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Advertising in the 1890s Depicts the Lawn

In the late nineteenth century modern advertising took on the role of presenting the culture, both in words and image.

An ad sold more than the product. It sold a way of life, a way to be, and a way to act. That is what makes the viewer or consumer interested in a particular item or service.

In the process certain things and practices became important

Here is an ad for Pabst Extract, a medicinal beverage made by the Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee.

Notice the entensive lawn in this ad. It is placed here with the Pabst product because readers knew the importance of the lawn, and, if not, they got the message loud and clear in this ad.

The lawn had certain components, like an extensive view, not too many trees, and it was to surround the house.

Notice also the look of the lawn. It sweeps down from the house. Shrubs do not fill the lawn, but appear up around the entrance to the house.

All of the elements you see in the drawing go to make the perfect lawn.

We don’t just see any old lawn, but we see a particular kind of lawn. One that is important to the culture. It became quite mportant to those citizens who had enough money to install this kind of lawn.

The English had this version of lawn as early as the eighteenth century. That was decades before you saw it in the US.

So this ad does not just sell a medicinal beverage which, by the way, had more alcohol than beer. The ad offered also important indicators for the culture, like a lawn.

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