Team Effort Of
Popular Pain Reliever
Stifles Pain


A-N-A-C-I-N….. Anacin
in handy tins of 12 and 30 tablets,
and economical size family size bottles of 50 and 100.”
                                                                             --Ford Bond

Lincoln, Me. (DG)—

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. 

AnacinJust 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 qualities. 

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?” Soundbyte   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. Soundbyte   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. 

Anacin’s longtime 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. Soundbyte   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 in general. 

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 Anacin Box & Tin(EA), and Fielden Farrington (JPB) simply described how Anacin’s combination of ingredients relieved pain faster than aspirin. 

Anacin’s popularity 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.