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broken, I shall be happy to supply any fresh adventurer with copious material which has grown up during the progress of this "history," and which has been omitted only through lack of room. As far as my judgment has allowed me, I have selected what appeared best; other tastes might lead to other results. With this I will take leave of a somewhat unpleasant and apparently egotistical task; and in doing so beg to say that I trust to the reader's kindness, and hope he will overlook the blemishes of a hurried and certainly an unpretentious work, which may, however, be found to contain a little amusement and some amount of information.
London, September 1874.
II. INTRODUCTORY—STREET AND GENERAL ADVERTISING
HISTORY OF ADVERTISING.
INTRODUCTORY—NEWSPAPERS AND NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING.
IT must be patent to every one who takes the least interest in the subject, that the study of so important a branch of our present system of commerce as advertising, with its rise and growth, cannot fail to be full of interest Indeed it is highly suggestive of amusement, as a reference to any of our old newspapers, full as they are of quaint announcements, untrammelled by the squeamishness of the present age, will show. Advertising has, of course, within the last fifty years, developed entirely new courses, and has become an institution differing much from the arrangement in which, so far as our references show, it first appeared in this country; its growth has been attended by an almost entire revulsion of mode, and where we now get long or short announcements by the hundred, dictated by a spirit of business, our fathers received statements couched in a style of pure romance, which fully compensated for their comparatively meagre proportions. Of course, even in the present day, and in the most pure-minded papers, ignorance, intoler
ance, and cupidity exhibit themselves frequently, often to the amusement, but still more often to the annoyance and disgust, of thinkers; but in the good old days, when a spade was a spade, and when people did not seek to gloss over their weaknesses and frivolities, as they do now, by a pretence of virtue and coldness, which, after all, imposes only on the weak and credulous, advertisements gave a real insight into the life of the people; and so, in the hope that our researches will tend to dispel some of the mists which still hang over the sayings and doings of folk who lived up to comparatively modern days, we present this work to the curious reader.
It is generally assumed—though the assumption has no ground for existence beyond that so common amongst us, that nothing exists of which we are ignorant—that advertisements are of comparatively modem origin. This idea has probably been fostered in the public mind by the fact that so little trouble has ever been taken by encyclopaedists to discover anything about them; and as time begets difficulties in research, we are almost driven to regard the first advertisement with which we are acquainted as the actual inaugurator of a system which now has hardly any bounds. That this is wrong will be shown most conclusively, and even so far evidence is given by the statement, made by Smith and others, that advertisements were published in Greece and Rome in reference to the gladiatorial exhibitions, so important a feature of the ancient days of those once great countries. That these advertisements took the form of what is now generally known as "billing," seems most probable, and Rome must have often looked like a modern country town when the advent of a circus or other travelling company is first made known.
The first newspaper supposed to have been published in England appeared'in the reign of Queen Elizabeth during the Spanish Armada panic. This journal was called the English Meratrie, and was by authority "imprinted at London by