Silent as the Sphinx

17 07 2010

The early twentieth century ushered in a new attitude towards the most important room in the home:  the bathroom.  Ok, so maybe it’s tied with the kitchen – but if push came to shove, I would trade in my stove and fridge for a hotplate and cooler WAY before I would ever consider giving up the luxury of plumbing for an outhouse.  In any case, numerous publications were written about how to create a bathroom that was both efficient in layout and sanitary in the choice of fixtures and decoration.  Advertising of course reflected the most cutting edge advancements, and to our modern sensibilities, can seem to be overly exuberant about what are now mundane issues.  Case in point, this ad for the latest toilet from Maddock.  “First in America to make the silent action closet” is the proud declaration emphasized above a rather lengthy description of how this came to be, and why you want one.  The ad is further enhanced by an illustration of the ‘ideal’ modern bathroom, which utilized the white porcelain fixtures and tiled walls and floor so popular in their time.  All of which was surely convincing enough evidence for the unwary magazine reader to rush out and purchase a Maddock toilet right then and there, but the ad designer couldn’t resist adding a frivolous, even ridiculous association to ancient Egypt with the tagline “Silent as the Sphinx!”  Please note that the ad dates to 1920 P.K.T. (pre King Tut).

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