A collection of adverts for local businesses set to popular ballads
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Credits. Captions advertise various businesses throughout the following routines. A band of gypsies sing to the backing of folk musicians on stage. Two women dance a jazz dance in a mock spotlight. Two men tapdance to a big band. Then a line of chorus girls tapdance to back a black female jazz singer; they are joined by a blacked up man.
Gypsy singer and group: John J Gordon for Safe Transport and Reliable Delivery; William Dow Butcher, Contractor to HM Navy 5 - 7 Bank Street Alloa - Direct from our farm to your table - "Try our famous sausages, they're delicious. Famous for cured bacon, corned beef and pickled tongues".
Two dancing girls perform a 1920s flapper routine: "Place your bets with confidence with Peter Whyte Turf Accountant and Commission Agent for Racing Football & Greyhounds; "Say it with flowers, but say it with ours" - Wreaths, crosses and wedding bouquests a specialty, James R Broome, 64 Drysdale Street, Alloa; Ormiston Bros. for EKCO Radio, Electrical Contractors Radio Engineers - 14 Drysdale Street, Alloa, High Street, Tillicoultry.
Two male tap dancers perform before a band - "Bring your car repairs to Mar Place Garage; "Never mind the rain, If you are wearing a raincoat from T.G. Fletcher, Tailor Outfitter - 16 High Street, Alloa; "Take care of the clothes, send them to The County Laundry - Work done under the most modern and hygienic conditions, 24 hour dry clearning service. Title: M.B Kirwan Ltd, Blackpool Dancing girls: Alloa Dairy Co, 24 Bank Street Alloa, "Our Tuberculin tested Ayrshires are the only free herd in Clackmannan County; Cleanliness is essential to health, The Tullibody Land Co Ltd. Ditch Farm Cambus. Blacked up female singer and female tap dancers: Brown, Baker and Confectioner, 27 High Street, Alloa - "Awarded gold and silver medals, One quality - the best. Catering a specialty; Your local paper, the Alloa Advertiser For Pithy Pars and Best Reports of Current Topical & Sporting Interest;
Blacked up male dancer: George Younger's Alloa Ales - as Scottish as the Highland Hills.
Questions & Activities
- Why did some singers paint themselves black?
- Do you think the people in this film lived in Alloa?
- Why would this advert be considered successful at the time?
- What type of advertising do you see at the cinema today?
- Do you think blacking up would be considered offensive today?
- How many kinds of stereotypes can you see?
- What was the variety act and music hall.
- These adverts are produced in Blackpool - what are the stereotypical cultures that they are representing?
- What elements of advertising today remain and what has changed?
- Is stereotyping always bad by definition or can it be useful or helpful?
Media Studies: Research the history of cinema advertising. Which feature films inspired this type of advertising?
Advertising / Business: Research one of the businesses advertised in the film. Find out if they still exist and what is located at the addresses mentioned today.
English / Drama: List all the different kinds of variety acts and research the variety hall tradition.
Race / Media Studies: Discuss the issue of racial stereotyping in the media and what constitutes an offensive stereotype.
English: See how many Scottish stereotypes you can find and put them in columns as to good stereotypes and bad stereotypes. Discuss your choices.
|Resource Rights Holder||National Library of Scotland|
|Date||1935 - 1940c|
|School Subject||History, Drama, English, Social Studies, Media Studies, Gender Studies|
|Subject Matter||Business, Race|
|Who||Alloa Cinema (venue)|
|Attributes||Black and White, Sound|