WWI Ads–Gallipoli Coal Tar Soap, 1915 (?)

JF Ptak Science Books    Quick Post

These ads are interesting and take a bite, both ways.  For example, the first–for Wright’s Coal Tar Soap–uses the background of the enormous struggle in Gallipoli to sell itself.  The ad appears in the 9 October 1915 issue of The Illustrated London News, and stresses the fact that the troops were badly in need of, well, soap, among other things, not the least of which was forward motion, or victory.  


But the fact of the matter is that this relatively cheery image of the actions at Gallipoli looks entirely misplaced, especially at this point in the campaign when things were going badly.  The battle took place at Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey from 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916, and the conditions were deplorable: massive heat, rotting corpses, poor sanitation, dysentery, flooding and then frostbite and bitter cold in the winter–that, plus the killing part, with 392,338 killed and wounded on both sides of this one campaign.  There’s much more to this campaign, of course–especially for my New Zealand and Australian friends–but this is not the place for it.   I was just taken by the spectacularly mundaneness of this ad for selling soap on the back of a terrible campaign, and an eventual disaster for the Allied forces. 

By: Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/1pCrtr4

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