Witty Ads #2: Healing Londonderry water

Being a child of the 80’s, I foolishly assumed that bottled water was ‘invented’ and sold beginning in that particular decade. Silly me. Just look at a bottle of Poland Springs and you will see it was established in 1845!

Before the 80’s and 90’s,  you never saw so many people chugging down bottle after bottle of water. The old companies must have made their money off the giant jugs for office water cooler consumption. But In the last 30 years spring water in a personal sized bottle has boomed into a mega billion dollar industry. When we can just as easily drink tap, filtered or unfiltered for free, many of us may spend upward to $4.00 a bottle for ‘pure’ water.

During one of my Brooklyn Daily Eagle searches I came across some advertisements for ‘Londonderry Lithia Spring Water’ from as early as 1901 and I posted them below.

I discovered the charming Londonderry Lithia Springs Website. The natural springs were discovered in New Hampshire in 1882 and the company profited from their special water into the early 20th Century across North America. The website keeps a historical tone and they even sell matted prints of the original advertisements. These ads claimed that Lithia water successfully reduced symptoms from maladies common in the 19th century-Rheumatism, gout, Dispepsia, Gavel, Bright’s disease, et al.

These days scientists and doctors know better than to make such claims for simple water. While water has indeed been proven beneficial to the body in many ways, it is not a miracle cure. The 19th century was full of people hoping and searching for a cure-all and many would believe any charlatan or advertiser that made such claims.




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