Wednesday, December 28, 2011

AuH2O - "The Cure For What Ails America" (More on Politics and Quack Medicine Advertising)

[Note: The purpose of this post is only to show the interesting intersection of politics and patent medicines in the popular culture; not to comment on political candidates, parties, or platforms. No political comments will be published.]

have posted before (here) on the intersection of patent/quack medicines and politics, especially in the snake oil heyday of the late 19th and early 20th century when candidates endorsed specific products or even sold it themselves.

William Helfand's excellent book, Quack, Quack, Quack: The Sellers of Nostrums in Prints, Posters, Ephemera, and Books, is an excellent source for seeing how editorial cartoonists (especially) employed patent medicine imagery to puff up or put down a candidate or party.

Below are images of a 1964 28-page pamphlet in my collection in which Republican Party candidate Barry Goldwater uses patent medicine imagery in his own campaign materials.

The cover shows Goldwater holding a demijohn/carboy of "AuH2O" (the chemical abbreviations for "Gold" and "Water") with other rhetoric associated with cures and the issues of the day.

The inside of the pamphlet includes several pages of Gol
dwater quotes cleverly paired with actual 19th- and 20th-century patent medicine advertisements, only a few of which are shown below. Other examples includes Goldwater's "blurb" indicating the present administrations policies were "cross-eyed," "wide-eyed," "wall-eyed," "glassy-eyed," or "blind" in regard to specific policies; the speech was paired with patent medicine advertisements for various quack remedies for vision problems.

It is an interesting example of campaign paraphernalia as well as the intersection of politics and quack medicine iconography in American popular culture.

No comments: