I was a tub of fat!

ADvent Calendar Day 18 Korein claimed to contain Fucus vesiculosis (bladderwrack), which enjoyed a vogue as a weight loss supplement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. When the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Association analysed Korein in 1915, however, they reported that it was 40% sassafras oil and 60% petrolatum, …

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Figuroids

.ADvent Calendar Day 3 .The three female figures in Figuroids’ publicity were designed to illustrate the product’s promise: ‘If you are like the STOUT girl—you will become like the MEDIUM girl—and finally like the DAINTY girl—by taking Figuroids.’ . Launched in the UK in 1907 by Canadian doctor George Dixon, …

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Vigor’s Horse-Action Saddle

Source: Country Life Illustrated, 8 Jan 1897 (this image from a later facsimile edition) Unusually for anything involving exercise, this contraption looks almost fun. Although perhaps not completely  ‘a perfect substitute for a live horse’ – at least, not if you wanted to travel somewhere – it was well-received as an …

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Allan's Anti-Fat

Source: The Belfast News-letter, Tues 3 June 1879 This ad is unusual in appealing not to the potential consumer but to her weedy, emasculated little husband. (Presumably he’s her husband, because he seems stuck with her.) Most ads for Allan’s Anti-Fat, however, were aimed directly at people wishing to lose …

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Every Woman's Flesh Reducer

Diet products that promised you could eat what you like and not have to do any tedious exercise had a market in the early 20th century, even though today’s media would have us believe that everyone in the good old days was more robustly active than us morally decrepit modern …

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To Fat Persons

This is an interesting advert because there is nothing blatant about it. It doesn’t appear to be selling anything and it’s difficult to see what Mr. F. Russell has to gain. To the average reader, this could simply be a kind-hearted gentleman so excited about having lost weight that he …

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