Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Flit Soldiers

The Flit Soldiers were another group put together by Harry Reser for the network benefit of solid advertising sponsorship. It was carried on the NBC network from WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee, from 8:30 to 9:00 on Thursday nights just in 1929 and 1930.

Reser had already been in the the Okeh Syncopators, the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Just a few years before Reser pulled together the Clicquot Club Eskimos, he already had the formula down. His Flit Soldiers had sheet music, post cards and magazine advertisements. their theme song plugged the product's virtues "We're in the army now / We're in the army now / Mosquitoes and Flies / You better get wise / We're in the army now."  His group already had some names you'd know: Scrappy Lambert, Billy Hillpot, and Phil Cook. Lambert and Hillpot had already played the parts of Trade & Mark for Smith Brothers Cough Drops. This was a group of professionals.

Invented by chemist Dr. Franklin Nelson m it was first marketed in 1913. While later formulations by Esso (later Exxon) contained 5% DDT, the original was mineral oil based. The modern Flilt spray by Clarke, contains permethrin and has no connection to Exxon, Harry Reser,  or Dr. Nelson.