Advertising has changed greatly over the years.
At one time, the majority of advertising was done through newspapers and magazines, which continue to be valuable resources.
Today, television and even our cell phones are offering merchandise on a regular basis.
Billboards which at one time were covered with paper ads pasted onto the billboard are nearly obsolete, having been replaced with those which are computer-based.
I find it rather interesting to look at advertising from several years ago.
Some advertisements were designed to appeal to the harried housewife, telling her life and housework could be much easier with a given product.
This particular advertisement was printed within other news in a newspaper dated April 1909.
“She Burned the House”.
“A woman in Montana sat down the other day and thought about house cleaning – about the carpets and rugs to clean, the woodwork to wash, the bedding to wash, the curtains to wash, the portieres to wash, the stairways and the railings and the railings and the floor and the steps and the windows and everything else to be washed and cleaned – and she got so worried over the prospect that she set fire to the house. Do you blame her? If she had only known as you do that Easy Task soap will do half the work of washing and cleaning, she would have felt more cheerful. Its’ a nickel a cake and one woman shad she would pay a dollar a cake for it If she could get it no other way.”
Another says: “SMITHING –The subscriber takes this manner of informing his friends and customers that he has started another fire in his shop where he is prepared to execute all calls in his line of business in due time and season. I shall attend to the manufacture of edge tools of every description and will warrant them to stand. Russell Rice.” (April 1826).
The Xenia Torchlight of 1865 offered an annual subscription of $2.50.
Lawyers, dentists, physicians and bankers all advertised their services in 1865. The same advertisement would run weeks at a time. When one considers that the newspaper had to be set by hand, it is logical.
Sometimes a great deal of information is provided such as this dentist who lists not only his business address, but his home as well. “G. L. Paine, D. D. S., Dentist – Office in the rooms over Patton’s Drugstore, Main Street. Residence on Water St. in the house formerly occupied by Col J. W. Lowe, dec’d.”
“Excelsior Shaving Saloon. W. H. Hunster, No. 8,Hiving House, Xenia, Ohio . Thankful for past favors, he hopes to receive as he intends to merit, a liberal share of patronage. He has fitted up anew, and is confident by low prices and prompt attention, we shall satisfy our patrons and the public generally. Give us a call.”
Moving forward a few years, advertisements were usually noted as such. For instance in 1946 this ad appeared for Patterson Appliances which was located at 113 E. Main Street, Xenia. The store lists its phone number as 186.
“Mr. Bottle Gas says = ‘Cook with Bottle Gas and take those cricks out of your back’. Maybe it isn’t rheumatism…maybe it’s that old fashioned cook stove that is breaking your back. Why not be up-to-date and cook with bottle gas? Certainly you are entitled to save yourself some of the drudgery of the kitchen…certainly your health and happiness is worth something. Now is the time to put Bottle Gas to work cooking for you. Come in and talk it over. No Fuss – No Muss – No Worry.”
If a lady spent a little too much money on other needs, she could contact The City Loan, located at 122 North Detroit Street, Xenia with the phone listed as 492. “Just Got a Big Roll of CIP” is the heading. “CIP means Cash in Purse…to pay bills, meet expenses or any personal use. Ask us for a refill of handy CIP. It’s ready for you on the best of terms.”
The guys weren’t left out when it came to newspaper advertising. Chenoweth Motor Company sold Buick, Pontiac automobiles along with GMC trucks. Located at the corner of Detroit and Leaman Streets, their phone number was 1770. The ad read “Bring your car in today for front end alignment to keep the front end well balanced. This insures easier and safer driving AND will save tires and many costly repair bills in the future.”
In 1900, the following announcement: “In the window of Fraser’s shoe store there is a display of ladies’ shoes all of which are the product of the Xenia shoe factory. The shoes are all stylish and handsome, and it is a matter of which Xenians should be proud, that we have a factory in our midst that can turn out shoes which rank with those of any factory in the country.”
My personal all-time favorite advertisement was not for a business but two individuals with opposing messages.
“Elopement Extra – Whereas my newly made husband Roman Mason gave me the slip without any just cause or provocation and betook himself to flight, therefore this may certify that I am determined to prosecute any who may trust or harbor him, or show him any countenance. I expect he is gone to the state of Vermont, and will be willing no doubt to pass for a single man and attempt to take in the unthinking. Susan Mason 4-26-1826.”
“Rued in Time – Whereas my lawful and wedded wife Susan Mason has left my bed and without any cause. This therefore to forewarn all persons from trusting her on my account, as I am determined to pay no debts of her contracting after this date 4-14-1826. Roman Mason. “
The two notices were printed in the same newspaper, one beneath the other.
Joan Baxter is a Greene County resident and historian.