Chatty Choo-Choo Praises
Blue Bottle Pain Reliever


“FFFFFiiiiiggggghhhhhttttt headache….. 3 ways!
Bromo-Seltzer…… Bromo-Seltzer……
Bromoseltzer……. Bromoseltzer!”
                                                 --Bromo-Seltzer’s “Talking Train”

Lincoln, Me. (DG)—

Bromo SeltzerAs a fan of old time radio, you already know of the unlimited imagination that could be presented in front of the microphone.  With the picture in the listeners’ minds and nowhere else, many different characters came to life before their very ears.  In the world of radio advertising, the characters, whether they were people or things, praised the product they were selling.  It wasn’t unusual to hear people talk about their favorite product, because they had a reputation for talking--- but it was really an amazing trick when a thing talked about its favorite product.  The subject of this article concerns one of radio advertising’s most famous spokesthings.  Its claim to fame was talking about a pain relieving product packaged in the blue bottle. This amazing thing was heard on the ADVENTURES OF ELLERY QUEEN radio program.

At the beginning of the broadcast, announcer Ernest Chappell introduced “The Bromo- Seltzer Special” (a.k.a. Bromo-Seltzer’s famous “Talking Train”) as it was coming into the studio where the program was presented.  Like other regulation trains, the Talking Train belted out a loud whistle on its way in, but as it was coming in closer and closer, the sound this unusual locomotive made sounded like the name of that famous product in the blue bottle I talked about earlier.  Fortunately for the listeners, they weren’t hearing things.  This chatty choo-choo was really saying in a muffled voice, “Bromo-Seltzer, Bromo-Seltzer, Bromoseltzer, Bromoseltzer, etc.”  To the Talking Train, Bromo-Seltzer was a product worth talking about.

It was heard on the Bromo-Seltzer commercials saying, “Fight headache 3 ways”--- Bromo-Seltzer, Bromo-Seltzer, Bromoseltzer, Bromoseltzer, etc.” Soundbyte Granted, it didn’t have much of a vocabulary, but then again, how many trains have you heard talk any form of English!  

When the Train had its say for the moment, announcer Chappell talked about the “3 ways” in fighting a headache.  He stated there was more to a headache than just pain in the human head.  Jumpy nerves and an upset stomach also played key roles in the misery.  This triple whammy constituted into a “Sick Headache.”  This ailment wasn’t serious, but it sure was annoying!  Chappell pointed out for treating a sick headache, there were some major differences between Bromo-Seltzer and other pain relieving brands.  Since most of the leading pain relievers were in tablet form, it took a few minutes to relieve the pain, because the tablets had to dissolve first into the bloodstream.  Once it kicked in, the headache pain was relieved, but the jumpy nerves and the excess acidity in the stomach were still making life unpleasant.  There was no waiting around for Bromo-Seltzer, because its content was poured into a glass of water.  In a few seconds, Bromo-Seltzer completely dissolved in the glass of water and was ready to go to work.  Since it was transformed into a liquid, Bromo-Seltzer quickly relieved headache pain, soothed nerves, and neutralized excess acidity in the stomach.  It was the only product to fight headache all 3 ways.

When Chappell finished his narration, he turned it over to the Talking Train to finish out the commercial.  It gave a friendly reminder to the listeners on how to treat sick headaches with the same phrase it began with in the commercial, “FFFFFiiiiiggggghhhhhttttt headache 3 ways….. Bromo-Seltzer, Bromo-Seltzer, Bromoseltzer, Bromoseltzer, etc.”

With the commercials presented and the ELLERY QUEEN broadcast coming to a close, Chappell said good-bye to The Talking Train, as it was getting ready to leave for the next radio program Bromo-Seltzer sponsored.  The Talking Train didn’t mind constantly talking about Bromo-Seltzer, because it was the product to use for fighting pain, it was a popular product--- and most importantly, the Talking Train commercials went down in radio history as one of the classic radio commercials of the golden age.