Pakistan Print Ads from 1949

Owais Mughal

Few days ago a good friend of mine forwarded me an email which turned out to be a very nostalgic collection of Pakistani print ads of 1949. I am sharing the ads here. Since then I’ve spent more than 2 hours looking at the details of these ads. For example look the ad to above right; I believe this BP factory also exists today. Karachi phone number given in the advertisement comprises of 4 digits only.

Compare this to 7 digit land line and 10 digit mobile numbers of today. Many of the companies and businesses mentioned in these advertisements still exist. These ads appeared in the Pakistan Year Book of 1949 printed by Kitabistan, Karachi.

Note that in the ad to the left, an old timer is seen drinking cooking oil with spoon – apparently it was very good for health. According to the ad, Co-Co Gold oil also rekindles one’s feelings (ehsasaat) in addition to the obvious health benefits.

While many of us know that Dawn was published in Gujrati language; how many of us knew that Dawn also had an Urdu edition in 1949? Atleast for me it was news.

Clicking on the images below will show you their larger and more readable images.


Please also note the simplicity of postal address in this ad as: Basra Soap Factory, Tank Number 6, Kharadar, Karachi. And did you notice that unlike lifebuoy, lifeman was a medicated soap i.e. ek ticket mein do mazay. Basra Soap Factory at Tank Number 6, probably combined formula of Dettol Soap with Lifebuoy to come up with LIFE MAN soap.

Bandukwala Building

The address in this advertisement made me smile i.e. Bandukwala building # 1.

How appropriate of an address for such a business. I also enjoyed reading the telegraph address of this business which is ‘ACID’. Did you notice the business also used to sell Soda Water Machinery besides their obvious main line. baat se baat nikalti hai. The term ‘Soda Water’ always reminds me of Sufi Tabbasum‘s character ‘tot batot’ who ‘peeta tha woh soda water aur khaata tha badaam akhrot’. In the ad here, Also note the 4-digit only telephone number for Karachi city.

Alcohol Free Perfumes and Bengal Oil Mills

Clicking on the images below will show you their larger and more readable images.

Homeopathic and Pharmacy Ads

Clicking on the images below will show you their larger and more readable images.

Kitabistan 1949

I don’t know if Zeenat Mansion still exists or not but Mc Leod Road is now called I.I. Chundrigar Road.

An Assortment of Busines Ads from 1949

Clicking on links below will show you the ad images
1. When Pan American Airways still Flew to Karachi
2. Freedom Hits the Hardest
3. Comrade Opticals Saddar and Batla and Company
4. Volkart Brothers, Karachi – A Swiss Firm established in 1851
5. Westinghouse, Karachi – Established 1910
6. Kitabistan, 17A Kamala Nehru Road, Allahbad – For book imports from India to Pakistan
7. Golden Blocks Packaging
8. Inland Traders with Branches in Montgomery, Multan, Burewala and Lalian
9. The Daily Imroz, Lahore
10. The Rover 75- Home Delivered by Mandiwala Motors

Clicking on images below will show you their larger and more readable images.

Photo Credits:

The person who originally owns these photos is unknown to us. We will be very happy to credit the person here for these images.


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