The frankness of this 1913 ad is welcome, but rather startling, to one raised on a media diet of slickness and sex appeal. Mr. Leonard pulls no punches describing the perils of inferior refrigerators, citing ptomaine poisoning as the consequence of appliances that lack a porcelain interior. The passing mention of Abraham Lincoln—honest Abe, indeed—is a sharp way to enhance Leonard's credibility even while he disparages deceitful salesmen.
A foreshadowing of 21st-century political practices, I'd say.
Leslie Clagett is a seasoned yet passionate observer of the international kitchen
and bath industries, and the founder of KBCULTURE.com. An editor at publications ranging from Arts +
Architecture to Kitchens & Baths, she is also the author of The New
City Home [The Taunton Press], among other books. Leslie has a
tremendous respect for quality design and the people who labor in its
pursuit; her discerning eye has been known to get a little misty in the
presence of true beauty.