What Were They Thinking? 20 Mind-Blowing Vintage Ads Involving Children

So safe your baby can shave! Razors for everyone!

Times change, of course, but after viewing some of the ads from throughout the twentieth century featured below it’s hard to imagine what they were thinking even though 100 years was so very long ago.

One thing is for sure: it’s fascinating to see how parenting and the perception of it has changed throughout the years.

What stands out to me the most is how subtle advertising has become.  It’s easy to look back and see how they obviously preyed upon mom guilt.  Now, advertising is so sneaky sometimes it’s hard to know what’s an advertisement.  Or is it?  In 100 years are they going to look back on commercials from this decade and laugh at what suckers we were?

That said, I think my favorite slogan is the one that says “Before you scold me, Mom… Maybe you’d better light up a Marlboro.”

Okay, before I give it all away, here are 20 mind-blowing vintage ads from the past century.  From a smoking Santa Claus to a baby guzzling “wholesome” soda, it’s all here.

Take a look:

  • Santa Likes Lucky Brand Cigarettes! 1 of 20
    Santa Likes Lucky Brand Cigarettes!
    Instead of milk & cookies how about leaving Santa a pack of smokes, eh kiddies?
  • How About Some 2 of 20
    How About Some
    It's clear, like water, so it must be healthy, right?
  • Another Soda Guzzler 3 of 20
    Another Soda Guzzler
    We target the youngest customers in the business!
  • So Safe Your Daughter Can Sleep With It 4 of 20
    So Safe Your Daughter Can Sleep With It
    Go on! Let her play with your gun! If it accidentally discharges we'll give you a full refund.
  • Begin Early! 5 of 20
    Begin Early!
    Razors for everyone!
  • Children Love Laxatives 6 of 20
    Children Love Laxatives
    Mom, can we buy some Castoria? Huh, Mom? Can we? Pleeeaase!!!
  • Beer For Baby 7 of 20
    Beer For Baby
    As a young(ish) mother I appreciate a case of beer in the home but for very different reasons.
  • Heroes Drink Beer 8 of 20
    Heroes Drink Beer
    Go on, dad, pop open a cold one and get wasted. All the heroes are doing it and the kid'll love it.
  • The Perfect Doll For Children Everywhere? 9 of 20
    The Perfect Doll For Children Everywhere?
    "Take me home to meet your folks. Your mom will love me."
  • Scare Tactics 10 of 20
    Scare Tactics
    Mom if you really love your child you won't let him end up like that poor sap on the left.
  • Hit Hitler 11 of 20
    Hit Hitler
    Fun for the whole family!
  • Comfort For Baby And Mom 12 of 20
    Comfort For Baby And Mom
    A place for baby or your backyard chickens!
  • Danger! 13 of 20
    What in hell are "danger days"?
  • image-249 14 of 20
    "You markered up the walls?! You little son of a---Wait! Hold on, let me just blow smoke in your face for a minute."
  • Smoking With Baby 15 of 20
    Smoking With Baby
    Can I try one, mom? Please? Can I?
  • Awww… Racist Humor Is So Cute! 16 of 20
    Awww...  Racist Humor Is So Cute!
    From what I could find on the Internet, this horrible ad is from the late 1800s.
  • Guns For The Whole Family! 17 of 20
    Guns For The Whole Family!
    A very Merry Christmas indeed.
  • She Needs Sugar In Her Life 18 of 20
    She Needs Sugar In Her Life
    Kids have the blues? Dose them with a crapload of sugar and they'll be rocketing around in no time!
  • For The Delicate Girls 19 of 20
    For The Delicate Girls
    Give your daughter "blood food". She'll be 100% in no time.
  • Calling All Pedophiles! 20 of 20
    Calling All Pedophiles!
    Innocence is super sexy! But you already knew that...

All images from:


Article Posted 5 years Ago

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