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10 Vintage Ads With Kids That Would Never See the Light of Day Today​

Being a Mom Judy Dutton Mar 30, 2015

vintage ad kids guns

Advertisements featuring bright-eyed, cute-as-a-button kids are everywhere you look; their fresh faces sell everything from breakfast cereal to cars to computers. Yet not too long ago, they appeared in ads for less wholesome products (hello, guns). Just as often the item being marketed was innocent enough, but the ad sure wasn't.

You definitely wouldn't see many of the "classic" ads of yesteryear today -- and for good reason.

For a gander at advertising at its worst, take a look at these vintage selections to get a sense of how much the rules of advertising -- and parenthood! -- have changed. 

#7 is so offensive we don't know what to say...


Image via boingboing

1Have a Cigar!

This 1874 ad, tucked inside cigar boxes, shows it's never too early for kids to start chomping on cigars. Or get lung cancer.

Image via Curvy Canadian

2Free for Who?

Today, we call them "plus size." But back in the day, Lane Bryant, at least called them "chubbies!" Were the girls back then as upset by this ad as I am now?

Image via The Telegraph

3Cocaine, the Ultimate Pain Reliever!

Back in 1885, relief for a child's toothache cost a mere 15 cents... and came in the form of cocaine! It really does wonders rubbed on the gums, so they say.

Image via imgur

5Not-so-innocent Question

Someone really needs to sit this ragingly racist kid down and explain: No, black skin is not "dirty." It cannot be scrubbed off, with Fairy Soap or any soap, really.

Image via boingboing

6Safe for Kids -- Really!

This ad for Iver Johnson Revolvers, which appeared around the 1900s, claims their guns were "absolutely safe" for kids, with "accidental discharge impossible." In case that doesn't convince you, the little girl's shirt says "Papa says it won't hurt us" for good measure! Yeah, um, right.

Image via BuzzFeed

8Potential Pope Scandal

Sorry, but the Pope does not need a little boy's help to wash his hands. Today, that would be a sexual molestation lawsuit waiting to happen.

Image via BuzzFeed

9No Cat Would Put Up With This

Where do we start with this one? First off, cats can't sit like that in high chairs. Plus, kids shouldn't be wielding razors -- especially not on cats. Last but not least, kids should not say things like, "it's just like cream, isn't it, pussy?" since that's just too creepy.

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