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Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm not sure what to make of this one. It's like your typical missed-connection ad, but definitely a little racier.

It says, Bright Eyes - In Twenty-third street stage several weeks since, with roll of music in hand, and who afterwards prominaded in Sixth avenue with gentleman who left the stage at same time, please send address as advised.

It's often hard to tell the class of the authors who write these ads - I generally assume they must be middle class from their formality, but you also have to bear in mind that language just was more formal back then. But this one strikes me for not one but two spelling errors, which, oddly enough, are extremely rare. I don't know if this is a mistake of the author or the typesetter, but it does make me wonder how well-educated this guy was.

But of more interest is who Bright Eyes was. Who was this girl that she's promenading around with a gentleman on Sixth avenue? (By "gentleman" I assume the author is referring to himself.) It is a little bit risque to "promenade" with someone you didn't know! She said she'd give him her address, but several weeks later no word. Sir, she's blowing you off. Welcome to the modern age. Except, if she wasn't interested, why was she walking around with him in the first place? Getting her kicks? Hmm.

Now, here we have the exact opposite! This ad reads The gentleman who gave his name to a lady as Charles Thompson, a few weeks since, corner of Sixth avenue and Twelfth street, will please call at station D, Union square Post office, where he will find a letter for him.

Finding missed connections from women is always so intriguing for me, because they are so rare, and I seriously doubt any woman who used them was actually a "lady." I can't help thinking a woman who's standing on a street corner isn't there for respectable reasons, but the idea of prostitutes using missed connection ads is a bit extreme - especially several weeks later. By then she could have found another client! So who was she? Maybe a foolish young girl who thought this would be a nice way to meet a man? Working girl who wasn't tied down to middle class social mores?

More mysteries...

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein


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