Doomsday for Pests!

The following will make your day whole and make you feel happy.

Guaranteed, or your money back.

Bug Fatalities!

What did I say? 100% joy.

When people go on about “what makes this country great” this is what they mean, surely?

This cartoon short is from film archivist Skip Elsheimer’s collection of treats, available at A/V Geeks1 and archive.org.

When Doomsday for Pests has been shown on the arthouse circuit it has been referred to as a 1952 production. Too late, I think. Pestroy DDT is a product from 1946. The Wisconsin Historical Society has a great photograph of a Sherwin-Williams Pestroy DDT window display dated August 1946. See also this filmography of animation studio UPA.

The film was produced by Jerry Fairbanks for the Sherwin-Williams company, along with another short called Good-Bye Weeds. 2 There are references to a press screening on September 12, 1946. So, 1946!

A lot of DDT, not just a little

One way that people watched this film is right at the store.

Look at this detail of an ad from Gimbels department store in Milwaukee from July 1947:

Sherwin-Williams and Hollywood present a Sensational Double Feature

A quart of the DDT paint-like liquid coating cost $1.19 in 1947 (about $11.40 in 2009 dollars). A 3-ounce can of the DDT powder was 39 cents ($3.75).

Every hour on the hour!

I confess I find this film inspiring. Imagine if something like this were done for DE? Or any other bed bug subject?

  1. Disclosure: I realized after finding this film that I work for a company that does business with A/V Geeks. []
  2. See more Jerry Fairbanks industrial films here. []

4 comments

  1. Harry Case III

    Wow! Its amazing how cavalier people were about using DDT with no protective equipment of any kind. Add to that how it was used everywhere with abandon. By today’s standards it’s quite alarming. One thing is for sure though; People didn’t have bed bug problems.

  2. Renee Corea

    I hear that. And yet there are techs even now who use no protective equipment — there’s plenty going on today to keep people 50 years from now well provisioned with things to make fun of.

    We even apparently have versions of the plunger duster still in use, for something.

  3. James Marusek

    I lived in a suburb of Chicago in the late 1950′s and early 1960′s. Crop dusters would fly over our housing track and spray a fine mist of DDT. It was like a very dense fog bank. Whenever the planes would fly over, all the children in the neighborhood (including me) would immediately run outdoors and play in the fine chemical mist. I enjoyed the experience immensely and 50 years later, I see no ill health effects. DDT was a wonder chemical then and as it is today. Too bad this chemical has been banned due to unscientific unfounded fears.

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