Thursday, July 9, 2009
I have no idea.
My favorite theory of the ones presented here is that they were a latter-day Charlie's Angels duo, with G.A.S. as their Bosley. Unlikely, at best, but I do love the idea.
Other thoughts that have crossed your minds, as well as mine, are that they were prostitutes, or the ads were codes for some sort of spy ring. Prostitutes I find also unlikely; it was possible to advertise in this same paper with with much less subtlety (as seen in ads like the ones here). Also, you don't start seeing an address for quite some time, which isn't a great way to drum up business.
For awhile, I thought that they might be a very, very clever advertising campaign. People definitely used personal ads in this way; for example
this one, which reads: "Personal - Darling Augustus: If you love me take me to Hershey Hall some evening this week. Caroline M." Seems pretty blatant to me. But then, what were they advertising? The Sanitary and Gas Companies? No - too cryptic.
Honestly, I think they were some kind of illegal gambling ring, or something like that. I have no clue what the promenading up Fifth avenue bit is; maybe the fashionable Christmas parties were to let you know you could find a game whereever you went - they're multiplying themselves. 750 Broadway could be where they started meeting. I wish I knew for sure.
What I do know is that your fascination with them is almost definitely the same as what readers at the time felt. I don't have proof of that, of course, but as we've already established, people were pretty much the same back then as they are today.
Unfortunately I can't use your lovely responses in my dissertation as proof of that - and in fact, I actually had to cut Sadda Rang and Lalla Rang out of the dissertation altogether, as much as it pained me to do so. But, as I fully intend to publish a book, they will eventually see the light of day outside this blog.
Tomorrow - new ads to entertain. See you then!
Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!
©2009 Pam Epstein