Bizarre Vintage Ads From 1910 Are Oddly Similar to Modern Marketing

vintage advertisements

The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. There have been a myriad of cultural and technological advances made since the early 20th century, but our advertisements are still surprisingly similar. Thanks to an unearthed copy of the 1910 World Almanac, we have insight to what companies were trying to sell long ago. It turns out that weight loss, cars, and cures for baldness were all paid advertisers. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

There are, of course, some noticeable differences between ads of today and yesteryear. In 1910, there was little in the way of exciting visuals—maybe one or two images—but the copywriting was king. Although verbose, this provided actual information of what was for sale, allowing the reader to determine if it was worth it. This is in stark contrast to the type of web banner ads we see today. Now, it seems nearly impossible to discern a reputable product from snake oil. Often, you’ve got to click on a vague photo find out.

Don’t these vintage ads seem oddly familiar?

Some want to help women with their weight…

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…or help with that weird eye problem.

vintage ads

Advertisements were geared towards men, too.

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And of course, things you may or may not need…

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…including a burglar-proof coffin.

vintage ads advertisement history

h/t: [Everyday Vintage, Stuff Nobody Cares About]

All images via Stuff Nobody Cares About.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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