Posts

Sick tricks: 10 Victorian ways to cure a cold (or not)

10 Victorian ways to cure a cold

Medical developments come and go over the centuries, but one thing that unites us with our ancestors is that incurable misery of human life – the common cold. Snot hasn’t changed much since the Hippocratic writings of the 5th century BC described the ‘acrid mucus’ that runs from the nose, and presciently referred to colds as something ‘which we have all experienced and shall continue to do so.’

But it is, as they say, an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and one way to benefit from the common cold is to sell a purported cure. During the Victorian period, commercial over-the-counter remedies proliferated, anticipating the array of cold medicines available today. Big advertising budgets – plus the fact that most colds get better on their own no matter what you take – contributed to these products’ success. Here we look at ten of the remedies available to the bunged-up customers of 19th-century British and American pharmacies.

Read more

Get the picture: The weird and wonderful history of photoshopping

history of photoshopping 2

In the past, when we used to see an amazing photo, our first reaction would be “Wow!”. Nowadays, more often than not, it’s “Has this been photoshopped?”’.

The simple truth is that in the 21st century there are almost no media images that haven’t been tweaked in some form or another. Whether it be outlandish visual jokes or magazine covers with thinned hips or unblemished skin, every image we see has undergone a little adjustment. This may be as simple as levelling up an horizon line or darkening a bit of cloud or it could be removing an entire person. These alterations aren’t just visual tricks with ramifications in photography either, they can have real political effect. For example, how many people today are trying to attain celebrity looks despite their role model images not even being real?
Read more

Gun smokes! 10 things you didn’t know about the Marlboro Man

marlboro_man

Cowboys have been used to promote pretty much every product under the prairie sky. There is, however, one advertising cowboy that stands a ten gallon hat above the rest, the Marlboro Man. It may be 40 years since Phillip Morris decided to replace him with a new campaign based on the slogan “Welcome to Marlboro country”, but his legacy lives on. In recognition of this successful, if ultimately controversial, use of the cowboy, we’ve unearthed some astounding facts about this advertising icon.

Read more