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Nurses: In Advertising

What do we see when we look closely?

Explore the ways in which the Red Cross symbol, used in commercial advertising to identify women as nurses rather than housemaids, validates the advertiser's claim that stout is beneficial to health.
Roll over different areas of the postcard to discover answers to the questions below.

    • Q1Can you see what the nurse is carrying on her tray?
    • A1Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing (1860) suggests that every nurse should be aware of the importance of restorative beverages when tending the sick and infirm.
    • Q2Can you find the bottles of stout?
    • A2By the end of the 19th century, nurses administer drinks such as stout on the advice of doctors who believe in the restorative properties of the beverage.
    • Q3Can you spot the romantic sub-text?
    • A3The pairing of a handsome sportsman with an attractive nurse, common in advertising at this time, suggests romantic possibilities.
A White female nurse in blue and white carries a tray with a drink towards White man playing hockey.
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An image of a nurse used to endorse stout, ca. 1908

    • Q1Can you see what the nurse is carrying on her tray?
    • A1Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing (1860) suggests that every nurse should be aware of the importance of restorative beverages when tending the sick and infirm.
    • Q2Can you find the bottles of stout?
    • A2By the end of the 19th century, nurses administer drinks such as stout on the advice of doctors who believe in the restorative properties of the beverage.
    • Q3Can you spot the romantic sub-text?
    • A3The pairing of a handsome sportsman with an attractive nurse, common in advertising at this time, suggests romantic possibilities.
  • 1Can you see what the nurse is carrying on her tray?
  • 2Can you find the bottles of stout?
  • 3Can you spot the romantic sub-text?