Johns-Manville Asbestos Products - Roofing wiiiiith the deviiiiiiillll.

Hooray! More asbestos! We love asbestos advertising here 'round the office. There's nothing like laughing at the ignorance of the past to make yourself feel smart, even though I wasn't the one who discovered the health threat of asbestos and don't have the know-how to figur eit out. Yep. Standing on the shoulders of giants just to be a jerk is a great way to start the day.
This ad came in the form of two half page verticals, on opposing pages. So, that's why it's in two parts here. Fascinating, huh? Not really.

Back in '52, they understood that asbestos was a great material, suited to more than just diapers, napkins, and adhesive bandages. Why, Johns-Manville wanted you to cover your whole house in the stuff! And why not? It's weatherproof and colorful. It wants to keep you warm and snuggly. In fact, asbestos love you so much, it wants to climb into your lungs and hug you from the inside for the rest of your life - so what if that's about three years?

The left page ad was for asbestos shingles. Fair enough. The asbestos would mostly be a threat to the guys installing it, I guess. We don't use asbestos as a roofing material any more because of its general awfulness, but there have been worse applications for it than roofing.

The right hand ad promoted asbestos siding. Now there's a sinister product. Having asbestos down on the sides of the house in what we call the "lickable, rub-your-face-on-it zone" is a seriously bad idea.

Of course, nobody knew it was so bad back then, right? Not right. The threat of asbestos was publicized and documented as early as 1907. So how did people get away with basically making houses out of asbestos as late as the 1980s? You got me.

What a bummer, eh? Time for a movie to cheer everyone up again! Here's a promotional film called According to Plan, produced by the hilarious Jam Handy organization for a housing developer. Enjoy the excitement of a young couple planning the construction of their new house incorporating fireproof, durable asbestos.

If you're a real weirdo, you can also download it from good old Archive.Org. I did.

 Other Johns-Manville products thought perfectly reasonable at the time:

-Alberto VOh5n1 grooming products.
-Sarin Lee pastries. Nobody doesn't like Sarin Lee!
-Wisk. No more "ring around the cholera".
-Uncle Benzine long grain rice.

Thanks for reading. I'm going to go take a Silkwood shower now, just from typing this.


Sue said...


I had no idea where asbestos came from until I saw this. Now I think of it every time I hear the word.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

I like this line:

"Comedian Jon Stewart, known for making fun of Canada and its politics..."

He is? I've been a daily Daily Show watcher for about ten years and I'd say Stewart generally makes fun of everything. I think that Canadia.com has some thin skin. Actually, Asif Mandvi didn't have to make any jokes at all. Coulombe said some amazingly dumb stuff. He IS a douchebag. Wups! I mean "un Douchebaguette"

Good find, Sue!


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