Thursday, November 22, 2007
Dr. Seuss and Flit
You might think that Dr. Seuss was ALWAYS a famous author of children's books, but he didn't start writing those books until the late '30s. Before that -- as I discovered this morning -- he drew cartoons for humour magazines and advertising companies.
I discovered this bizarre fact when I ran across an advertisement for "Flit" bug-spray in the June 2, 1928 issue of The New Yorker. Not only is this ad the kind of thing you wouldn't be able to do today -- kids all over the country would be drinking insecticide in emulation -- but there's the trademark Seuss-type tree, and there's the Seuss signature at the bottom.
It turns out Dr. Seuss was Flit's big illustrator. Chalk this up to "weird things you should only learn about at 7:30 in the morning."
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Ah...art vs. commerce, we love you!
Stayin' alive...stayin' alive...
And you just had a 1920's New Yorker lying around? One word: Recycle!
I not only have THAT 1920s New Yorker lying around...I have every issue from 1925 to 2005!
But before you think I'm a crazy packrat, they're on the set of DVDs that make up "The Complete New Yorker."
Unquestionably a discovery of historic importance. By the time I grew up, Flit was no where to be seen (instead we had the German Baygon Spray) but Flit was still the bye-word for insect spray. As in the following druken monologue by Amitabh in Hum: There are two kinds of bugs, one that breeds in dirty drains and the other that breeds in society. For the dirty drain cockroaches we have Flit, but brother-in-law! we have no flit for the cockroaches in society!
And don't get me started on just how dangerous the cartoon is. Consuming pesticides is the most popular way of commiting suicide out here.
Krasny times two! I'd never heard of Flit -- I think we use "Black Flag" around here, but it's been a long time since I last spent time with bugs (dirty-drain kind OR societal!)
First Dr. Seuss becomes a shill for Flit, then Amitabh. Who next!
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