A Breath of Fresher Air

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.