New from Bodleian Library Publishing, The Huns Have Got My Gramophone! offers an unexpected and illuminating view of British culture during the First World War.
Organised into sixteen themed chapters covering a variety of product categories – including trench coats, food and drink, ladies' fashions, cigarettes and tobacco, motor vehicles and military gadgets – the authors set each product in its historical context and reproduce eye-catching print advertisements from a broad range of consumer brands and charitable appeals. This collection not only showcases the attention-grabbing imagery and emotional language used to arrest the reader's attention, but also reveals how advertisers identified and targeted the changing attitudes and widespread fears that characterized the home front and those fighting on the front line.
From Waterman's 'Super-Pen for our Super-Men' to Royal Worcester's 'New Military Curve' corsets, these advertisements offer a rare glimpse into everyday life a century past. Discover the origin of the Trench Coat: the authors have found the earliest known mention of this product, an advertisement for the 'Thresher' Trench Coat, which appeared in Punch in December 1914. The authors contacted the Oxford English Dictionary, who have included this new reference, replacing the previous example from 1916. Learn how the motorcar and fashion industries catered to the explosion of female economic power. Read about how scientific advances challenged the cure-all claims of 'over the counter' shell shock medications, prompting one pharmaceutical company to start a revolution in medicinal marketing. Discover the darker side of wartime advertisements: how did charitable organizations manipulate religious feeling to raise funds? How did even gramophone manufacturers turn families' fears into increased profits?
Not only a delightful collection of vintage advertisements, The Huns Have Got My Gramophone! is an accessible and entertaining source of historical information, offering an intimate view of Britain at war.