Sick with the flu in 1930s Mandate Palestine


On 2nd November, 1938, underneath the cheap prepaids on page three, the Jerusalem-based daily Palestine Post carried the ad above for ‘ASPRO,’ an English-made brand of aspirin recommended for beating the flu.

The large ad, laid out to look like the page of a newspaper, cautioned readers that “when you fear the flu you double its power to do you harm.” The ad gave consumers some insight into the nature of fear itself, adding that “the condition of fear is brought about by lack of knowledge regarding the methods of overcoming the complaint.”

Clearly, for its producers ‘ASPRO’ was the answer to this fear. “It is a known fact,” the ad said, “proved by hundreds of thousands of citizens that a hot lemon drink  and two ‘ASPRO’ tablets will smash up a flu attack in one night.”

Along with success stories of the carpenter who beat the flu, and Mr. Isaac Blechman, who stopped a cold “in one night,” the ad included one final note of reassurance for potential buyers – “‘ASPRO’ does not dope, deaden, drug or depress,” it said.

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