EAA, John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University
J. Walter Thompson Company "House Ads", 1889 - 1925
Database Info

A database provides keyword, date, and location access to the images in the J. Walter Thompson Company "House Ads" category of this web project. The database includes terms deemed most likely to be useful to a range of users of the EAA project.

Below is a list of the database fields, with a description of each term, that you will find in the pull-down menus on the J. Walter Thompson Company "House Ads" Search Page. For simple, narrow searches, just enter the keyword you are searching (e.g. J. Walter Thompson Company, soap, advertising, etc) and choose the appropriate term in the pull-down menus on the Search Page. If there is a match with an advertisement in this category, you will be able to view it; if not, the search engine will report "no hits." (Entering a keyword such as "soap" with the term "All" on the pull-down menu will ensure a search across all terms in the JWT "House Ads" Category.)

To search across all eleven categories in the EAA project (not just the J. Walter Thompson Company "House Ads" images), go to the EAA General Search page. On that page you will find guidance about using search terms for cross-category searching.

The first half of the list below reflects the Keyword or Field terms. Database fields representing Illustration and Special Features searches are grouped together in the second half.

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J. Walter Thompson Company "House Ads" Database Terms and Descriptions

(1) Keyword or Field Terms

    Ad (Database) Number:  A unique letter/number identifier assigned to each item.

    Headline:  Line in text that is set in large or bold type in the advertising item, or a key phrase that draws a reader into the advertisement.

    Year:  Year item was printed; usually taken from the date written on the item itself. "n.d." in this space means no date was found on the item.

    Company:  The name of the company in an advertisement. If the house advertisement included a sample advertisement of a JWT client, the client name is entered in the company field; otherwise "J. Walter Thompson Company" will be listed.

    Product:  What the advertisement is trying to sell - Wool Soap, Libby's, etc. If the advertisement was promoting the services of the JWT Company, "Advertising" is listed as the product. Additional product names are usually given in the "Notes" field.

    Publication:   The name of the magazine or newspaper in which the advertisement was printed. In searching on this field, use the name of the publication without "The" preceeding the name (i.e. "Printer's Ink").

    Illustrator:   Name of the artist of a drawing in the advertisement. This category may include lithographer and engraving company names.

    Famous People:   A person recognized by the student entering data and/or highlighted in the advertisement as someone who the contemporary audience would recognize or would be deemed as an authority.

    Notes:   This field was used to enter any overflow information from other fields (such as extra company names), as well as to add information specific to an advertisement that could be useful to researchers. Examples would include notes about images that were unusual, or especially interesting. Searching on "All" fields from the Search page insures that key words in the Notes field will be included in search returns.


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(2) Illustration and Special Features

    Some of the ads in this category may contain more than one kind of illustration. The predominant illustration will be recorded with the appropriate Illustration term. Additional illustrations may be described in the "Notes" section.

    Black/White (B/W) Drawing in Illustration:  The illustration contains a drawing in black and white.

    Color Drawing or Lithographin Illustration:  The illustration is in color. This category encompasses drawings and lithographs.

    Photograph in Illustration:  The illustration is a photograph, or includes a photo in a larger illustration.

    Cultures:   This site includes historical materials that may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes reflecting the attitudes toward a culture or language at a particular period or place in the past. These items are presented as part of the historical record.

    African/African-Americans
    Native Americans

    Children:   Noted when children are present in the advertisement in any significant way.

    Sports:   Noted if a sport or athlete is a major feature of the advertisement. The type of sport in the advertisement is usually given in the "Notes" section.

    Military:   Noted if the military (ships, weapons, people in uniform) is prominently displayed in the ad.

    Contests:   Noted when a contest is mentioned in the advertisement, such as "Enter our contest and win a booklet on enhancing marketing strategies!"

    Premiums:   This applied to ads that offer a brochure, product sample, or special offer for free, usually if an individual mailed the company.


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