This film is part of Free

The Spirit of His Forefathers

One of the earliest surviving British adverts

Advert 1900 1 mins Silent


There’s some dram-antic stuff in this 30-second commercial from the dawn of cinema history. Dewar’s had used the idea of a laird’s ancestors being lured down from their painted portraits to share a whisky in a variety of advertising media before moving image came along. This version is the second surviving example on film, with an earlier American production of the same concept made by the International Film Company in 1897.

This British production made a late reappearance as part of a 1977 television commercial for Dewar’s under the title The Whisky of His Ancestors to promote their advertising heritage.