About EAA

The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 - 1920 (EAA) presents over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, provide a significant and informative perspective on the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.

Copyright Information

Research, Teaching, Private Study, General Interest User Information: The images and texts on this web site have been made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. For these purposes you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) materials from this web site without prior permission, on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies (more . . .)

This site includes historical materials that may contain negative stereotypes or language reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record.


1997/1998 Award Winner: Library of Congress/Ameritech Digital Library Competition. Library of Congress/Ameritech Award Winner

About the Project

Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920 (EAA) is a project made possible by grant funding to Duke University from the 1998 Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition. The award has enabled the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, in cooperation with the Duke Library's Digital Scriptorium, to make rare advertising historyresources available via the World Wide Web. Duke University is greatly honored to be a recipient of one of the 11 LC/Ameritech grants awarded in the 1997/98 competition. EAA presents over 9,000 images that illustrate the rise of consumer culture, especially after the American Civil War, and the birth of a professionalized advertising industry in the United States. The images are drawn from over a dozen separate collections in the Hartman Center and Duke's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The project organizes the materials into eleven categories. In most of those categories the images shown represent only a portion of a particular collection or series. For EAA we selected representative images, including primarily items or pages that are especially informative and visually interesting. We chose not to scan some items that are "near duplicates," some pages of dense text from books and pamphlets, and items that are very large (technically challenging) or significantly damaged. The purpose of the project is to make a range of important, interesting, and rare advertising items widely available for study and research, enhancing the usefulness of the illustrative material with essays, a timeline, and bibliographies. Advertising, as has been noted by many commentators, is such a pervasive feature of American life that our culture from the late 19th century onward cannot be fully understood without studying ads and the industry that created them. EAA provides the first broad, web-based collection of documents to aid in that study. EAA forms a complement to the Duke Library's earlier Ad*Access project, mounted in 1999. Ad*Access contains over 7,000 print advertisements from mainly U.S. magazines and newspapers. The ads cover the period from 1911 to 1955. Five subject categories are covered: Beauty & Hygiene, Transportation, Radio, Television, and World War II. The two projects together present over 16,000 images covering a span of over a century of advertising history. We hope you will enjoy using them and find them to be valuable resources. Back to Top

About the Advertising Collections at Duke

Duke University's Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History has been active in building research collections in its topic fields since 1992. The Hartman Center now ranks as one of the most extensive resources for studying advertising history in the U.S. Its collections, acquired to preserve documentation that stimulates interest in and study of historical marketing topics, include the archives of advertising agencies and trade organizations, as well asthe papers of industry executives and private collectors. The most extensive collections are those of the J. Walter Thompson Company, a major international advertising agency founded in 1864, and the Archives of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the trade organization for the billboard and other out-of-home advertising industry. Other ad agency records held here include those of DMB&B, Wells Rich Greene, and Charles W. Hoyt Company. The OAAA Archives are complemented by many individual collections relating to outdoor advertising, including the papers of the R.C. Maxwell Company and files of commercial artists Howard Scott and Garrett Orr. Other individuals' papers in the Hartman Center include papers of executives Kensinger Jones, Edgar Hatcher, and transit advertising salesman John Hogan. Specialized collections include the Wayne P. Ellis Collection of Kodakiana, the Nicole Di Bona Peterson Collection of Advertising Cookbooks, the Mobius Advertising Awards Collection and the McGraw- Hill Marketing Information Center files. Many other medium and smaller sized archival collections and a growing collection of books and periodicals complement these holdings. On-line access is available to detailed descriptions, or collection guides, of these and the hundreds of other manuscript collections held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. This resource, the Archival Collection Guides page, allows browsing and searching of the collection guides. This page also includes links to additional collections and resources here at Duke University. The Hartman Center at Duke University is one of a small number of institutions that have focused on documenting advertising; for a brief introduction to others, please see the Selected List of Other Repositories. Back to Top

Advertising Bibliography

This highly selective list includes several general histories of American advertising, as well as titles that focus on subjects included in "The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 - 1920". The emphasis is on titles that relate to the content of this project; it is not intended to be a comprehensive source list on advertising history. Most of the books (as well as other information sources) will be available in larger public libraries or in college/university collections. Many of the books listed here contain bibliographies that will help readers to locate additional resources.
Allen, Alistair and Joan Hoverstadt. The History of Printed Scraps. London: New Cavendish Books, 1983. Alter, Stewart. Truth Well Told: McCann-Erickson and the pioneering of global advertising. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, 1995. Atwan, Robert. Edsels, Luckies, and Frigidaires: advertising the American way. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1979. Cohn, David L. The Good Old Days: a history of American morals and manners as seen through the Sears, Roebuck Catalogs 1905 to the present. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940. Evans, George Heberton, Jr. Business Incorporations in the United States, 1800-1943. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc., 1948. Fox, Stephen. The Mirror Makers: a history of American advertising and its creators. New York: Vintage Books, 1984. Fraser, James H. The American Billboard: 100 Years. New York, Harry N. Abrams, 1991. Goodrum, Charles and Helen Dalrymple. Advertising in America: the first 200 years. New York: Harry M. Abrams, 1990. Holme, Bryan. Advertising: reflections of a century. New York: Viking Press, 1982. How It Was in Advertising, 1776-1976: compiled by the editors of Advertising Age. Chicago: Crain Books, 1976. "J. Walter Thompson Company." Fortune, November 1947, pp. 95-101ff. Jay, Robert. The Trade Card in Nineteenth-Century America. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987. Johnson, J. Stewart. The Modern American Poster. Kyoto, Japan: The National Museum of Modern Art, 1983. Jones, Edgar R. Those Were the Good Old Days: a happy look at American advertising, 1880-1930. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1959. Laird, Pamela Walker. Advertising progress: American business and the rise of consumer marketing. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Lamoreaux, Naomi R. The Great Merger Movement in American Business, 1895-1904. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. Lears, T. J. Jackson. Fables of abundance: a cultural history of advertising in America. [New York]: Basic Books, c1994. Marchand, Roland. Advertising the American dream: making way for modernity, 1920-1940. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985. Margolin, Victor. The Promise and the Product. New York: Macmillan, 1979. Norris, James D. Advertising and the Transformation of American Society, 1865-1920. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990. Peiss, Kathy Lee. Hope in a jar: The making of America's beauty culture. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998. Petrone, Gerard S. M.D. Tobacco Advertising: the great seduction. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1996. Pollay, Richard W. Information Sources in Advertising History. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979. Porter, Glenn. The Rise of Big Business, 1860-1920, Second Edition. Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 1992. Porter, Patrick G. "Advertising in the Early Cigarette Industry: W. Duke, Sons & Company in Durham," The North Carolina Historical Review v. 47, no 1 (January 1971). R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Golden Leaves: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and the art of advertising R. J. Reynolds Company, 1986. Sivulka, Juliann. Soap, sex, and cigarettes: a cultural history of American advertising. Belmont, California: Wadsworth, c1998. Shapiro, Laura. Perfection Salad: women and cooking at the turn of the century. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1986. Vinikas, Vincent. Soft soap, hard sell: American hygiene in an age of advertisement. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1992. West, Nancy M. Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2000. Wood, James Playsted. The story of advertising. New York: Roland Press Co., [1958].
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