Older Magazine/Ad Research Resource

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I was just researching out some hobby information and ran across an archive of quite a few older magazine publications:

The Magazine Rack : Free Texts : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

The magazines I checked out were all scans so cut and paste didn't work. But the information was great! Some of the magazines and ads went back to the early 1900's.

Marvin
#magazine #older #research #resource
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Fun rabbit hole to fall down into.

    Nice share, Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Thanks Marvin,

    Several years ago when the Summit County library was being refurbished, they opened in an old grocery store for a couple of years, and the archives were made available to the public (normally you needed a special card).

    Anyhow, I spent the summer copying and researching direct response ads, some of them ran back in 1850.

    The Civil War increased direct response, due to WAR Slurplus...the boom came in the 1880s when railroads made shipping goods across the country possible.

    Longest running item sold by direct response is BINOCULARS. Some of the ads haven't changed in 150 years.

    Early ads which are still seen are for TOOLS and PLANS, especially for woodworkers. One big surprise I found was the Bicycle was a best seller for the decades of 1890-1910 and many were priced at 100 dollars or more.

    Some of those early "snake oil" ads would make many a copywriter beam with joy.

    After WWI and the great influx to the US by immigrants from around the world, education became the direct response darling, so it is no surprise those SPEAK ENGLISH ads did so well, sometimes timing is more important than copy.

    WWII gave us baby boomers and post war building frenzy and modern direct response really grew and fortunes were made.

    So thanks for the look at those old magazines, what I found from my research was...people don't change much, the appeals that worked in 1865 are still being used by those people who understand human nature.

    gjabiz

    PS. If I were just starting out, I'd follow Melvin Powers' lead, when he told me if he were to start from scratch, he'd start with a Self-Help book, which has always been a human desire, and always will be.

    Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

    I was just researching out some hobby information and ran across an archive of quite a few older magazine publications:

    The Magazine Rack : Free Texts : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

    The magazines I checked out were all scans so cut and paste didn't work. But the information was great! Some of the magazines and ads went back to the early 1900's.

    Marvin
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    • Thank You Marvin, for the awetastic share!

      And also, thank you, gjabiz... I'm a huge history buff and the history of advertising is especially interesting to me.
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      • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
        At Marvin's link you'll find several publications on Woodworking, ads for Woodworking supplies and tools can be found during Revolutionary War times...Vermont and New Hampshire were especially known for their woodworking craftsmanship and plans for projects, along with tools, were being sold in newspapers from New York to Philly.

        In a report I wrote on HOTSHEETS, I pointed out how plans and designs, usually one piece of paper, or hotsheet, have helped people grow businesses.

        The Runyans have been running ads for decades in weekly newspapers for their craft and quilt plans...U-Bild Woodworking Plans, Woodworking Projects and Woodworking Patterns shows some and Jinny Beyer has a great site about quilts.

        When you add history to the successes, you'll see why there was a huge market for Do You Make These Mistakes in English type ads, and there were dozens of them.

        It can give a copywriter an advantage, because it isn't hard to see into the future and figure out what people want. And when you know what people want, you can get ahead of the curve and oft as not be first in...which can be a huge advantage.

        Just a decade ago, no one was writing about APPs...today, a booming industry.

        Pick out a few publications on the site Marvin linked to and look through the pages to see what types of products WERE being sold and which ones are still being sold...and keep a close eye on information products too.

        In the 1950s, bomb shelter plans were a hot seller.

        In the coming years, people still have to live...and all that entails...eating, housing, transportation etc. Look for products or ideas which will make things easier, quicker, better, faster more fun and you'll put yourself on the Engine of progress and not in the caboose of being too late.

        History is a great teacher, it shows we evolve, and new things come about and the person who puts her copywriting skills to future success, would do well to know history and not only know what worked, but why there might have been a great demand.

        The rabbit hole that Marvin gave us can be a hidden treasure trove by asking a few questions about what people were buying then...and what they are buying NOW.

        gjabiz


        Originally Posted by Angela Rose Weber View Post

        Thank You Marvin, for the awetastic share!

        And also, thank you, gjabiz... I'm a huge history buff and the history of advertising is especially interesting to me.
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