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Lysol Spray ad (1968)

Photo(s) by Bart Solenthaler. Imported from Flickr on Apr 30, 2020. Artwork published in .
Lysol Spray ad (1968)
Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Bart Solenthaler and tagged with “franklingothic”. License: All Rights Reserved.

Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed used in all caps, in an ad from 1968 for Lysol Spray, a product by Lehn & Fink. Lysol was introduced in 1889 by Austrian pharmacist Gustav Raupenstrauch and produced by Schülke & Mayr in Hamburg, Germany. Lehn & Fink acquired a license and started producing Lysol for the U.S. market in 1912. The antiseptic disinfectant was used to fight a cholera epidemic in Germany in 1892 and the Spanish flu (1918–1920).

Wikipedia also mentions a long-standing history of misuse, as a birth control agent and as an abortifacient, among other things. “In 1911, poisoning by drinking Lysol was the most common means of suicide in Australia and New York.” Back then, at least it was known to everyone that drinking disinfectant is lethal.

Founded in 1874 by Louis Lehn and Frederick W. Fink in New York City and incorporated in 1916, Lehn & Fink had moved their headquarters to Montvale, New Jersey in 1966. A year later, the company was acquired by Sterling Drug, and sold to Reckitt & Colman (now Reckitt Benckiser) in the late 1980s.

The copy is set in two columns of Century Schoolbook. As it’s common, the ad doesn’t include a credit. A note in the New York Times from April 1970 mentions that several of the Lehn & Fink brands left Doyle Dane Bern (DDB) after two years “to join Jato and a whole bunch of Lysol products at SSC&B. […] L. & F., a division of Sterling Drug, has three other agencies, Warwick & Legler; Gaynor & Ducas and Berta, Grant, Winkler.”

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