Sunday, February 12, 2017

Original Vintage Advertising (1900-1980)

Original Vintage Advertising (1900-1980)

The American business scene changed dramatically at the turn of the century. From 1898 to 1902, a wave of mergers consolidated 2,653 independent firms into 269 large-scale corporations, called "trusts," which controlled such basic industries as railroads, coal, iron, copper, oil, steel, sugar and tobacco. While those newly consolidated companies had relatively few brands, they wielded great blocks of capital and dominated the markets in which they operated.

Advances in production coincided with the country's explosive growth in population, from 31 million people in 1860 to 105 million in 1920. In the 20-year period following 1900, the annual volume of advertising surged more than five-fold, growing from $540 million to just less than $3 billion.

Beginning around 1900, correspondence schools began to offer courses in advertising technique, an indication of advertising's increased legitimization in the business world. A decade later, institutions of higher learning, including Harvard University, New York University, Boston University, Northwestern University and the University of Missouri, began to take advertising seriously enough to be studied as essential to business success. The concept of marketing research, however, was slower to be developed.

Below are original advertisements from 1900-1980, labeled accordingly. Take note of some of the advertising and marketing techniques used and how they adapted over the years.

1900-1909







1910-1919





1920-1929




1930-1939





1940-1949







1950-1959





1960-1969







1970-1979







1980-1989











By Jeff TooheyOwner of Toohey Web DesignsPhotos courtesy of Vintage Ad BrowserHistory insert thanks to Ad Age

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