A look back at drugs and drug culture in American throughout the Twentieth Century.
P1 – A Century of Syringes Probably every junky who has picked up a needle has fantasized about using, or at least owning, an authentic turn of the century glass heroin syringe. I admit, I certainly have. It’s titillating just looking through these pictures, imaging the ritual that their use and up-keep demanded. Though they might not meet modern hygiene standards, the detail and craftsmanship of these syringes make the modern disposable feel cheap and ceremonial. Though their large gauge needles might make some modern junkies of less resolve might reconsider their RoA of choice. Would you be among the original junkies and brave the time-honored practice of injecting with one of these antique syringes? I’d like to think I would. But maybe something are better left to fantasy.
P2 – Your Doctor Recommends Camels We haven’t always been the modern, forward-thinking, Clean Air Act enacting, e-cigarette banning society that we are today. There was a time where cigarettes were not only widely accepted, but praised for their health benefits. This second installment of Our Junky Forefathers takes a look back through time when cigarettes were cool and what you smoked defined who you were. They also came at a time before the government stepped in and declared smoking a public health crisis and false advertising was an unregulated, fine-tuned art form. Find out what brand cigarette your favorite athletes, celebrities, doctors, dentists, dietitians and even Santa Clause smokes to relax. But I’ll just let you see for yourself. I really don’t think I have to give any more commentary than that. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. Americans today will no doubt find these advertisements more shamefully comical than persuasive. Though shocking, you can’t deny their entertainment value.
P3 – Medicine of a Bygone Era A peek inside the medicine cabinets of our Junky Forefathers. We might scoff at anyone who attempts to justify their reckless drug use by claiming it’s mere medicine. We might even scoff at the doctor who attempts to explain that drugs are not all bad for your body, in fact heroin done precious little physical damage. But there was a time in the not-so-distance past that heroin, cocaine, LSD, cannabis and yes, even meth were used for legitimate medicinal purposes. It seems that drug perception is more a matter of advertising and mass marketing that it is chemical makeup.
P4 – One Man’s Poison is Another Man’s Medicine The pharmaceutical business is an always has been a multiple billion dollar industry. The fact that as a society we view heroin as the devil and Prozac a miracle drug is because that’s what the advertising campaigns, which are strictly controlled by the FCC, tell us to think. At one point almost all illegal drug was boasted as the next breakthrough in medicine. This video examines the advertisements designed to sway a nation into taking taking whatever it is they had to sell.
P5 – Pulp: Drugs, Sex & Scandal! Pulp has always had a fascination with drugs, so long as the drug users are shed in a negative light. People love stories about other people whose lives they consider worse off then their own. From books to magazines, TV shows and cinema, we just can’t get enough of it. And most people are in agreement that anyone who does drugs must have a terrible life (I actually think I’ve got a pretty awesome life, thank you very much. But for this blog, we’ll leave it at that). When you throw in the voyeuristic element of a taboo that most people would never dream of experiencing first hand, you’ve got a real moneymaker on your hands. This video is a photo collection of some of the campiest, most outrageous and at times hysterical, pulp covers featuring our favorite topic… drugs!
Cocaine: A Classy Drug For A Classy Decade Cocaine was handsdown the Drug of Choice in the 1970’s. It’s no surprise that there were plenty of eager businesses trying to capitalize on the trend. Take a look at the advertising from any decade and you’ll get a good feel for what the country’s attitude was on any given topic. From hailed medical breakthrough to outright prohibition, to socially acceptable party aid, cocaine found a home in the 1970’s. Funny, sophisticated, trendy and classic, the companies in these advertisements make it clear cocaine had surpassed all socio-economic barriers and made its way up noses across the county.