weren’t so very – clever to be an advertiser in the …prehistoric times… I saw something up there briefly in the comments…Larry wore panties? what? 🙂

      • Me too! Linda – I wonder if we can draw a positive historical link between the 1930’s kids who admitted to being bulk users of adhesives and the massive growth in the market for Revell, Airfix and Tamiya plastic models of the 1970’s? – thirty years later?

        I was a 1970’s glue junkie, thanks to these wonderful model kits. I built models of aircraft and I staggered around the house bumping into walls. Both outcomes were hugely positive for me.

Please leave a comment. I need help finishing my sentences.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s