Monday, November 14, 2011

ephemera and history

Good morning all! One of the reasons why I love to do collage is that I learn so much (weird stuff) as I search for elements to include in my collages. When I look through old books and magazines, I get warm feelings of nostalgia, mixed with piqued interests in retro science, mixed with an appreciation for historical context, mixed with the excitement of creative potential. Who could ask for anything more in an artistic endeavor? I was recently paging through a 1903 Cosmopolitan magazine which I purchased at an auction a couple years ago. I LOVE looking at the old advertisements especially. I used to teach a course entitled "Drugs & Behavior" when I was at Lebanon Valley College and covered the historical/chronological aspects of drug regulations. Many students are surprised to learn that the opiates and cocaine were not illegal in this country until 1914. So you could get patent medications with cocaine and opiates from mail-order catalogs like Sears & Robuck. Of course, free access meant that many individuals would become addicted to such substances. Anyway, here's two pages of advertisements which include no less than 6 ads for help with opiate addiction (but two ads which are for a syrup which contains cocaine). Notice as well the two ads to help women gain weight. The times, they are a changin' (or they have changed and are changin' still). Enjoy!

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