1913 Ad of the Week — Trusses and Braces

April 7, 2008, 7:00 am; posted by
Filed under Ads, Steve  | No Comments

This is the fifth in a series of real ads from the 1913 World Almanac…

If you’ve forgotten how grateful you should be that God put you on earth to start the 21st century rather than the 20th, perhaps you need a crash course in medical devices. You can click on any of them for a closer look.

There wasn’t much to this ad — just a series of pictures of the frightening medical equipment the company provided, with a promise of more details on the next page. But somehow, to me, 95 years removed, that makes it all the more intimidating.

Remember — this was the equipment the Empress used! Just think what the commoners were subjected to!

Whether it’s a “maternity belt” cut from the hull of a mighty battleship or a “self-adjusting truss” straight out of Abu Ghraib, I find myself unable to imagine even a halfway-pleasant use for some of these items. Do you want that thing adjusting itself on you?

While you’re on the subject of imagination, why not check out the sheer amount of metal supports and whirligigs on the delightful “leg and spinal braces”? I can’t tell from the illustration whether they came with special shoes — in fact, the ad makes it look like you actually got fresh new asbestos legs to go with the spiky metal braces.

I can’t wait — if God and medical science allow — to read the 22nd-century version of this article, poking fun at we ignorant boors who still let doctors poke around inside their bodies, and took all the wrong pills for all the wrong reasons.

But above all else, this one thing our descendants shall grant us: our trusses were elastic, and our braces were plastic.

View the whole ad here.


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