Top 10 Unbelievable Vintage Medicine Ads

January 2, 2013  |  Bizarre, Pop Culture

You only have to look a few magazine advertisements from the early 20th century or even the 60s and 70s to understand how far medicine has come so quickly. It seems ludicrous that vintage medicine ads were easily found for the throat soothing advantages of cigarettes or the stimulating body and mind effects of a soda such as Coca-Cola or 7-Up. Even pushing the cola drinks onto young children as not only a safe, but a recommended action to help your little ones.

Say what?

Of course, including actual drugs such as cocaine can be forgiven, after all, I’m sure it did work as a pain reliever. What is harder to believe is that Heroin was advertised as a main ingredient in Bayer’s product along with aspirin. Some other vintage medicine advertisements were included for the sheer comedic value they impart, such as the Vibra-Finger, Stoner Placebo Capsules and Gingervating Ginger Ale. We hope you have fun seeing how lucky you are to be in the 21st century where advertising finally speaks the truth. ;-)

Philip Morris Throat Tested Cigarette Advertisement

I hope they were testing for throat cancer; but I doubt it. The creepy kid to the right doesn’t make me want to smoke, but he does frighten me a bit.

Philip Morris Vintage Cigarette as Medicine Ad

Vibra-Finger Vintage Ad (Gum Massager)

Um, yeah. Right. Well, at least it is dentist recommend. I’m assuming these are very sexy dentists.

Advertisement for the Medically Recommended Vibra-Finger

Stoner Placebo Capsules

Nothing helps cure you of your ailments like a placebo. I also wonder, “When are you going to get off that stuff?” Luckily, hypnotic form not required. What does that mean?

Stoner Placebo Capsules

Perry Davis’ Pain Killer Vintage Ad

It is just what its name implies,  A Killer of Pain. What is Morbus? Don’t worry if you have morbus, this will fix you right up as well as cramps and burns. No Chinese herbal medicine could compete with Perrry Davis’ Pain Killer.

Perry Davis Pain Killer Vingate Advertisement

Old Gold Cigarette Vintage Ad

I’m not sure what confuses or offends me more, the fact this vintage ad is trying to say cigarettes are a treatment for whooping cough or they have a man in black face tying to convince me. If we ever do a racist vintage ads list, this ad can do double duty there as well.

Vintage Cigarette Ad for Whooping Cough

Coca-Cola Vintage Advertisement

I love Coca-Cola, most people to, but I’m a bit suspicious of Coca-cola’s motives when a nurse is trying to serve it to me and tell me it has health benefits. Delicious? Yes! Wholesome? Um, not so much.

Nurse Endorsing Coca-Cola as Medicinal Treatment Ad

Hall’s Wine Advertisment

I don’t know if this vintage ad is actually advertising wine as a medicine or tonic for the bloom of perfect health, but it is a lot funnier if it is.

Vintage Medicine Ad for Hall's Wine - Supreme Tonic Restorative

Ginger Ale Vintage Ad

I had no idea the term Ginger was an older slang for red-heads. You learn something every day, just like you learned from this ad that ginger ale aids in digestion. Actually, this is true, if  there is real ginger in the ingredients. Still, seems offensive to pale red-heads.

Pale Ginger Ale is Gingervating Mecidinal Refresher

Dr. L. Q. C. Wishart’s Pine Tree Tar Cordial

A doctor with that many initials can’t be bad, can he? I just wish I could pronounce the product. Dyspepsia Pills? It sounds more like the disease than the cure.

Vintage Advertisement for Dyspepsia Pills - Cures All!

Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People

Just what the heck is this vintage medicine ad trying to sell? And what are gingers being singled out again? What could be in these pills to make you less pale?

Dr. Williams Pink Pills for Pale People Vintage Medicine Ad

Cocaine Toothache Drops

Instantaneous cure? Yeah, I’ll bet it is. And only 15 cents on the street. And do you really need to write anything after the word cocaine? I think that is your selling point.

Cocaine Toothace Drops Vintage Ad

Bayer Heroin Vintage Advertisement

Heroin, The Sedative for Coughs and a fast path for that addiction you have been wanting.

Bayer Aspirin & Cocaine Vintage Medicine Advertisement

7-Up Vintage Ad

You like it…it likes you! And Mom knows that 7-Up is so pure it is good for you and all children…who want bad teeth, ADD and diabetes!

Vintage 7-Up Ad - A wholesome drink for all ages!

Interested in seeing more crazy vintage ads? Try these comic book advertisements, presented by

1 Comment

  1. I wonder which products we use today will make a list in 100 years…I think I will stick to Aspirin when I get a headache.


  1. Funny Comic Book Ads: Top 10 Outrageous Comic Book Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts
Strange Cloud Formation Pictures That You Won't Believe Are Real

Strange Cloud Formation Pictures That You Won’t Believe Are Real

07/25/2014  |  No Comments

07/25/2014 • Take a look up and you'll see a sky of blue usually with some puffy cotton ball looking clouds. But... more

Top 10 Unbelievable Vintage Medicine Ads

Top 10 Unbelievable Vintage Medicine Ads

01/02/2013  |  1 Comment

01/02/2013 • You only have to look a few magazine advertisements from the early 20th century or even the 60s and 70s... more

Scary Santa Claus Pictures

Scary Santa Claus Pictures

12/07/2012  |  2 Comments

12/07/2012 • Being a kid is a tough job, but we all have to go through it. Being a kid at Christmas... more

Top 10 Funny Star Wars Christmas Cards

Top 10 Funny Star Wars Christmas Cards

11/26/2012  |  No Comments

11/26/2012 • Christmas is here and among many other wonderful traditions such as Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, caroling and gift giving, we... more