A Short History of Ancient Advertising

Posted in Mixed Nuts on February 18th, 2009 by MadDog
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I’ve been keeping amused by sorting through the old issues of Paradise Magazine that Maureen Hill gave to me. There are many articles of interest to old-timers, but the advertisements are so funky and dated that I have to show you a few of them. I’ll get around to the articles later.

These ads came from Issue 2: October 1976, Issue 5: May 1977, and Issue 6: July 1977.

In hindsight, I suppose that old cigarette ads are not so funny. I can remember when “Nine out of ten Doctors Recommend . . .” They can ‘t get away that that now. Here’s an old Peter Stuyvesant ad from Paradise:

Stuyvesant cigarette ad from an early Paradise magazine
It would have been more honest to say, “We hired this clown to dress up in a doctor suit and lie to you.”, but I don’t think they would have sold as many coffin nails. I was curious about who the dude was or if it was a fake name. Turns out he was real:

Peter Stuyvesant (circa 1600 – August 1672) served as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded provisionally to the English in 1664. He was a major figure in the early history of New York City. Stuyvesant’s accomplishment as director-general included a great expansion for the settlement of New Amsterdam (later renamed New York) beyond the southern tip of Manhattan. Among the projects built by Stuyvesant’s administration were the protective wall on Wall Street, the canal which became Broad Street, and Broadway.

Here’s one that’s a laugh. Who in the world thought this up:

Air Niugini - A Wise Old Owl?
Air Niugini – A Wise Old Owl? Maybe way back then.

The Avis car hire gang was around then and have managed to hang in there:

Avis - The Car Hire Gang
Although I don’t think anybody dresses like that anymore. (Hey, wait a minute. I DO know some guys who still dress that way!)

Ela Motors is still pumping out the iron, though I seriously doubt if the car shown in the ad is more than a rusting hulk:

Avis - The Car Hire Gang
South Pacific Brewery is still faithfully insuring that nobody goes to school (ably assisted by British American Tobacco).* However, with the quality of the flint bottle longnecks (SP Export Lager) that we’ve been seeing lately I think a lot of people would switch if there was anything in the same price range. Every other bottle spews about a third of its contents out as soon as you open it:
Old South Pacific Brewery ad from Paradise Magazine
I saved the best for last. Burns Philp used to be a very big deal here. I can remember a huge warehouse store just around the corner from my office. It burned down. Burns Philp is now a shell company owned by New Zealand businessman Graeme Hart:
Old Burns Philp ad from Paradise Magazine
I wonder if its demise had anything to do with its ludicrous advertisements.

Fair is fair – it is cute in a demented sort of way.

* Okay, okay, I know it’s not fair to blame the brewers and ciggie makers for the irresponsibility and neglect of the slugs who choose to consume the products in such quantities that they can’t afford to send their kids to school. It’s like blaming the arms industry for all the people who die in wars. But, hey, we gotta blame somebody!

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A Treasure Chest of Paradise

Posted in Mixed Nuts on February 3rd, 2009 by MadDog
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This will be of special interest to PNG old-timers. Maureen Hill recently gave me a big box of old PNG publications. The bulk of it is old issues of Paradise Magazine, the in-flight rag of Air Niugini.

As I started going through them, I realized what a treasure I now have. I picture the pirate running his hands through the coins in his treasure chest murmuring, “Gold . . . Gold!”

The oldest issue that I could find is this one: 

Early Paradise Magazine Cover
Try as I may, I can’t figure out what when it was published. It appears that it is from the late 1970s, but there is no publication date to be found in its pages. I thought it might possibly be the first issue, but a little Googling turned up this page on Trevor Michie’s blog that shows the first issue cover.

Among the amusing advertisements for dead companies, there is this interesting pattern matching spread:
Find the matching pair
Click to enlarge to see if you can find the pair. I must admit that I gave up. Things like this make me nervous. Finally, I gave it to our long-suffering bookkeeper, Lois Bayyom-Nai. I’m always giving her improbable tasks. She came back in about two minutes with the match. I won’t spoil if for you by pointing out the matching pair. I will say that there are two that look the same but the face amounts are different. They are not the matching pair. They are red herrings.

It’s also interesting to note that the denominations of these stamps are all in pre-Kina currencies.

Another blast from the past is this article by Fr. Frank Mihalic, SVD. Old-timers will know his name well: 

Article from Paradise Magazine on Tok Pisin by Fr. Frank Mihalic, SVD
Father Mihalic authored one of the most important books in PNG history (my not-so-humble opinion, I admit). It was first published in 1971:
Jacaranda Dictionary and Grammar of Melanesian Pidgin - F. Mihalic, S.V.D.
I can remember studying this book when we came to PNG for our training in 1981. If you have a copy of it, hang onto it, especially if it’s an early edition. It may well be worth some money someday.

As I go through the old Paradise Magazines, I’ll be posting more of this absolutely useless, but nevertheless amusing information.

Stay tuned.

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