Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Dutch Boy's Lead Party

Today, we treat lead as if it were nuclear waste. But 90 years ago, it was an essential ingredient in everyday life, from toys to paint.

I recently stumbled upon this 1923 promo booklet by National Lead Company (now NL Industries):

The Huntington Digital Library describes it:
The front cover shows Dutch Boy, carrying his paint bucket, being greeted by a toy lead soldier, a shoe, a plate and a light bulb. The back cover features a hand that has made a broad brush stroke with the admonition "'Save the surface and you save all'; Paint & Varnish". The front inside cover contains the copyright information; the back inside cover features a seated Dutch Boy (the Dutch Boy trademark) and locations of company offices in the United States. The first page shows the Dutch Boy talking to the lead soldier; it is followed by 14 images--7 in color and 7 in outline--of items that use lead. Items include a light bulb (lead glass), shoes and baseballs (lead in the rubber), and a bullet (entirely made of lead). Each outlined image was to be filled in using the complementary color image at its side as a guide. Some of the images have been filled in using watercolor. There are four perforated tabs at the end of the book--probably where the Color Harmony in the Home booklet, mentioned on the front cover, would have been included before its removal for use by adults. On the front cover the name "M.C. Wagner" has been stamped.
It was written by O.C. Harn, an in-house copywriter and author of the aforementioned Painting, protective and decorative and Lead, the precious metal, Marketing a Nationally Advertised Product and many other classics of the lead industry.

How times have changed! The Dutch Boy is still around, but now he's more of a fan of latex and enamel.

Here's an infographic video we did a couple of years ago for Health Canada:

1 comment:

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