Sunday, August 11, 2013

Frogs for Fun and Profit (or: hello, my baby)

Raise Giant Frogs (Jan, 1936)
Raise Giant Frogs
A New, Uncrowded Industry
Good Profits – No Competition
Each pair of “Nufond Giant” breeders lay 10,000 eggs every year. With modern methods, up to 90% turn into frogs.
Giant frogs sell up to $5.00 per dozen everywhere. Think of the profit possibilities! Competition is unknown because the wild supply is practically exhausted.

Backyard Pond Starts You
A small backyard pond 20×25 feed with a little bank space is all you need to start. The pond is very shallow; little water is needed. Expand with the offspring.
Any kind of drinking water is suitable. Running water is not required. Flowers, lilies and plants make the pond very attractive.

Any Climate Suitable
“Nufond Giants” are a hardy breed of “North American” bull-frogs. You can raise them in the North or South, even in Canada.
Costs Little to Start
A frog pond is easy to make. There is nothing to buy except fence! You even raise the food right in the pond with the frogs! What other livestock offers you such advantages?

As originators of canned frog legs, we have developed the largest market for frogs in the world. Our products are on sale in principal cities throughout the country.
Write for our big, illustrated frog book. It explains our money-making proposition in detail.
Dept. 119-A New Orleans, Louisiana

This is one of those gasping, jaw-dropping ads from the 1930s. The contradictions in it are  headspinning. "No competition" should tell you something (i. e. nobody in their right mind would want a huge pond full of deafening croakers in their back yard or basement). "Competition is unknown because the wild supply is practically exhausted" is touted as a GOOD thing, not the environmental gut-wrench we feel today. If it's a shallow pond with no running water . . . does the word "swamp" mean anything to you? And what about this "food you raise in the pond right with the frogs"? My God!

Just picture it. . . a pond 20 x 25 feet. . . have you ever heard ONE bullfrog croak, even once? How many of them would be crowded into this "attractive" slime-pit? And all through the reading of this astonishing artifact, I kept wondering: why frogs? Why giant bullfrogs? It wasn't until I got to the bottom of the ad that I knew the sordid truth.

Somebody must have bought into this. I keep thinking of the poor schlubs who, desperate to make a little money during the Depression, actually bought what probably amounted to a slimy bottle of frog's eggs. Either that, or two dead frogs in a box. I wonder if anyone actually made a go of it. And the more I think of it. . . a guy out in his back yard, probably at night, with a shovel. . . his wife doesn't know anything about it. . . then it rains. . .

I would love to send away for their "big, illustrated frog book", but I think by now that the offer has probably expired.

  Visit Margaret's Amazon Author Page!