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it, dotted the river, and continually evaded the efforts of the Conservancy Police, who were endeavouring to marshal all the small craft together, so as to leave a clear course for the competitors. Every time one of these advertising boats broke out into mid-stream, carrying its eternal umbrella between the dense lines of spectators, the advertisement was extremely valuable, for straying boats of any kind are on such occasions very noticeable, and these were of course much more so. Still it would seem from the sequel that this bold innovation had been better •applied to something more likely to hit the public taste; for whether it was that people, knowing how fleeting a joy is a good umbrella, were determined not to put temptation in the way of their friends, or whether the experiment absorbed all the spare capital of the inventor and patentees, we know not; but this we do know, that since the time of which we speak little or nothing has been heard of the novel " gingham."
Another innovation in the way of advertisements was that, common a few years back, of stencilling the flagstones. At first this system assumed very small proportions, a parallelogram, looking like an envelope with a black border that had been dropped, and containing the address of the advertiser, being the object of the artist entrusted with the mission. Gradually, however, the inscriptions grew, until they became a perfect nuisance, and were put down—if the term applies to anything on such a low level—by the intervention of the police and the magistrates. The undertakers were the greatest sinners in this respect, the invitations to be buried being most numerous and varied. These "black workers" or "death-hunters," as they are often called, are in London most persistent advertisers. They can hardly think that people will die to oblige them and do good for trade, yet in some districts they will, with the most undeviating persistency, drop their little books, informing you how, when, where, and at what rates you may be buried with economy or despatch, or both, as the case may be, down your area, or poke them under your door, or into the letter-box. More, it is stated on good authority, than one pushing contractor, living in a poor neighbourhood, obtains a list of all the folk attended by the parish doctor, and at each of the houses leaves his little pamphlet, let us hope with the desire of cheering and comforting the sick and ailing. To such a man Death must come indeed as a friend, so long, of course, as the grim king comes to the customers only.
A few years back, when hoardings were common property, the undertakers had a knack of posting their dismal little price-lists in the centre of great broadsheets likely to attract any unusual share of attention. They were not particular, however, and any vantage space, from a doorpost to a dead wall, came within their comprehension. Another ingenious, and, from its colour, somewhat suggestive, plan was about this time brought into requisition by an undertaker for the destruction of a successful rival's advertisements. He armed one of his assistants with a great can of blacking and a brush, and instructed him to go by secret ways and deface the opposition placards. Of course the other man followed suit, and for a time an undertaker's bill was known best by its illegibility. But ultimately these two men of colour met and fought with the instruments provided by their employers. They did not look lovely when charged before a magistrate next morning, and being bound over to keep the peace, departed to worry each other, or each other's bills, no more. There is another small bill feature of advertising London which is so objectionable that we will pass it by with a simple thankful notice that its promoters are sometimes overtaken by tardy but ironhanded justice.
Most people can recollect the hideous glass pillars or "indicators" which, for advertising purposes, were stuck about London. The first one made its appearance at Hyde Park Corner, and though, in deference to public opinion, it did not remain there very long, less aristocratic neighbourhoods had to bear their adornments until the complete failure of the attempt to obtain advertisements to fill the vacant spaces showed how fatuous was the project The last of these posts, we remember, was opposite the Angel at Islington, and there, assisted by local faith and indolence, it remained until a short time back. But it too has gone now, and with it has almost faded the recollection of these hideous nightmares of advertising.
The huge vans, plastered all over with bills, which used to traverse London, to the terror of the horses and wonder of the yokels, were improved off the face of the earth a quarter of a century ago; and now the only perambulating advertisement we have is the melancholy sandwich-man and the dispenser of handbills, gentlemen who sometimes "double their parts," to use a theatrical expression. To a playhouse manager we owe the biggest thing in street and general advertising—that in connection with the "Dead Heart"—that has yet been recorded. Mr Smith, who had charge of this department of the Adelphi, has published a statement which gives the totals as follows :—10,000,000 adhesive labels (which, by the way, were an intolerable nuisance), 30,000 small cuts of the guillotine scene, 5000 reams of note-paper, 110,000 business envelopes, 60,000 stamped envelopes, 2000 six-sheet cuts of Bastile scene, 5,000,000 handbills, 1000 six-sheet posters, 500 slips, 1,000,000 cards heartshaped, 100 twenty-eight sheet posters, and 20,000 folio cards for shop windows. This was quite exclusive of newspaper wrappers and various other ingenious means of attracting attention to the play throughout the United Kingdom.
Among other forms of advertising, that on the copper coinage must not be forgotten. The extensive defacement of the pence and halfpence of the realm in the interests of a well-known weekly paper ultimately led to the interference of Parliament, and may fairly be regarded as the cause, or at all events as one of the principal causes, of the sum of ^10,000 being voted in July 1855 for the replacement of the old, worn, battered, and mixed coppers by our present bronze coinage.
And now, having given a hurried and summarised glance at the growth and progress of advertising of all kinds and descriptions, from the earliest periods till the present time, we will begin at the beginning, and tell the story with all its ramifications, mainly according to those best possible authorities, the advertisements themselves.
ANCIENT FORMS OP ADVERTISING.
HOUGH it would be quite impossible to give any exact
X idea as to the period when the identical first advertisement of any kind made its appearance, or what particular clime has the honour of introducing a system which now plays so important a part in all civilised countries, there need be no hesitation in ascribing the origin of advertising to the remotest possible times—to the earliest times when competition, caused by an increasing population, led each man to make efforts in that race for prominence which has in one way or other gone on ever since. . As soon as the progress of events or the development of civilisation had cast communities together, each individual member naturally tried to do the best he could for himself, and as he, in the course of events, had naturally to encounter rivals in his way of life, it is not hard to understand that some means of preventing a particular light being hid under a bushel soon presented itself. That this means was an advertisement is almost certain; and so almost as long as there has been a world—or quite as long, using the term as it is best understood now—there have been advertisements. At this early stage of history, almost every trade and profession was still exercised by itinerants, who proclaimed their wares or their qualifications with more or less flowery encomiums, with, in fact, the advertisement verbal, which, under some circumstances, is still very useful. But the time came when the tradesman or professor settled down, and opened what,