You’ve Got to Take a Tonic or Two…

Feeling slightly sorry for myself as I’ve come down with a horrible cold. I’m really annoyed. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend all week, and now I’m probably going to spend it in bed – what a waste!

Anyway, to cheer myself up and possibly make me better, I’ve found these adverts from the 1950s; all full of tonics and vitamins to combat the cold.

1950s Sanatogen advert
1950s Sanatogen advert
1950s Sanatogen Advert
1950s Sanatogen Advert

We must make sure that we’re fit and healthy so that those dishes can carry on getting washed and the children looked after. God forbid your husband should do it.

Veno's Cough Mixture advert
Veno's Cough Mixture advert
Beecham's pills advert
Beecham's pills advert

Remember: ‘you must avoid constipation’. That is an order.

365 Handkerchief advert
365 Handkerchief advert

That’s exactly how I’ve been using my handkerchief…

Vintage Kleenex advert
Vintage Kleenex advert
Vintage Kleenex advert
Vintage Kleenex advert

This appears to be how they used handkerchiefs and tissues in the 1950s: ram them up your nose and leave it there to hang. Perhaps it is to soak up the snott before it has a chance to leave your schnozzle?

Cephos Conquers Colds
Cephos Conquers Colds

Clearly Cephos lost the fight over infections against Beechams and Veno’s. Maybe it was because they were expecting their poorly customers to be able to say their slogan with a cold: “Gephos Gonquers Golds…” Or perhaps it was because it worked so well that any woman that took them ‘was able to get up the next day and carry on with the chores.’ I’d stay ill a bit longer if that was what was waiting for me once I was better.

Phensic Relieves Nerve Pains
Phensic Relieves Nerve Pains

I’m not entirely sure what a ‘nerve pain’ is, but judging by her expression, I don’t want it. I’ll keep my cold, thanks.

1950s Lucozade advert
1950s Lucozade advert

 To be perfectly honest, there are too many unnecessary jokes that pop into my mind when I look at that picture. Let’s just say I wouldn’t go anywhere near the man drinking Lucozade if he looked like that! I never got the thing about Lucozade being an energy replacement drink; I was too much of an ’80s child when it had been remarketed as a sports drink. But if we ever got ill as children, this would be my dad’s contribution to making us better – a bottle of Lucozade.

Once when my sister Kirsty was particularly poorly, Dad was working away. All day she mithered about him coming home and bringing her some Lucozade, which he eventually did. It must have made an impression on her because as she was asleep that night, in her sleep I heard her first cry, then giggle and then say,

“Lucozade!”

I still giggle myself now remembering it.

For inner cleanliness...
For inner cleanliness...

Just in case you missed it, Andrews Liver Salt is for ‘inner cleanliness’. I love that this advert still retains some of the Victorian viewpoint on ‘disorders of the blood’ that need corrective action. They’re always very vague-sounding illnesses: humours and that sort of thing. Get some Liver Salt down you and you’ll no longer suffer from ‘Spring-time disorders’ and ‘biliousness’…

In our household, the notion of man-flu does not exist. I’ve got the man-flu for both of us; Aidan is one of those valiant types who refuses to get ill, whereas the first tickle of a sore throat and I’m convinced I’ve got the plague. However, man-flu appears to have been a common concept, even in the 1950s:

Vintage Benger's advert
Vintage Benger's advert

Unlike the Cephos tablets, there would be no malingering illness with me if I thought someone was going to feed me ‘A partially pre-digested food’. How vile sounding!

Looking at these has really cheered me up. Perhaps I should go and invest in a few horrendous sounding remedies to shift my own cold.

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