JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
In my bsuiness and leisure I get more than the common share of exposure to old magazines and images, musty old-book-smelling-cologne old books, basically every day. And in whatever memory shelters I have in my brain that aren't already closed up and away to the seashore, there is one that is waaay down the hall, and it gets excited when unusual early advertising pops up. I've noticed that at least in the mid/late-19th century that ads for personal improvement items were not shy about their claims and what they did and who it was for and what it would do, and it made me wonder about when the idea of subtlety sneaks into the arena of sales. I have no data, just a collection of images, but it does seems as though the idea of the undersell comes into being in the U.K. at least in the second decade 20th century--and I say this because I'd notice how unusual it was to see an advertisement where it was not immediately apparent what the ad was selling. Dunlop tires was one such example.
In any event, opening this volume of Harper's Weekly to the June 1, 1878 issue, the ANTI-FAT ad struck me immediately as something in the Most Robust Presentation of an Idea in Advertisement category. It gets right to the mostly-imaginary point, quotes Hippocrates as their medical authority, and that's that.