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From the Late 1880s Ads Included More than Just Information

After 1880 advertising in newspapers and magazines meant more than simply information about a product for sale.  From that time advertising, through its illustrations, sought to motivate the buyer to make a purchase, and even to create a need for the product.

That of course was the case of garden advertising as well.  Notice what the garden-related firms sold in these ads [below]  on a back page in Harper’s Magazine of 1887:

1887 Harper’s Magazine


The Peter Henderson Company ad included here showed a middle class woman dressed in the latest style, a suburban home, a garden fence, a weather vane, and,  of course, the hollyhocks that were an integral part of American gardening.

This ad sold status, style, fashion, and, in the process, seeds.

Thus modern advertising began to seduce us with its images that created needs we never  knew we had.




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  1. I’m not sure why but this site is loading extremely slow for me.
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  2. I enjoyed this article very much. I have a few Ladies Home Journal magazines from the early 1900’s; I love to look through them periodically. -Debra, Gardens Inspired

    1. Thank you for connecting. I love the old LHJs as well. That was the top consumer magazine at the end of the 19th century because of its large number of subscribers. However, it ran mainly on its advertising, not its subscriptions.

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