Tabloid Telephone Tours – Brazil

This Bell Telephone ad featuring Brazil is from the February 16, 1942 issue of TIME magazine.

With the Summer Olympics about to start in Rio de Janeiro, I thought we’d learn a little bit more about Rio and it’s past. This vintage “Tabloid Telephone Tours” ad from 1942 seems like a great place to start. From the ad:

“Orchids grow wild in Northern Brazil, but snow falls are frequent in parts of the country.” Wow. Snow in Brazil. That just seems so wrong.

“Bigger than continental United States – By another Texas, Brazil, is the largest republic in the western hemisphere (3,286,170 sq miles).” Did you know Brazil was that large?

“Magnificent Rio de Janeiro harbor, mistaken for a river, was named ‘river of January’ because it was discovered on New Year’s Day.” Who knew.

“Manganese, used to harden steel for battleships, tanks, guns, etc. is found in quantities in Brazil.”

“The world’s biggest coffee cup – Brazil normally produces about 25,000,000 bags a year.” This statistic was from 1942 – can you imagine the volume of coffee produced today!?

“Try this on your phonograph! Carnauba wax for records is produced only in Brazil.”  The ‘queen of waxes’, carnauba wax is from the leaves of the carnauba palm, a plant grown only in Brazil. Wax on, wax off!

“Dom Pedro, last emperor of Brazil, gave important recognition to Alexander Graham Bell’s invention, the telephone, at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Brazil now has over 272,000 telephones.” Well, that statistic is from 1942 and was obviously for landline phones. I wonder now, how many cell phones are in Brazil!

“Telephone communication helps bring good neighbors closer together. Brazil and the United States have been linked by Overseas Telephone Service since 1931.”

Now that athletes and spectators from all over the world are descending on Rio de Janeiro Brazil, our countries are being linked even closer together through the Olympic sports venue. Do you have a friend, relative, or favorite athlete that will be in Brazil for the Olympics? Pick up the phone and give them a call!


Tabloid Telephone Tour ads from Bell Systems Overseas were popular ads in the 1940s. The ads featured various countries outside of the United States, a different “tour” in each ad. The actual print ads are now collectible.


JayDee /

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