The London Independent’s i100 website recently dug up an old advertisement that appeared in Life magazine in February of 1962 and put it up under the shock headline: “This is a real advert.” The Independent continued: “It may seem difficult to believe, but this is a genuine advert from an oil company published in the 1960s.” This was followed by a photo of the mouth of a mighty glacier beneath which, in large type, are the words: “Each day Humble supplies enough energy to melt 7 million tons of glacier.” Beneath that, if your screen is big enough, you can just about make out the original ad copy:

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...

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