When I looked at this 1899 issue of Black Cat Magazine I saw the ads, and in 111 years not much has changed in advertising. People are still trying to sell us something out of either vanity or fear, or both.
(You know you can make all these ads bigger and more readable by clicking on them.)
The Tinto Comb ad made me think of the Just For Men hair color campaign, "No play for Mister Gray." Some poor guy has let his hair go silvery and then he's not only rejected by young, beautiful women, he can't get a good job! In this economy no one can get a good job, whether they tint their hair or not. The man in the ad looks like he probably wouldn't get a date no matter what he did to his hair.
The other hair ad is mind-boggling. A product to grow hair, overnight! Not just put fuzz on bald heads, but grow a mane that looks like Led Zeppelin' s Robert Plant. Who would believe such an outrageous claim? My clue to the efficacy of the product is whether it's still around today. The product isn't named, but you could get a sample by sending a 2¢ stamp. Not a bad deal. The other product claims were, ". . .it stops hair from falling out, removes dandruff and quickly restores luxurient growth to shining scalps, eyebrows and eyelashes and restores the hair to its natural color." Wow! I guess you got your 2¢ worth with that stuff. And that's probably about what it's worth.
Women are targeted with something to make their bustline better. Nowadays they have implants, but in those days a girl just had to live with what she had, unless she had a product like Vestro, which apparently took her flat chest and gave her spectacular Double-D bosoms. It's not explained what the product is, but just making magnificent mammaries isn't enough for Vestro; it also "fills in all hollow places, adds grace, curve and beauty to the neck; softens and clears the skin." You could get the particulars for a 2¢ stamp.
(Go back a day on this blog and look at the Donovan videos. Does this lady, with her perky nose and prominent chin, look like she could be Donovan's great-great granny?)
Prof. Bird claims it is a woman's duty to be beautiful. (Wasn't that the title of a song?) You can do that, of course, with Prof. Bird's Cream of Almonds, "which for years has been endorsed by noted women whose superb beauty fascinates the opposite sex and is the marvel of the less fortunate women. . ." Definitely you do not want to be one of those unfortunate women. Prof. Bird's Cream Of Almonds can "permanently cure pimples, freckles, moth, sallowness, roughness, wrinkles, tan, blackheads, redness, flabbiness, and all irritations and imperfections." You don't need to send a cent to get it, just mention you saw it on this blog and of course, everything is confidential. I'm in a crowd, but raise my hand to Prof. Bird, who is standing by his wagon with a jar of his famous Cream of Almonds in his hand after giving his spiel. I have just have one question: "Moth, Professor? What skin condition is moth?"