Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Spratt's Patent Cod Liver Oil Dog Cakes

Ad for Spratt's dog cakesYummy! This advertisement for Spratt's Patent Cod Liver Oil Dog Cakes appears in one of the coolest items in our extensive Stefansson polar research collection: Fridtjof Nansen's Farthest North in its 1898 serialized parts (London: George Newnes). That a book on arctic exploration could be published and sold in the manner of a popular novel says loads about how the arctic had infected the public consciousness at the time. Nansen's voyage sparked romantic visions for an English audience eager for true life adventure in an ever shrinking world.

Cover to part 1 of Nansen's Farthest North
But it is the advertisements that really get you thinking. They offer the London middle-class reader an opportunity to vicariously explore the globe's unknown reaches through the magic of consumerism. Can't go to the arctic? Well, at least you treat your dogs the same biscuits Nansen fed to his dogs! It is reminiscent of all of the kids in the 1970s who had to have Tang over actual orange juice because Tang went to the moon.

To take a look ask for Stef G700 1893 .N22.

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