1900-1909

1900
Standardized billboard structures were developed, which could hold 3, 8 or 16 sheets. The standard sheet was 42 x 28 inches.

The Associated Bill Posters' Protective Association was incorporated in New Jersey, the first national sales organization for the outdoor industry. Its membership was composed of bill posters from the 40 largest U.S. cities. It was designed to circumvent the entry of a capital combine (a corporation of financiers and investors who bought and sold companies on speculation, an early form of corporate raiders) into the area of outdoor advertising.

At their 10th annual convention, the membership of the Associated Bill Posters of United States and Canada adopted an "Obligation of Honor," by which each member agreed to uphold a common standard of billposting and distributing practice, and to treat each advertiser with complete impartiality. One of the consequences of the adoption of this code of ethics was that both membership lists and rate schedules came to be printed in The Billposter-Display Advertising periodical.
1901
Walter Foster and George Kleiser opened their advertising business, Foster & Kleiser (F & K), in Portland and Seattle. They incorporated in 1902. Foster & Kleiser became a major industry force for many decades, especially on the U.S. west coast, and actively promoted a number of innovations in outdoor advertising displays, such as national display standards, landscaping around billboard structures, and the larger 30-Sheet poster.
1902
On March 4, nine auto clubs met in Chicago to form the American Automobile Association (AAA).The AAA would become the primary lobby for motorists. The AAA had a long relationship with the outdoor advertising industry, occasionally as partners, frequently as adversaries, over such issues as traffic safety, scenic highway beautification and billboard regulation.

In September, the first annual meeting of the Canadian Bill Posters and Distributors Association was held. Prior to that, the Canadian industry had been meeting as a chapter within the American group, the Associated Bill Posters of United States and Canada.

J.M. Coe formed the Pensacola Advertising Company in Pensacola, Fla. Charles W. Lamar, Sr. would later take over the company and rename it the Lamar Advertising Company By the end of the 20th century, Lamar had grown to become one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the U.S.

The U.S. Government's Bureau of Public Roads was established, leading to the first federally funded roads.
1904
The short-lived International Advertising Association was formed in St. Louis. Meanwhile, advertising clubs on the west coast organized into the Pacific Coast Advertising Men's Association (later the Advertising Association of the West, or AAW), and on the east coast advertising clubs formed the National Federation of Advertising Clubs (later the Advertising Federation of America, or AFA).
1905
The Associated Advertising Clubs of America was formed in Chicago.

Eleven New York City billposting firms were united into the Van Buren and New York Billposting Company.

1906
The Associated Bill Posters' of the United States and Canada, the Associated Bill Posters' Protective Association, the Billposter and Display Advertising Publishing Company, and the International Distributors Association all merged to form the Associated Bill Posters and Distributors of the United States and Canada (ABPD), which was incorporated under New York law.

The Advertising Painters' League of America was organized.

The Food and Drug Act was passed by Congress, which required manufacturers to list the ingredients of their products and mandated truth in advertising.

1907
Barney Link and associates purchased several Chicago-area poster companies, giving them control of virtually all outdoor advertising for 40 miles around Chicago.
1909
The members of the Advertising Painters' League of America voted to dissolve (in July), but soon reformed (in Sept.) as the Painted Display Sign Advertisers Association, the forerunner to the Painted Outdoor Advertising Association (POAA). Historically, the painted bulletin industry had been a distinct entity from the poster industry, with its own traditions, spaces and technologies.

The Thomas Cusack Company located its corporate headquarters in Buffalo, N.Y. In the 1910s Cusack controlled nearly 20% of all outdoor advertising in the U.S.

The Illinois Zoning Statute was enacted. No advertising structure was allowed within 500 feet of any public park or boulevard in any city with a population over 100,000. It was considered one of the first "scenic area" ordinances restricting advertising.

Senate bill S1369 proposed a license tax on outdoor advertising.


<  1850-1899 Timeline Start 1910-1919  >