“…these little encouragers of profanity…”

From a 1907 issue of Marketing Communications


Do the men who make cork-screws take it for granted that their goods do not need advertising?  In the course of a long study of advertisements as I find them, I can truly say I have never seen this little article of daily necessity given any least attention.  Being so necessary in every house, and every house uses some sort of bottled goods, perhaps the makers and vendors off corks-screws may think it is quite superfluous to say a word about them.  They may suppose that people who sell drinks and other bottles goods will advertise cork-screws I their cuts.  But, they don’t.  There are cuts illustrating the convenience of a chafing dish for an after theater rarebit, but the young man in evening dress who is opening the ale bottle shows in his hands in the tense expression of his face, that the cork-screw he is using is of the old gimlet variety, and he must draw the cork by main strength

Some whiskeys are advertised by the picture of a bottle and a pair of hands on a background of black, and the hands are represented holding on grimly to the bottle and the old style, hard-labor cork-screw.

It makes one’s fingers ache and the wrist stretch to cracking only to look at these pictures, reminders, as they are, of days long gone when these little encouragers of profanity were all we had for the removal of corks, no matter how much we wished for the vinegar for the salad dressing, nor how frantic we might be for the catsup for the baked beans.

Now, when we have those beautiful, bright, easily managed cork-lifters (that’s just what they do) why not make an attractive girl opening a bottle of wine while she flirts with every man in sight?  It would be up with the times.  But, no doubt the vendor of drinks, and chafing dishes considers it up to the corks-screw man to advertise his own goods.

That the cork-screw is such a common necessity is no reason for not letting people know that there have been improvements in its architecture.  Thousands of things are the commonest kind of common necessities, but, still newspapers, magazines, car cards and even billboards are employed in advertising them.

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