Thursday, November 15, 2012


Better Living Through Chemistry

Jérôme Dubois' glorious collection of 1930s French pharmaceutical ads, featured on 50 Watts, will eat your morning.

18 Comments / Post A Comment


Oh, I love this sort of thing.

Agreed with the introduction that I'm not sure what Serenol is, but I feel like I should be taking it. Symptoms seem to include being menaced by giant shadow broccoli trees.

A quick Googling says that there is currently a homeopathic sleep aid called Serenol; no clue if it's the same. I wonder if it is. These were ads given to physicians, and most of the images have a tone of THIS IS SCIENCE! SCIENCE!, while the Serenol campaign doesn't (see aforementioned broccoli monster).

Sunny Schomaker

@TheLetterL I compared ingredients (because I'm nerdy like that) - it isn't the same, but there is some ingredient overlap.


@Sunny Schomaker My three second Googling didn't find anything that was for sure the 1930s Serenol, but everything I found seemed to be homeopathic-ish. (And includes coffee? In a sleep aid? Sure why not)

Summer Somewhere

@TheLetterL Small amounts of caffeine work as a sedative in humans!

Sunny Schomaker

@TheLetterL I used the ingredient list on the poster.


@Summer Somewhere Whaaaaa? Interesting.

@Sunny Schomaker My hat is off to you. I can barely read the print, let alone interpret the words! Thanks.


Just keep it and update regularly.@n


"constipation vanquished, cheerfulness returned" is a GREAT slogan


@redheaded&crazie: As was Louis Armstrong's slogan for Swiss Kriss laxative: "Leave it all behind ya!"


The Taxol one really gave me a start--there's a drug called Taxol now that's used for lung cancer, and I had a "WTF, Taxol has been around since the 30s" moment. But nope, that Taxol is for constipation. I guess it's just a really medicine-y sounding name?


@OhMarie Taxus (the cancer one) is called that because it comes from yew trees (genus Taxus). (For years my family had an advert cut out from the paper on the noticeboard about people wanting yew clippings to use to make anti-cancer drugs; we have a yew tree in our back garden, hence the interest.) I'm not sure about the other Taxol.


Ahhh, I love 50 Watts! Click around that website when you have some time-- there's plenty more beautiful and bizarre stuff. I love the Space Teriyaki series.


I didn't know I suffered from emotivite until I saw this poster.


I feel the need to point out that the bottle of Vivoleol wouldn't fit inside that fish.


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