15 ways to survive a flu epidemic …

Flu … from the advertising archive (and just in case of any misunderstanding, all these promises of prevention and cure date from before the days of the Advertising Standards Authority). Click on the links to see the original ads.

Straightforward scare tactics

An Influenza epidemic is at hand – an epidemic which Doctors predict will be exceptionally severe. From various parts of the country come reports that influenza is actually raging at the present time and is spreading with alarming rapidity from one person to another

Electric shock?

The Thermega electro-radiant blanket is a new device which airs, dries and warms a bed completely and without any danger whatever of overheating or other electrical accident. IT CANNOT GO WRONG.

Wartime shortage: an apology

In view of the immense value of Bovril during an Influenza epidemic, the proprietors of Bovril are making every effort to meet the demand. The shortage of bottles is seriously hampering the endeavours to increase the supply, and it is hoped that men will now be released for the bottle factories.

Sweat it out

When you can’t throw off colds or Influenza – take a Mustard Bath as hot as you can stand it

And another mustard one, just because they’re so good:

Ever since the Baron de Beef left his Influenza in a Mustard Bath the bathrooms of England have been besieged

Keep your strength up

It will be apparent that a strong, healthy person will escape contagion when the ill-nourished one will fall a victim, consequently, one’s aim must be the maintenance of strength

Some things never change: just do as you’re told

Don’t worry about influenza, drink Ovaltine

Burn baby burn

Flame the great purifier. Sterilise the air of your bed and living rooms with our incandescent gas burners

A healthy stimulant for teetotallers? Hmmm

Sir, I have much pleasure in testifying to the efficacy of your Coca Wine. It is undeniably a healthy stimulant and a nerve tonic, especially beneficial to one who, like myself, is abstaining from intoxicants

Scientifically proved, oh yeah

It takes less than three minutes for MILTON to knock out the Influenza germ. We have overwhelming proof of this fact

Watch out, the bishop’s been on the magic mints again

Fig. 3 shows the total destruction of Influenza germs on a plate treated with saliva from a person who had sucked five Formamint Tablets. The Bishop of Bath and Wells writes: The value of Wulfing’s Formamint as a preventive is appreciated in this house

Fair enough

Remember, Influenza is about. Treat what may seem to be “Only a Chill, or Cold” with suspicion – and Thermogene

Heaven knows what’s in this stuff

Miss Elizabeth Hyde, the well-known Concert Singer, writes: “I firmly believe that during the recent influenza epidemic, my immunity from that dread complaint was due entirely to Phosferine.” Two drops, night and morning, tend to brace up the whole system … It is also invaluable to women beset with household worries and family cares.

Aha! An honest one at last

The real nature of influenza is still very little understood. Every doctor will tell you that. The most that science can do, therefore, at present, is to treat the symptoms

That’s the spirit; I’ll have a pint

Hall’s Wine keeps Influenza off by enriching the blood, toning the nerves and rebuilding the body generally; it gives you confidence in your powers of resistance, strengthens the weak and maintains health in the strong.

And finally, the ultimate yuck factor

Telephone message received Nov 30, 1916, by Glaxo, from a Doctor. “Did you know that the influenza epidemic this year is affecting the stomach, preventing the patients retaining nourishment? I find my patients can assimilate your Glaxo, due, I suppose, to its flocculent curd.* You ought to make this widely known at once.”

Also in the Archive blog: Ten ways to cut costs in the home

Wartime hints on how to be thrifty

Want to explore 200 years of The Times Archive for yourself? Check out the Archive homepage

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