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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hinton's ARMORED Ambulances

Posted By on Sun, Oct 25, 2009 at 9:45 PM

I know that when I suffer from leprosy, lunacy, gout, the shivers, the shuffles, and the loss of my immortal soul — among other almost daily afflictions — I really won't feel comfortable being rushed to the hospital unless I am in the protection of an ARMORED ambulance. After all, you just don't know what kind of hooligans and assassins may be lying in wait, just waiting to cause you harm when you are at your most helpless.

That, I think, seems to be the logic behind a series of ads that J.T. Hinton & Sons began to run in the mid-1920s. The interesting advertisement shown here, in fact, was published in the 1927 edition of The Lantern, the yearbook of The Hutchison School, which seems a rather strange place to put it. Not exactly the demographic for ambulances, is it?

Now first of all, J.T. Hinton & Sons was mainly a FUNERAL HOME, and I've complained before about what I consider a conflict of interest. Would it really be in their best interest, I have fretted, for the ambulance drivers to deliver you to the hospital safely — and therefore lose a perfectly good, perfectly DEAD funeral home customer?

But I digress. Hinton, competing with many other ambulance and funeral companies in Memphis, hit upon a rather unique marketing plan. As the ad says, they already operate "The World's Finest and Safest Ambulances." Not just in Memphis, mind you, but IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

And now, they provide you with "the first and ONLY Armored Ambulance in the World."

The ad speaks for itself: "Aside from its armored protection against collision, fire, or storm, the elegant comfort of the Hinton Armored Ambulance appeals to persons of refinement who are accustomed to the better things in life."

Here they clearly mean the Lauderdales, without bothering to say so. Disgraceful.

The ad continues: "In the one vehicle we combine 'the world's finest and safest ambulance.'" And notice that the copy below explains, "The Hinton Armored Ambulance is available by private appointment only." The commoners would simply have to make do with "the other two Hinton ambulances retained for emergency calls." And at bargain rates, too: "$5 between any two points within the city."

And just look at those fancy white uniforms of the ambulance drivers! Not a splatter of blood on either of these two gentlemen, and you know they hoped to keep it that way. But don't bother calling any of their "five phones." Nobody answers.


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