Ads from the 1850s promise exciting clothing options such as "English sacks." Or a few other ensembles that are downright dangerous:
Massive dehydration! Well gee kids! That just looks so fun!
The clothes aren't half as wonderful as the excellent instructions these ads provide to women on how to be good, like this ad for pathetic wives who don't make the dining experience thrilling. Quelle horreur!
Not and live to tell about it.
Of course, let's be fair. Some women were allowed to leave the house and pursue highly respected, fulfilling careers.
You hold out your hand, and stuff automatically appears! Isn't sexism FUN?
An insanely high number of ads deal with body odor and frequently imply that if women - married or not - receive little attention it's their own smelly fault. This one takes an even wilder tact.
Uh... um, well, gee... uh...
Talk about melodrama. These people look like their puppy just got run over by a semi.
Getting married was the end-all, be-all, and there wasn't a single advertiser who didn't exploit women's fears of dying single and alone, being eaten by cats. But advertisers would put your mind at ease. Not being married just meant that you hadn't used their products. Who could fail?!
She's engaged! She's lovely! She uses Ponds!
Are you one of the 5 million women who want to get married? If you look like a celebrity AND use breath mints AND piroette around in a cloud of minty goodness like some ditz escaped from an asylum for models, you will get your man.
Now I would like an ad that says: "thank heavens I'm a 21st century woman."
All images, Vintage Ad Browser.