Absurd and Mundane Ads from Oct. 1, 1904
Absurd and Mundane Ads from Oct. 1, 1904

When people see copies of Christian Standard from 90-plus years ago, they invariably comment on the advertising. There are a number of ads for patent medicines—such as Dr. Shoop’s Restorative (page 25)—typically alongside ads for such brands as Ivory Soap and Royal Baking Powder, and occasionally Coca-Cola and Oldsmobile.

This issue from 115 years ago (Oct. 1, 1904) is fairly typical, though with very few products recognizable today. There were more than 50 ads in the issue, some of them rather small . . . no larger than a classified ad (though typically with bolder type). Several mention the World’s Fair, taking place in St. Louis, Mo., that year. We’ve listed nearly all of the ads in the issue in the following manner:

Product or Main Catchphrase (Company Name and City, State)—“Along with selected text from the advertisement.”


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Page 24

Boggs & Buhl (Allegheny, Pa.)—“New dress stuffs: large, choice new assortments now in—selling at small-profit prices. See the new Eolinnes—rich silk and wool, plain and Novelty stuffs for dressy gowns . . .”

Huyler’s Cocoa—“If it’s price – buy the cheap kinds. If quality counts – you must insist on getting Huyler’s Cocoa.”

Miztec Art Company (Chicago Ill.)—“. . . Handsome Tailor-Make Skirts, Bead Outfits, Shopping Bags . . .”

Royal Manufacturing Co. (Detroit, Mich.)—“Send us your address and we will show you how to make $3 a day absolutely sure . . .”

McDowell Ginseng Garden (Joplin, Mo.)—“$25,000.00 made from half acre. Easily grown in Garden or Farm . . .”

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Page 25

Dr. Shoop’s Restorative—“My Dollar against Your Doubt. . . . I offer to give any sick one a full dollar’s worth of Dr. Shoop’s Restorative. . . . This is not philanthropy. Simply that I know how Dr. Shoop’s Restorative works on the inmost nerves—the power nerves—the nerves that control the vital organs. . . . If the worries of business have left their scars on your good health; if careless habits have made you a wreck; if your nerve, your courage is waning. . . . For sale at forty thousand drug stores.” (Wisconsin Public Radio published a short article about Shoop in 2017.)

Correspondence Courses—“Write C. J. Burton, Christian College, Oskaloosa, Ia.”

Cure Your Own Kidney and Bladder Disease at Home—“Mr. A. S. Hitchcock, East Hampton, Conn. (the clothier), says, if any suffering man or woman will send him their address he will, without any charge whatever, direct them to the perfect cure he so successfully used . . .”

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Page 26

The Langham Hotel (London, England)—“Family Hotel of the Highest Class.”

Every Lady Read This (South Bend, Ind.)—Years ago when I was a sufferer, an old nurse told me of a wonderful cure for female diseases. It cured me in one month. . . . Address Mrs. O. P. Hudnut.”

Wives, Mothers, Sisters (Hillburn, N.Y.)—“If you have a member of your family who gets drunk, do not stand idly by and see him ruin both body and soul by the curse of our country—drink. Write to Mrs. Margaret Anderson, Hillburn, N.Y. . . . Mrs. Anderson has nothing to sell, the information is free.”

EZ Mend (Coursen Supply Company, Battle Creek, Mich.)—“Matchless mending tissue; no needles, no sewing, trial packages 25c. . . .”

Syrup of Figs (California Fig Syrup Co., San Francisco, Cal.; Louisville, Ky.; New York, N.Y.)—“Universally Accepted as The Best Family Laxative. . . . Recommended by Many Millions of The Well-Informed Throughout the World . . .”

Teaspoon Bargain (Willcut Fork Co., Marshall, Mich.)—“Rogers solid teaspoon, warranted 25 years, beautifully engraved initial, postpaid, 15 cents . . .”

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Page 28

Pears’—“No impurity in Pears’ Soap. Economical to use. It wears out only for your comfort and cleanliness. Sold in every land.”

Tarrant’s Seltzer Aperiant (The Tarrant Co., New York)—“‘The Effervescent’ relief for Constipation, Sick Headache, Indigestion, Offensive Breath. Pre-eminently the best laxative for Family use . . .”

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Page 29

The American Standard Revised Bible (Thomas Nelson & Sons, New York City)—“It explains difficult or obscure passages and gives the meaning of the original better than any other translation. Prices 25c. to $18.00 . . .”

Rich Southern Farm, Timber and Oil Lands (Ulthoven & Landrum, Real Estate Dealers, Columbus, Miss.)—“For Sale Cheap. We offer the following plantations for sale . . .”

Radium Hair Brush (Radium Appliance Co., Chicago)—“Encourages growth of young hair on old heads.”

Royalty Paid on Song-Poems (Pioneer Pub. Co., Chicago, Ill.)

We Offer Most Favorable Facilities for “Shopping By Mail” (The Taylor=Woolfenden Co., Detroit, Mich.)—“Immense stock, dry goods and furnishings, ready-to-wear goods for women and children, house furnishings, draperies, rugs and bedding. Send memo. of class of goods wanted. . . . Try shopping by mail. ‘Satisfaction guaranteed.’”

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Page 30

Rising Sun Stove Polish—“Shines for a world of housekeepers, and best of all the shine will last. Will not cake on the iron. Lustrous as the sun.”

How to Raise Money (D. M. Steward Mfg. Co., Chattanooga, Tenn.)—“Church Societies Can Raise Large Sums of Money Quickly and Easily, by a Splendid Plan Proposed by ‘Stainoff.’ Every officer of a Church Society entitled to a Free cake. ‘Stainoff’ removes stains and cleans and polishes everything cleanable and polishable, and does it without injuring the hands. Thoroughly Satisfactory for the Toilet or Other Purposes.”

A Notre Dame Lady (Notre Dame, Ind.)—“I will send free, with full instructions, some of this simple preparation for the cure of Ulceration, Tumors or Growths, Hot Flashes, Desire to Cry, Creeping Feeling up the Spine, Pain in the Back and all Female Troubles, to all sending address.”

Cancer of the Breast No Longer Incurable—“How Mrs. Geo. Ampt, of Aurora, Ind., was Cured (Dr. D. M. Bye Co., Indianapolis)—“Dear Sirs—I am glad to be able to testify as to the merits of your Cancer Cure . . .”

Blymer Church Bells (Cincinnati Bell Foundry Co., Cincinnati, O.)—“Unlike Other Bells—Sweeter, More Durable, Lower Price . . .”

BELLS (The C. S. Bell Co., Hillsboro, O.)—“Steel Alloy Church and School Bells.”

Bowlden Bells (American Bell & Foundry Co., Northville, Mich.)—“Church and School. Free Catalogue.”

BELLS (The E. W. Vanduzen Co.; Props. Buckeye Bell Fdy., Cincinnati, O.)—“Established 1837. Catalog Free. For Churches, Schools.”

Parker’s Hair Balsam—“Cleanses and beautifies the hair. Promotes a luxuriant growth . . .”

Myself Cured (Chicago, Ill.)—“I will gladly inform any one addicted to Cocaine, Morphine, Opium or Laudanum, of a never-failing, harmless Home Cure. Address Mrs. M. N. Baldwin, P. O. Box 1212.”

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Page 32

COAL BILLS Cut in Half (The Peck-Williamson Co., Cincinnati, O.)—“We enable you to cut your coal bill in half—often the saving is two-thirds—by making a ton of the cheapest grade coal produce as much heat as a ton of the most expensive grade. . . . The Peck-Williamson Underfeed is the Best Furnace on Earth . . .”

An Easy Way to Make Money (Mound City Dishwasher Co., St. Louis, Mo.)—“I have made $560 in eighty days selling Dishwashers . . .”

FITS (Dr. R. H. Kline Ltd., Philadelphia, Pa.)—“Fits permanently cured. No fits or nervousness after first day’s use of Dr. Kline’s Great Nerve Restorer . . .”

The Blind Made to See—The Madison Absorption Method (P. C. Madison, M.D., Chicago)—“Mrs. A. E. Kaufmann . . . had been condemned to a life of blindness by some of the best oculists in the country; in fact, not a single one of them would promise any sight whatever for her. To-day she is Cured. The Madison Absorption Method will do the same for you . . .”

Cheap Rates South & Southeast (W. C. Rinearson, G.P.A., Cincinnati, O.)—“Tickets for sale October 11 and November 15. Round trip from Cincinnati: Chattanooga—$8.00, Charleston—$16.00, Miami—$20.00 . . .”

Coach Excursions Every Day to St. Louis: “World’s Fair Route” (O. P. McCarty, General Passenger Agent, Cincinnati, O.)— “Via B. & O. S=W. Round Trip from Cincinnati . . .”

Agents Wanted to Sell “Rosa Gray” (Standard Publishing, Cincinnati, O.)

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Page 35

A Wife’s Message (Mrs. Margaret Anderson, the Noble Woman Who is Hated by the Whiskey Trust, Hillburn, N.Y.)—“‘If you really want to cure your husband or loved one of drinking, I will gladly tell you how to do it.’ Simply Write Her a Letter and She Will Tell You FREE of Cost How to Rid Your Home of This Awful Curse.”

Jayne’s Tonic Vermifuge Is A Health Bringer.

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Page 37

Fifty-Fourth Year: Christian College for the Higher Education of Women (Columbia, Mo.)—Affiliated with Missouri State University, Wellesley College and other Eastern Schools. Four Splendid Modern Buildings. . . . A Christian Home and High Grade College. Next Session Opens September 19, 1904. October 18 is ‘Christian College Day’ at the World’s Fair.”

This was also known as American Temperance University. The school operated from 1893 to 1908. No alcoholic beverages were permitted in the planned community of Harriman.

The American University of Harriman (Harriman, Tenn.)—“A School built upon the Ideal of Absolute Thoroughness. No ‘Failures’ here. . . . Tuition, Board, Furnished Room, Light and Heat for the school year $125 for young men; $135 for young women. . . .”

Hotel Epworth (6600 Washington Ave., Saint Louis)—“A safe, permanent brick building, containing over 500 cool, clean and comfortable rooms. All the conveniences of a first-class, modern down-town hotel within only four minutes’ walk of the World’s Fair Grounds . . .”

$25 to Denver, Colorado Springs or Pueblo; $38 to Salt Lake City, Utah (Wabash R.R., Cincinnati, O.)—“Correspondingly cheap rates to other Colorado and Utah points . . .”

20,000 Churches Lighted by the FRINK System of Patent Reflectors (I. P. Frink, New York)—“Our experience is at your service.”

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Page 38

Christian Colonists in California: Good Homes for Good People (J. P. Dargitz, San Francisco, Cal.)—“Full-bearing orchards in best part of Central California sold in 10-acre lots. . . . Pleasant work in fruit—Peaches, Pears, Prunes, Table Grapes, Oranges, etc. Very best of soil, water, fuel, climate, roads, schools, society and Christian churches. . . . (Mention the Standard.)”

Borden’s Eagle Brand Condensed Milk—“The Youngest Baby can readily digest and assimilate Borden’s Eagle Brand Condensed Milk . . .”

Veterinary Course at Home (Ontario Veterinary Correspondence School, London, Canada)—“$1,200 year and upwards can be made taking our Veterinary Course at home during spare time . . .”

A full version of this ad is at the bottom of this column.

Grand Removal Sale! (The Standard Publishing Co., Cincinnati, O.)—“Owing to our removal in November to new quarters, we are desirous of clearing our shelves, as far as possible, of books and will therefore continue our Clearance Sale till the first of December, when it will end. [The names and prices for dozens of books, Bibles, and hymnals are then listed]. . . . No order filled without the cash . . .”

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Page 40

Who is Macbeth? The maker who isn’t afraid of his lamp-chimneys (Macbeth, Pittsburgh)—“The Index tells you, in ten minutes, all you need to know for comfort with lamps and the saving of chimney-money; sent free; do you want it?”

Christian Endeavor Hotel (St. Louis, Mo.)—“More than 1000 delegates to the National Christian Missionary Convention are already booked at the Christian Endeavor World’s Fair Hotel, St. Louis, Mo. Located 100 feet from one of the entrance gates to the FairGrounds.”

New Invention! (World Mfg. Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.)—“Write for new booklet, Special Offer this month. Our new Quaker Folding Vapor Bath Cabinets, finest produced. Everybody delighted . . .”

Gluten Grits and Barley Crystals (Watertown, N.Y.)—These trade-mark crisscross lines on every package. . . . Perfect Breakfast and Dessert Health Cereals . . .”

Piso’s Cure for Consumption—“Cures where all else fails. Best Cough Syrup. Tastes Good. Use in time. Sold by druggists. 25 Cts.”

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During the 1920s, there was a noticeable decline in outside advertising appearing in Christian Standard. During that decade, ads that appeared in the magazine began to focus mainly on Standard Publishing products and products beneficial to Christians and churches.

During the 1930s, the advertisements began focusing solely on Standard Publishing products.

—Jim Nieman, managing editor, Christian Standard

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