Spiegel, Fall and Winter 1959
Americans, we love our medicines. That sounds strange, but we have always looked to nostrums that could cure us of our ills. Sears catalogs from the early 1900s hawk patent medicine remedies. These days we have whole Shoppes devoted just to Vitamins. In between we have this excerpt from a Spiegel catalog with a collection of nostrums to help women slim down, bulk up, or revitalize.
Ayds “reducing candies” contained a local anesthetic whose goal was to reduce the taste of food so you wouldn’t eat so much. “No Bothersome Dieting,” they promised. Ayds were widely advertised and very popular until a certain 1980s epidemic with a similar-sounding name caused sales to plumment.
Revlon – Revlon! – also got into the act with “Thin-Down”, “Nationally-famous” appetite depressant.
Should you have the opposite problem, high-calorie “Wate-On” would help “put firm, healthy flesh on your body.” It also helped fight depressing fatigue.
If all you had was “tired blood,” then you could try Geritol (like Ayds, another product boosted by incessant TV advertising). The liquid version also contained a fair amount of alcohol. Geritol is still with us today, even if “tired blood” isn’t.
But my favorite on this page has to be “Insta-Pep Tablets with Dynamol”, which sounds like a fake product Lucy Ricardo might have sold. In fact, the copy admitted that Dynamol was — caffeine. Today, we have Red Bull for that.