Thought Catalog

41 Mind-Blowingly Racist Vintage Ads You Need To See

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The following images will be disturbing and shocking, as you see the casual way with which businesses have deployed racism to sell their products. It’s easier to whitewash over our history and pretend it never happened, but these photos are a necessary part of our past, as they help us better understand our present, one still haunted by our legacy of racism. These images don’t just go away, and we’re still dealing with these issues today.

From our not-too-distant past, here are 41 racist advertisements that will make you want to scream, cry or throw something — all provided without comment, because no words are necessary. Take a deep breath and then go.

1. Yum Yum Brand Apples

Credit/VintageAdBrowser
Credit/VintageAdBrowser

2. Canadian Patriotic Fund

Credit/Znaemise.com
Credit/Znaemise.com

3. Aunt Jemima

Credit/vintageadbrowser
Credit/vintageadbrowser

4. Rice Council

Credit/VintageAdBrowser
Credit/VintageAdBrowser

5. Fritos

vintage-ads.livejournal.com
vintage-ads.livejournal.com

5. Revere Copper and Bras’s War Bonds

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

6. Gold Dust

Credit/Vintage-ads.livejournal.com
Credit/Vintage-ads.livejournal.com

9. Uncle Remus Syrup

Credit/Pzrservices.typepad.com
Credit/Pzrservices.typepad.com

10. Pears Soap

Credit/Kaufmann-mercantile.com
Credit/Kaufmann-mercantile.com

11. Gold Dust

Credit/postcardcollector.org
Credit/postcardcollector.org

12. Aunt Jemima

vintageadbrowser.com(10)
Credit/vintageadbrowser.com

13. The Natural Food Co.

copyranter.blogspot.com(2)
Credit/copyranter.blogspot

14. Bobb’s Bar

bytesdaily.blogspot.com
Credit/bytesdaily.blogspot.com

15. VanHeusen

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

17. The N.K. Fairbank Company

Credit/VintageAdBrowser
Credit/VintageAdBrowser

18. Aunt Jemima

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

19. Plymouth

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

20. Bull Durham Tobacco

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

21. Wheaties

BetterWheatiesAd
Credit/ytmnd.com

22. GE

Flickr:paulmalon(2)
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

23. La Choy

Flickr:paulmalon(1)
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

24.Hires

pzrservices.typepad.com
Flickr/pzrservices.typepad.com

25. Elliott’s White Veneer

comicvine.com
Credit/comicvine.com

26. Jell-O

Flickr/Vintageadbrowser.com
Flickr/Vintageadbrowser.com

27. Disney

Credit/vintageadbrowser
Credit/vintageadbrowser

28. Al G. Field Minstrels

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

29. Old Gold

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

30. Rhum Negrita

vintageadbrowser(14)
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

31. Sanfordized

Flickr/robotbastard
Flickr/robotbastard

32. W.M. Cameron and Brothers Tobacco

209360_(via avalaunchmedia.com)_591w

33. C.M. Pitt and Sons

Credit/Vintageadbrowse
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

34. The Texas Company

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

35. Fashion Publicity Company

Credit/Vintageadbrowser
Credit/Vintageadbrowser

Note: “Colored kids” is a pun and a play on her shoes.

36. Watermelon Ad

vintageadbrowser.com(11)
Credit/vintageadbrowser

37. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

Flickr/swilkes
Flickr/swilkes

38. General Electric

enhanced-buzz-12432-1330296228-14
Credit/vintageadbrowser

39. Hendler’s Ice Cream

Credit/thesocietypages.org
Credit/thesocietypages.org

40. The Saturday Evening Post

Credit/vintage-ads.livejournal
Credit/vintage-ads.livejournal

41. Pears Soap

Credit/vintage-ads.livejournal.com
Credit/vintage-ads.livejournal.com
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