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Nurses: In Advertising

What do we see when we look closely?

Examine this advertisement from the Dutch chocolate manufacturer Droste which uses an image of a nurse to proclaim the health benefits of their drink on product labels and advertising materials.
Roll over different areas of the postcard to discover answers to the questions below.

    • Q1Can you identify a nurse's headdress?
    • A1The headdress is similar to a nun's veil conveying a traditional image of the nurse as a woman with a religious vocation or calling.
    • Q2Why is the nurse shown carrying a cup and saucer?
    • A2The picture has mythological associations: in imagery from ancient times, a woman who bears a bowl or cup would be associated with Hygeia, goddess of health and cleanliness.
    • Q3Can you spot the nurse on the image on the chocolate tin?
    • A3The health bearing properties of chocolate were unproven at this time but nurses found the warm milk drink popular with their patients.
A White female nun nurse carrying a tray with a cup and saucer on it.
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An image of a nurse used in a Droste chocolate advertisement links the product with health, ca. 1910

    • Q1Can you identify a nurse's headdress?
    • A1The headdress is similar to a nun's veil conveying a traditional image of the nurse as a woman with a religious vocation or calling.
    • Q2Why is the nurse shown carrying a cup and saucer?
    • A2The picture has mythological associations: in imagery from ancient times, a woman who bears a bowl or cup would be associated with Hygeia, goddess of health and cleanliness.
    • Q3Can you spot the nurse on the image on the chocolate tin?
    • A3The health bearing properties of chocolate were unproven at this time but nurses found the warm milk drink popular with their patients.
  • 1Can you identify a nurse's headdress?
  • 2Why is the nurse shown carrying a cup and saucer?
  • 3Can you spot the nurse on the image on the chocolate tin?