June 11, 2015 Slideshows

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Ad Romance: San Francisco Examiner ads, 1860s-1930s 

Opium, wigs and chocolate: A look back at old-timey advertisements in the San Francisco Examiner.
San Francisco Examiner
Dr. Gibbon's Dispensary 06-14-1865 Dr. Gibbon cures gonorrhea, syphilis, impotence and "gleet" — sounds legit! Then again, miracles come easy for a man with a striking resemblance to an apparition of Jesus on toast.
San Francisco Examiner
German Coffee Saloon 05-21-1866 Coffee and oysters, together at last! Heck, the foodies are probably setting up a coffee and oysters popup in the Tenderloin at this very moment. The German Coffee Saloon, adjacent to today’s Transamerica Pyramid on Montgomery Street, had a rib-sticking breakfast deal: Fish, kidney, omelet, chicken, eggs, steak or chops, hot breads, wine, coffee, etc., for 50 cents, or about $8 bucks.
San Francisco Examiner
Webster’s Dictionary 04-22-71 “He will transmit his name to the latest posterity.” Is that a dictionary testimonial or a spam email from Ukrainian hackers?
San Francisco Examiner
Engelbrecht's Health Cigar 01-23-89 These are the reason the average 1880s life expectancy was approximately 14.
San Francisco Examiner
The Hastings 11-28-89 Little Lord Gray Suit in the middle is clearly a harbinger of San Francisco's anything-goes flamboyance, as are the robust mustaches on these "boys."
San Francisco Examiner
Perry Davis Pain Killer 12-12-89 There is no doubt that Perry Davis was the Pain Killer, since the word "carefully" is scrawled in the twitchy hand of a bona fide ax murderer. So what was ol' Perry's secret? Opium!
San Francisco Examiner
Petaluma Incubator Co. 01-02-90 Warning: Not how chicken farming actually works. Perhaps the little scamp's love of MONEY has instead doomed him to the lesser-known 10th circle of hell, the eye-gouging poultry circle.
San Francisco Examiner
California Furniture Co. 01-29-90 Are you lost, groovy furniture font? You clearly wandered off a Moby Grape poster circa 1966.
San Francisco Examiner
Dr. Sanden's Manhood Restoration 05-08-98 Yes, Dr. Sanden's manhood-restoring belts used electricity, and yes, they included a special attachment for ... "weak parts."
San Francisco Examiner
Winchester Repeating Rifles The miners’ and prospectors’ favorite, whether it’s a confused Russian Cossack or a bargain-bin Buffalo Bill Cody clone.
San Francisco Examiner
Renown Cigar 03-10-06 War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Renown is cigar.
San Francisco Examiner
Elect-tro-la Hair Removal 02-07-09 Miss Elec-tro-la has a bangin' proto-Frida-Kahlo thing going on. Work it, girl!
San Francisco Examiner
Right before the 1906 earthquake: Hats, everybody!
San Francisco Examiner
A.P. Hotaling & Co. Old Kirk Whisky 05-15-06 After the 1906 earthquake: The plaque in front of the Hotaling Building on Jackson Street says it all: ”If, as they say, God spanked the town for being over-frisky, why did He burn His churches down and spare Hotaling's whiskey?"
San Francisco Examiner
National Laundry 05-03-06 After the 1906 earthquake: The earthquake and fire were no match for National Laundry. ... Now come get your britches, they've been here for weeks.
San Francisco Examiner
Wiley B. Allen Pianos 05-03-06 After the 1906 earthquake: Well, you try fleeing a fire with a piano on your back.
San Francisco Examiner
Ghirardelli Chocolate 03-10-06 It didn’t have the kick of old-timey snake oils like revitalizing tonics (cocaine) or children’s “soothing” syrups (heroin), but Ghirardelli’s hot chocolate is the only vintage pick-me-up we’d actually consider drinking now.
San Francisco Examiner
Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound 05-25-06 The key ingredient for beauty sleep? Booze, and plenty of it.
San Francisco Examiner
To Fat People Free 04-07-12 Thanks, but no thanks.
San Francisco Examiner
Nemo Auto-Massaging Self-Reducing Corsets 05-07-12 Practically hollows you out from the inside!
San Francisco Examiner
Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey 05-07-12 Nothing aids good digestion so much as whiskey before, during (and probably after) every meal.
San Francisco Examiner
Listerine Halitosis 07-27-29 You would, wouldn't you? Jerk.
San Francisco Examiner
Fageol Motors Company 07-16-1929 You can take your Ford and your General Motors, Detroit — the Bay Area is placing its bets on Fageol.
San Francisco Examiner
Acme Beer 06-04-36 Everybody knows South San Francisco's famous sign proclaiming it the Industrial City, but not many know that a 388-foot-long "Drink Acme Beer" sign was once perched above it. Fewer still know that Acme Beer is non-fattening, but maybe it just didn't fit on the sign.
San Francisco Examiner
Hanes 06-05-36 The pinnacle of America's pre-"Mad Men" advertising industry. Hanes: They're delicious.
San Francisco Examiner
Shinola White Cleaner 06-05-36 The shoe polish that makes you love your children again.
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