Stiff Competition

What a lovely and fashionable girl.

What do you suppose the 1913 ad she was featured in was selling?

Go ahead, take a guess.

An upscale department store?


The season’s latest fur styles?


A vacation to exotic Canada?


Embalming fluid?

What are you, some kind of wise guy!?

Oh, wait…

You’re right!

It’s an ad for embalming fluid.

Magazine ad for the Clarke Fluid Company found in the December 1913 issue of The Sunnyside by Charles Addams back in the 1950s.
Magazine ad for the Clarke Fluid Company found in the December 1913 issue of The Sunnyside by Charles Addams back in the 1950s.

D-uh. It’s so obvious now!

Bone Shards:

Ripley’s has a lovely handful of weird embalming stories just waiting for you.

The next time you’re in Houston, don’t forget to stop at the National Museum of Funeral History. Slogan: “Any day above ground is a good one.”

I know! I’m sad I missed out on this auction too.

The ad copy:

Every time you see a pretty girl think of “Cintio” & “DeGage” (concentrated) (massage solution)

The chemicals that preserve the beauty
Sold by all jobbers.
What an embalming fluid should contain

There are several things which go to make up a perfect embalming fluid.

1st. It must be a perfect blood solvent, dissolving the thick, clotted, dark colored blood and bleach it out to a bright, red color, the same as arterial blood in life.

2nd. It must be a good capillary penetrator, so that every tissue in the body will receive its portion in sufficient quantities to thoroughly preserve it.

3rd. It must have strong preservative properties so that each and every body embalmed, no matter what the cause of death may be, will be kept in a perfect state of preservation for an indefinite period.

4th. It must be a disinfectant, germicide and insecticide, killing all odors, germ-life, decomposition, etc., without leaving a disagreeable odor.

5th. It must be a hardener of tissue but the astringent properties must not be so prominent as to mummify the body.

6th. It must be a mild bleacher so that all discolorations will be removed.

Cosmetic effects are what we are after first, last and all the time and unless they are secured in addition to perfect preservation, your work in a partial if not a total failure.

Now we have been compounding embalming fluids for ever thirty years and firmly believe that we have spent more money in experimental work than any other firm in this line of business.

There is hardly an undertaker in this country who has not used “Clarke’s Fluid” at some time or other in his career as an embalmer.

In all of these years we have tried to produce a fluid which would not only thoroughly preserve the body but make it look just exactly as it did in life.

“We have spent thousands and thousands of dollars in experiments and never were we perfectly satisfied with the results until we produced “Cintio Concentrated Embalming Fluid.”

We know, beyond a question of doubt, that “Cintio” is the very finest combination of chemicals ever produced. it is made of pure chemicals only and there is not one drop of water in its composition. it is the greatest blood solvent and capillary penetrator ever put on the market.

The Clarke Fluid Company
Laboratories: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.

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