Monday, May 17, 2010
So, some really good news today: I am featured in the Spring 2010 issue of Rutgers Magazine. Just a short blurb, some great ads and a very clever little spread. Yay for publicity, and thanks to the editor for giving me this great opportunity.
A couple of the ads are already in this blog, here, here, and here. But here are a few which I haven't posted before (I'm just putting two up for now, but will get to the others):
Seawanhaka - Tuesday morning; parting salute with hankerchief when on Stairs. - Many thanks for those stolen glances. If agreeable, would be pleased to become personally acquainted. Please address, in strict confidence, Sincerity, Herald office.
Will beautiful lady that kissed gentleman, Newark depot, grant an interview to gentleman who noticed. Address Herman Borrie, box 220 Herald office.
So the second one is totally awesome, but let's start with the first. The Seawanhaka is a yacht club; I linked to their website above. On the surface, it seems to back up my contention that middle class - and possibly upper-middle class people - used these personal ads. But on the other hand, one or both of them could have been employees of the club, which would mean something totally different. I could imagine a maid and a porter flirting on the stairs while the rich folk wine and dine oblivious to the romances going on underneath their noses. Either way, it's a cute ad.
But the Newark one is way more interesting. So this lady kisses a gentleman at the train station. PDA wasn't really acceptable back then, but whatever, I guess the degree of the kiss could make a difference. And maybe she kissed him on the cheek, who knows. Either way, the author of this ad observes a woman being somehow intimate with another man and sends a personal her way anyhow? Wow. Clearly he doesn't think her moral values are all that strict (which, I suppose, if she was kissing someone in public and in front of strangers could have been a reasonable assumption, this being the mid-nineteenth century and all). Still, pretty risque. And why would you even want to get to know a woman who is involved with another man? But I suspect the kind of involvement he wanted wasn't entirely, well, respectable...
In other news, my awesome mother (hi Mom!) recognized the name of G. St. Leger Grenfell, the escaped prisoner whose family was trying to find his whereabouts. (By the way, I spelled it incorrectly in the post, but have since corrected.) Turns out he was quite a fascinating guy! There's a short entry about him in Wikipedia but the most interesting part is that he left the Confederate army during the Civil War and attempted to take over the governments of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois to create a Northwestern Confederacy. Obviously, he did not succeed. What a story! It's hard to believe that this ad is for real, I mean what a coincidence, but the fact that it's even there - and that I was lucky enough to run across it - and that mom is smart enough to have recognized it - is a pretty impressive confluence of events.
Another busy week...will post when I can...
Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!
©2010 Pam Epstein