Coca fiends

coca1.jpg

The latest post at Strange Flowers details some of the celebrity endorsements for Vin Mariani, the 19th-century tonic that famously blended wine with an extract of cocaine. Those antique ads reminded me that others may be found in the Leonard de Vries collections of old newspaper ads which is where these examples originate. The Victorians invented mass advertising, and were quick to realise the potential of the celebrity endorsement. What’s surprising today is seeing a product like Vin Mariani promoted by Popes and crowned heads alongside writers such as Émile Zola and Octave Mirbeau, neither of whom had glowing reputations among moral guardians of the time.

coca4.jpg

Continue reading “Coca fiends”