Popular Pain Reliever
in handy tins of 12 and 30 tablets,
and economical size family size bottles of 50 and 100.”
Aches and pains aren’t exactly a
barrel of chuckles. Unfortunately,
the human species have to put up with them whether they like it or not.
With the different and powerful pain relievers made today, those same
aches and pains are nothing more than an annoyance.
During radio’s golden age, the people also had the same aches and pains
at one time or another. When pain
struck, aspirin was the product to use. Although
this article isn’t about aspirin, I have to give credit where credit is due. Aspirin did its job in relieving pain--- and still does today
for that matter! Aspirin was the
era’s dominant pain reliever, but it faced some major competition from a
product called Anacin.
as Advil, Alieve, and Tylenol are today’s modern
pain relievers, Anacin was the modern pain relieving product
during radio’s golden age. It was
different, because Anacin used a doctor’s way of thinking in
relieving pain. In other words, when a patient visited the doctor, he/she was
usually given a prescription consisting of a combination of ingredients to
relieve pain. All by its lonesome, Anacin
contained the same pain relieving combination as the doctor’s prescription---
all made up in easy to take tablets. It
provided fast relief from headache, neuritis, neuralgia, rheumatism, tooth
extraction, and other forms of minor aches and pains the human body encountered.
As for the competition, which was usually aspirin, those products only
had the 1 ingredient--- which just so happened to be aspirin!
For those people who suffered from pain, Anacin’s
combination of ingredients made the difference in quickly relieving that pain.
In the confusing configuration that
made up American Home Products, Anacin was the company’s most
popular product. Since it was
popular, it wasn’t very surprising that Anacin was a sought
after radio sponsor.
During the daytime, Anacin
had the unusual distinction (for an individual product) of sponsoring not 1, but
2 long running daytime serials at the same time. They were on different networks and spaced far enough apart
so the listeners could easily hear about Anacin’s pain relieving
Every weekday at 12:45 PM on the Columbia/CBS
Radio Network, Anacin sponsored OUR GAL SUNDAY,
the serial famous for the announcer asking, “Can this girl from a small
mining town in the West find happiness as the wife of a titled Englishman?”
It took nearly 22 years, but the question was finally answered “yes.”
While heroine Sunday Brinthrope was trying to find happiness, Anacin
was spreading happiness as the sponsor for 18 of the program’s 22 years.
For those listeners who missed out on
OUR GAL SUNDAY, there was another chance to hear about Anacin.
During the late afternoon on NBC, Anacin was also
the sponsor of JUST PLAIN BILL.
This was the story of Bill Davidson, who was a barber in the town of
Hartville. When he wasn’t cutting
hair or shaving faces (which seems like most of the time), Bill was usually (and
unwillingly) involved in the affairs of his friends and neighbors.
It was enough to give Bill a headache.
Luckily, Anacin was on hand to relieve the pain--- and
sponsored the program for 18 of the program’s 23-year run on the air.
sponsorship of the 2 daytime serials is very impressive--- but there is more.
It was also the longtime sponsor of an evening serial program.
Anacin had a 10-year run as sponsor of the serial EASY
ACES on NBC’s Blue Network and later Columbia/CBS.
This program didn’t have the melodrama of OUR GAL SUNDAY
and JUST PLAIN BILL. Instead,
EASY ACES used comedy in its story, compliments of Jane Ace.
Let’s sum it up this way, if anyone believed in hearing and talking
proper English, they shouldn’t tune in to this program!
In a language all her own, Jane had
the uncanny ability to slightly twist around popular sayings.
Some of her “sayings” consist of “there’s a fly in the
oatmeal,” “it’s behind me,” and other gems.
If you think that’s bad, Jane also had a way of befuddling her husband
(known as “Mr. Ace”); her best friend Marge Hale; and the human race
With this article, I have enclosed
the introductions and Anacin commercials from the 3 serial
programs I just wrote about. Bear
in mind, the OUR GAL SUNDAY intro took place in 1939; EASY
ACES in 1942; and JUST PLAIN BILL in 1948.
After hearing all 3, you might notice the Anacin
commercials were basically the same. Announcers
James Fleming (OGS), Ford Bond
(EA), and Fielden
Farrington (JPB) simply described how Anacin’s
combination of ingredients relieved pain faster than aspirin.
created a healthy rivalry with the major brands of aspirin.
It was a fierce competition that lasted for decades.
The modern pain relievers dominate today’s advertising in print and TV,
but Anacin is closing in on its 7th decade of pain
relieving. Although it has been
around for a long time, Anacin’s combination of ingredients
continues to relieve aches and pains with stunning speed.
For people who hate pain, they can rely on Anacin just like
the previous generations of people did in the past.