1926 ad: keep your body in a "state of scientific cleanliness" with Lysol

. Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The mother whose children are happy at home. Just being a mother is a job with twenty-four hour shifts seven days a week. There are some mothers who succeed so well in this difficult task that their children are happy and contented, proud of their homes, always glad to be there and to bring in their friends. It is a magic quality in motherhood that works this spell. Always you find in these households a woman who has charm, gentleness, poise, and a certain untiring vitality which comes from knowing how to take care of herself. A proper appreciation of rest, diet and exercise is a necessary part of this health-regulation, and keeping the body in a state of scientific cleanliness. Nervousness, fatigue, and weakness quickly result in loss of tone, a feeling of lowered vitality. Physicians say that feminine hygiene is of great importance to women in the preservation of health and youth. The antiseptic which doctors advocate for feminine hygiene is "Lysol" Disinfectant, the standard antiseptic in hospitals and with physicians everywhere. "Lysol" is soothing and lubricating, its effect protective and comforting; it leaves you with a tonic feeling of general well-being. This effective antiseptic is three times stronger than powerful carbolic acid, yet it is so carefully blended that in proper proportion it cannot irritate or harm the most sensitive tissues. Absolutely sure, it provides a perfect protection against infection, and its gentle deodorant qualities are a safeguard of feminine daintiness. Send now for this free booklet on the importance of feminine hygiene. If you want to know more about Lysol and about the important problems of feminine hygiene send the coupon below for a free set of our Lysol Health Library, which contains a volume on "The Scientific Side of Youth and Beauty." All drug stores sell Lysol. You will find the 16-ounce size most economical. Complete directions for its use come in every package. Be sure you get the genuine Lysol. To promote bodily vigor and preserve feminine daintiness. Lysol is a necessary part of the toilet of the fastidious woman. Send for the free booklet on feminine hygiene.
This is yet another bizarre Lysol ad from the 1920s. Some thoughts:

1) The headline doesn't make much sense with the rest of the ad until you realize that "feminine hygiene" was a euphemism for birth control. So the underlying secret message was that a woman could "take care of herself" by not having unwanted pregnancies, thereby preserving her "vitality" so she could be a better mother to the children she did have.

2) If the message was actually true, it would have been subversive genius. But sorry, ladies, Lysol actually doesn't prevent pregnancy after all. Whoops.

3. The thought of putting Lysol, no matter how diluted, on my lady bits is absolutely horrifying.

4. Now I really want to get my hands on the Lysol Health Library. That should be interesting.

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