JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
The "sublime mundane" probably isn't the correct category for this pamphlet, though I think it comes close. The illustrations and the text are squint-inducing, both unusual in peculiar ways, and all for the purpose of selling tear gas.
The Red Line of Crime and...Civil Disorder is the pamphlet, and it was published in Pittsburgh and printed by Federal Laboratories in 1934. It makes the case for tear gas over bullets in response to civil disobedience/riots/unrest, a good part of that being described sotto voce (and not so much so) as the work of unions. In any event, tear gas is prescribed as the reactive agent to the reaction, being more humane and less fatal...anyway, that is the sales pitch.
I'm sharing the pamphlet here mainly for its illustrations and design. Here's the very arresting front cover:
- A description of Federal Laboratories from Wiki: “In the 1930s, custom gas guns by FedLabs were adopted by the New York Prison department, following a sales pitch made before the APA by the president of FedLabs in Baltimore in 1931. Also in the 1930s, Federal Laboratories actively worked to sell gas guns for the purpose of strikebreaking, with one FedLabs representative firing a tear gas grenade during the 1934 West Coast waterfront strike, resulting in the death of a striker due to skull fracture. Auerbach notes, however, that despite FedLabs stated opposition to "communist" strikers, the firm continued to sell tear gas to the Soviet Union even during 1933.”
And the center illustration, a montage of newspaper clippings:
And in this image, a worker's strike is described as "an open revolt against orderly society...under the influence of such leadership they might go to any ends", which is as great a propaganda statement against unions as I have seen: