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.