Friday, May 24, 2024


Selling It: Horrible Husbands of the Forties

 If the Ivory Soap ad writers were correct it was utter hell to be a housewife in the 1940s. Imagine this: a wife with the perfect hourglass figure, a face that Hollywood starlets would envy, a boundless desire to please her husband, and a work ethic for housework that borders on the monomaniacal. And yet, her husband can see only that her hands are a bit red and rough from doing the dishes with strong washday soap (whatever that is). And not only does hubby notice only this tiny flaw in his goddess of domesticity, but he is repulsed, disgusted, and downright nasty in his reaction to this imperfection. 

These ads shouldn't have been hawking dish soap. They should have been touting divorce attorneys.

Ivory Soap used the "red 'n' rough" terminology in their ads for years, but the version in which Red and Rough become actual characters seems to have been limited to these ads by Paul Fung, which ran from about March to June 1944.


Fung did a lot of ad comics. He even had a series where he brought back Dumb Dora to sell Ry-Crisp about 1943-4.
Limited run, of course, by the untimely death of Fung Sr.
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