Film: 138

Adverts | 1920 | Mute | B/W


Collection of very early advertising films from the 1920s

The first three are simple, line drawn cartoons, clearly from the same artist. The last two feature live actors.
1. Matronly cartoon woman goes about the drudgery of handwashing. There is a large basket of washing and a bucket in front of her, and she uses a washboard. To the left of the frame is a stove/water boiler with cracks down the side. She stands and the words, "I cannot get them clean, they are not properly boiled" appear in a speech bubble. She goes over to the boiler and opens the door at the bottom. She says, "Fire out again!". She peers in the top drum and a question mark appears out of her head, followed by the words, "Water cold!". She runs off crying, covering her face with her apron. Woman seated in a different part of the kitchen. Large tears spout from each eye. Non animated hand enters frame and erases the old stove. Hand quickly draws a shiny, modern stove/boiler. The woman looks up with a question mark over her head. Woman with her feet up, reading a book. Piles of clean laundry on the worktop. Clean sheets hung all around the room. She looks content. Intertitle: "No Dirt Smoke Smuts Ashes…A gas heated wash boiler means hot water on tap. Gas for EVERY need. Consult with us without delay. The Preston Gas Company, Preston".
2. Line drawn truck bounces across the screen from right to left. The tires are flat and the exhaust streams with clouds of gas. The background to the scene is indicated by a wavy line. The words 'pop' and 'bang' come out of the exhaust. Truck close up. Truck disappears off screen. Large "BANG" fills screen. Driver falls through the air and lands in the centre of the screen with stars circling his head. An exclamation mark appears above his head. A dotted line from his eyes suggests that he is looking at his wrecked truck (not shown). Next shot shows the mangled truck. Shiny new truck, fully loaded and with a different driver appears and drives smoothly across from left to right. A question mark appears out of the second man's head when he sees the broken van. Second driver says, "I'll send someone from Ferraris to tow you in!" (in speech bubble). Second truck leaves.
Office (desk containing old telephone and chair). Driver speaks to a well-dressed man, who says, "Don't worry, I will repair your van at a reasonable sum and return it in two days". Driver replies, "I will lose a lot of business in those two days". Office man says, "Not at all, I will hire you a van whilst yours is being repaired". Outside of Ford Service Offices. Driver speeds out in a smart new van. Intertitle: "Two days later". Smart new van is driven back into the Ford Service office. Inside office - Driver holds a piece of paper and smiles. Looks across at the repaired van. A question mark appears over his head and he says, "No extra charges?". Ford office man shakes his head. Driver dances with joy and says, "your service is simply splendid, I regret that did not know you before".
Ford service man sits behind his desk. There is a long queue of customers in front of him. Ford man says, "To each purchaser of one of my Fords, I give three month's guarantee". First driver goes away smoothly in his repaired van. Photo of Ford van - above it is the caption, 'It pays to FERRARise your Ford. Whenever you see a Ford, remember the Ferraris Ford dependable service'. Different photo of Ford and the caption, 'your new Ford will be carefully selected at the works and accurately tested and tuned before delivery'. Photo of Ford car and the caption, 'you will enjoy, twice monthly, for ninety days after purchase, free inspection and service'. Ferraris Ford logo and address.
3. Three vehicles parked outside the 'Dribbler United Football Stadium'. A policeman stands to attention. Over the high wall, a part of the crowd, and occasionally the ball can be seen. Lines are used to indicate that the crowd cheer. Man on pitch, has possession and dribbles the ball past lots of stationary defenders. Back to policeman outside. Cheer from crowd. Large letters come from crowd, "Come on my boy!" and "Oh Baby!". Striker kicks the ball. Outside we see the crowd shout, "Goal!". A group of suited men in the crowd. One says, "Now to draw our winnings". His companion replies, "yes, I'll see you later". First man looking into his hand despondently. Says, "not much to crow about after all". His friend produces a wad of notes and says, "you should have done what I did, backed with the tote". Black screen with the caption, 'London Football Association Totaliser' Also has address. Continues, 'place your commissions with a reliable firm that gives you…' (rest unreadable).
4. Not animated. Poster headed by the question, "Why pay rent?". Goes onto offer an instalments scheme for houses in seven suburbs. Fades into shot of partially built buildings. A very large and old cement mixer is operated by a man in a flat cap and waistcoat. Row of terraced houses. Roofers working to finish them. Many hod-carriers lift stacks of bricks from the large piles in front of the houses. Bricks carried up ladders on to the roof scaffolding. Roof tiles being put on wooden beams. Intertitle: "a special cavity wall ensuring freedom from dampness". Shot of partially built cavity wall. Finished semi detached house. Intertitle: "All these estates are situate in the most delightful surroundings". Aerial shot of trees, fields and a few houses. Four men play bowls on the green (wobbly shot). Intertitle: "Why pay rent all your life when the Northfield Building Co will enable you to buy your own house out of income". Set on seven estates in and around Filton, Bristol.
5. Not animated. Silent. "A Good Judge". Very grainy shot of a court room. The judge sits on a raised platform. Two men are in the dock before him. The judge nods sagely. Policeman reads from statement. Fade into two scruffy defendants. Their hands playing cards. Policeman next to them looks over and snatches the cards out of their hands. Flashback to their crime. Policeman stands by a ladder. Two men (the burglars) climb down the ladder, one carrying a sack over his shoulder (clearly swag although not marked as such). The men are collared by the policeman. Courtroom. Defendants in the dock look worried. Smartly dressed witness takes the oath. Flashback to the night of the crime. Smartly dressed man and his wife/fiancee are in a nicely furnished room, standing by a table. Two dogs can be seen in the foreground of the shot. Woman asks, "Do you think our wedding gifts will be safe?". The couple leave. Man in stand. The judge asks defendants, "Have you anything to say?". One burglar gesticulates and speaks. Flashback to the burglary. First man looks in the window of the posh room. Sees table, gift and dogs. Second burglar climbs the ladder. Two Burglars in the room. They produce a bag of dog food and a bowl. One man feeds the dogs and the other fills his sack with gifts. Defendants in the dock. Judge asks witness, "did you give them a feed of Melox before going out?". Witness looks crestfallen. Judge says, "how then can you expect your protectors to perform their duty to you when you fail in your duty to them?". Judge writes in ledger. Says, "as the presents have been recovered, I shall discharge the prisoners for providing your dogs with the finest dog food on the market.". Burglars put on cloth caps and leave. Black screen with two bags of Melox dog food. Intertitle: "Moral: Feed your dogs on Melox dog food of you want your property safeguarded". Intertitle: "Melox in the morning. Melox marvels at night. Keep a dog Healthy, Happy and Bright". Illustrated poster of a small dog standing on a ball marked 'Melox Dog Food'.

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