Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This terrific photo is part of a collection of square photos I just had to have. The collection was a bit pricey, at $25 for the whole packet, but it included around 27 photos, so worth it. The photos measure 4×4 with a 3/4″ matte around the 3×3 photo. This particular matte features embossed stars surrounded by a floral vine. There’s a large variety among the photos, but I particularly love this one. Not only is there a large sign for laxatives – who knew we were so constipated in the past! – but also Peruna tonic and Cascara. This reminds me of a really funny song my grandmother used to sing to us kids, so the photo probably dates to the late teens or 1920s.

As I was walking down  the street, a billboard caught my eye

The advertisements written there could make you laugh or cry

The wind and rain had come that night and washed the paint away

And what was left of all those signs just made that billboard say

Just smoke a Coca Cola, drink katchup cigarettes,

see Lillian Russel wrestle with a box of Cascarettes*

Pork and beans will dine tonight and have a finish fight,

come and see the lecture on Sapolio** tonight!

Bay rum is good for horses, none better on the town,

Peruna*** cures the measles if you pay five dollars down,

Teeth extracted without pain for cost of half a dime,

overcoats are selling now that are slightly out of time.

*Cascarettes = laxatives

**Sapolio = rough soap to wash the sink

***Peruna = all purpose tonic/medicine

This is a proud Sepia Saturday submission. Please click through and take a look at other sepia goodness from around the world.

8 thoughts on “Storefront

  1. Auntie Kat says:

    I just had to sing the song! Gram was full of songs, stories and tid-bits!


  2. QMM says:

    That was very entertaining. Great post. Blessings of the Christmas season to you and yours.


  3. Well you know me I am the curious sort. I found a book called The Pharmaceutical Era..and in it was a reference to T J Webber and Co of Plymouth, Ohio that was burglarized on Feb 27, 1897. Not that it means much..but perhaps it fits somehow with the rest of your photos that are the same size. Interesting photo and song too:)


  4. Nancy says:

    What a fun photograph. I have to wonder if it was for advertising purposes. Also fun is your grandmother’s song. Thanks for sharing.


  5. TICKLEBEAR says:

    i certainly didn’t expect a giggle reading this week’s sepia saturdays.
    love the song!!


  6. Alan Burnett says:

    It’s a good job I wasn’t around your way otherwise I would have been bidding for those photographs against you. I love the one you feature (and the song) and hope that you will be showing us others from the collection.


  7. Tattered and Lost says:

    What a find. $25 for 27 sounds like a good deal for me since you rarely find photos like this. Wonderful!

    And that song…I am so passing that along to friends.


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