The black and white photographs in this exhibit were selected from thousands of images in the R.C. Maxwell Company Collection, part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History. The R. C. Maxwell Company produced electric "spectacular" signs and billboards and used the photographs to document construction and placement of those advertising signs on the boardwalk. Documentation of the placement of the signs involved using the photograph to show the client the specific physical location of the advertisement as well as using the photograph to give the client an idea of the pedestrian foot traffic that would see the sign. So, the photographs are a record of the people who thronged to the boardwalk since the early 1900's. Today, these historical photographs provide a decade-by-decade look at the changing landscape of the boardwalk and its culture from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Read the essay, R.C. Maxwell and the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Additional images from the R. C. Maxwell Company Records are available within the Emergence of Advertising in America (EAA) image database. These 564 images cover the years 1909-1929.
Descriptive information on over 1500 R. C. Maxwell Company photographs dating between 1911 - 1952 may be found in the ROAD: Resource for Outdoor Advertising Descriptions database. No images are available from this site. There are a total of over 50,000 outdoor advertising related images from 4 collections described in this on-line resource. For assistance in searching ROAD or EAA, please contact the Hartman Center Reference Archivist.
All photographs in this exhibit: Copyright © R.C. Maxwell Company. Reproduced with permission of David Maxwell.
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