What Uncle Obadiah Rich Says About Dixon’s Stove Polish.

A late 19th-century advertisement using African-Americans to sell product

A lively, albeit disturbing, image using an African-American family to use humor and exaggeration to sell iron stove polish in 1882.

On the illustrative side, above a caption reading “What Uncle Obadiah says about Dixon’s Stove Polish” Uncle Obadiah has his mouth open. He is speaking two eight children clustered around him by the house stove. A baby in a cradle holds a box of stove polish in one hand; a child on the floor places his hand on another. Even an infant, in Obadiah’s arms, reaches out, crying to have the box of stove polish the old man, himself, holds in his hand.

The words coming from Obadiah’s mouth are printed in stereotypical dialect on the other side, e.g., “Now chillen what yer needs in dese times is practical eddycashun. When I was young we didn’t hab the chance at book-larnin dat you uns habb De intelligent an practical use ob dese two, an’ in particular de DIXON’S STOVE POLISH, will make yer a Bright and Shinin’ crown in de kingdoms ob de earth. Selah.”

Description: What Uncle Obadiah Rich Says About Dixon’s Stove Polish.

[New York: Printed and lithographed by Donaldson Brothers for Joseph Dixon Crucible Co., Jersey City, New Jersey 1882.] Advertisement. 5 x6 inches. Illustrations from engraving and color lithography. Small tear; small scuffing to image side, else very good.


Price: $40.00