Nineteenth Century Ads Included Factory Images
Recently I traveled to the Boston Athenaeum to see a new Exhibit they had promoted.
The exhibit, called Collecting for the Boston Athenaeum in the 21st Century, included prints and photographs.
Without doubt this was one of my favorite exhibits because it included chromolithographs of factories from the nineteenth century. Then it was a common practice, especially after 1850, for companies to promote their business with an illustration of their factory or headquarters. These illustrations would appear in trolleys, stores, and on buildings.
My favorite was the 1891 chromo of the Boston Belting Co. [below]The nineteenth century seed companies and nurseries scattered across the country followed suit.
They wanted customers to know they were dealing with a substantial company and so a chromo of their warehouse and seed company, even their box company, was not uncommon.
Here is a chomolithograph of the D. M. Ferry Seed Co in Detroit from 1897. [below] Notice the size of the buildings.At the same time the chromo of the company’s factory and warehouse formed a bit of advertising.
The customer thought, of course, that such a big company must have a worthwhile product to sell.
Why would he or she not order seeds from such an establishment as Ferry? After all, the company could afford this factory and warehouse.
Even the nineteenth century beer giants advertised with images of their factories.