In today’s edition of context is everything, this 1962 ad for the ironically-named Humble Oil and Refining Company brags that it produces enough energy to “melt 7 million tons of glacier!”

Text:

EACH DAY HUMBLE SUPPLIES ENOUGH ENERGY TO MELT 7 MILLION TONS OF GLACIER!

This giant glacier has remained unmelted for centuries. Yet, the petroleum energy Humble supplies- if converted into heat- could melt it at the rate of 80 tons each second! To meet the nation’s growing needs for energy, Humble has applied science to nature’s resources to become America’s Leading Energy Company. Working wonders with oil through research, Humble provides energy in many forms- to help heat our homes, power our transportation, and to furnish industry with a great variety of versatile chemicals. Stop at a Humble station for new Enco Extra gasoline, and see why the “Happy Motoring” sign is the World’s First Choice!

Ad and transcript borrowed from Ms. Marx.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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