anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Vintage Siphon Coffee Ads

with 2 comments

Vintage Siphon Coffee Ad

I had a fun time researching this week’s The Kitchn coffee column, all about siphon coffee.

My favorite part is how popular siphon coffee brewers were during the late 1800s and early 1900s, and how many vintage ads for them you can still find.

All of these ads are for Silex, a brand that become popular in the United States.

Vintage Silex Siphon Coffee Ad

Vintage Silex Siphon Coffee Ad

Vintage Siphon Coffee Ad

Editor’s note: As a reader so aptly pointed out, the lead image is clearly an advertisement from another era, when racism was overtly depicted. In this case, a black man serving two white people. In the second and third ads, you see women; a nod to the sexist nature of much advertising of the era as well. Women were in the kitchen, they were the hostesses, and they were the ones responsible for making the coffee.

Racism and sexism are still issues that we very much deal with today, and while they may not be as overt in today’s advertising, they are ever present. Hopefully presenting these advertisements provides some food for thought, not just over the state of advertising several decades ago, but also on how our society functions today. 

Image: Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark

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Written by Anna Brones

February 26, 2015 at 12:05

2 Responses

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  1. Anna, I have been a happy follower of your blog for a couple years now. I usually find you interesting and curious about the world in happy and expansive ways. I have shared your posts with my son who is also an avid coffee enthusiast.

    Today is a very unhappy exception. I find it disturbing that you highlight an ad with a Sambo faced black person smiling behind two waspy looking white people, and you make no comment about racial context. All the other ads have only white people. I know it’s “vintage”, which you seem to be celebrating, but how odd and insensitive that you have nothing to say lucid to say about this glaring aspect of the posters you present.

    I am so disappointed in your lack of awareness. Licia

    WritingAllies

    February 26, 2015 at 18:43

    • Licia-

      Thank you for the comment. It’s true that I should have made a reference to that. I find the same thing frustrating in vintage advertising that is inherently sexist, but often what happens when you see vintage advertising is it’s so easy to not even have a reaction to what’s in front of you because it’s so ingrained. All to say that I shouldn’t have posted without making a comment about it, and I will remedy that now. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Anna Brones

      February 27, 2015 at 09:22


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