Slim Chance that this poster is a Big Fat Fake
April 18, 2010 4:55 PM   Subscribe

Was the Ritter and Co "Fat-ten-U" product from the 1890s real or is this "Get Plump" poster a scam?

I love this, but I'll love it way more if I know that it's not a fake. MeFites, how can I find out if this "Get Plump" Ritter and Co "Fat-ten-U" poster and product from the 1890s is real or not?
posted by citystalk to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Here is an advertisement from 1895 for a product called Fat-Ten-U, though it seems to have been made by a Loring, rather than Ritter and Co.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 5:04 PM on April 18, 2010

I can't give you a good reason but it looks fake to me. The style just seems wrong compared to magazine advertisements from the same time.

That ad seems to turn up on the internet a lot as an example of how plump women were considered beautiful in the past. This is ignoring the fact that the same company, "Loring & Co." also made Dr. Edison's Obesity Pills. In this issue of McClure's they are selling both in the same ad.

There are lots of cool old ads in those old McClure's and Cosmopolitan magazines available on Google books. I wish I could buy "Dr. Scott's Electric Hairbrush!"
posted by interplanetjanet at 5:44 PM on April 18, 2010

Best answer: Here is a genuine Loring's Fat-ten-u ad at the Library of Congress
posted by interplanetjanet at 5:55 PM on April 18, 2010

I realize this is answered, but what made me believe it was fake is that the typography on the poster in question is wrong for the 1890s -- the text face used in the "End Despair" and "A Testimonial" sections seems to be Futura (or a copy of it -- it's a blurry photo), created by Paul Renner in the late 1920s...
posted by heurtebise at 10:13 PM on April 18, 2010

The ads for this and the company's slimming product are pictured in this book, with a caption to the effect of "presumably one could alternate between the two until a happy medium was reached".
posted by brujita at 10:55 PM on April 18, 2010

The bottom text in this image is "RESPECTFULLY[space]TELL[space][space][space]THE[space][space]LADIES" in Futura Std Medium as typed in Photoshop CS3 with kerning set to "Metrics" and no other tweaks whatsoever.

You may draw your own conclusions.
posted by Lazlo at 12:26 AM on April 19, 2010

I knew the font people would have a better reason then "it just doesn't look right!"
posted by interplanetjanet at 7:39 AM on April 19, 2010

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