Vintage Toronto Ads: The Poise That Lysol Gives
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Vintage Toronto Ads: The Poise That Lysol Gives

Source: National Home Monthly, May 1935.

While it may seem laughable now, for much of the twentieth century Lysol was marketed as a solution for feminine problems as often as for its all-purpose cleaning properties. Genteel women had no patience for normal feminine odours, vaginal infections, and other bodily functions not discussed in polite society. Through carefully coded language, Lysol offered itself as a solution that preserved one’s grace and dignity, using chemicals a body shouldn’t come in contact with internally. The reference to “organic matter” in ad number one is likely code for contraception, as openly advertising birth-control methods was a no-no.

Source: New Liberty, October 1948.

Ad number two was directed at married women who worried that their non-dainty attributes caused their husbands to sleep on the couch. One dose of Lysol and her “romance appeal” and “married happiness” would return in a jiffy! Besides, how could she not trust the recommendation of a distinguished-looking medical professional? Answer: she shouldn’t, as an investigation by the American Medical Association revealed that the “European” doctors often quoted in Lysol ads were fakes.
As for the addresses to which readers eager to learn about good hygiene would have sent their requests, 9 Davies Avenue houses several photography studios, while 37 Hanna Avenue is the northeast corner of the Green P parking lot opposite the Liberty Market Building.