After ten years of playing the critic, I’ve never ceased being a fan of advertising. Too much of the industry frustrates me to no end, but I still love good persuasion. I love witnessing it. I love doing it. Then this week it dawned on me that my family – beginning in 1883 – spent 75 years persuading people to buy from Van Eman Bros. Hardware in Canonsburg, PA. They were the Lowe’s of little town, USA, and it seems they were pretty good at their trade.
Is advertising somehow in my blood? I don’t think so. At least, not simply because retail exists in my ancestry. But when I found the following letter in a box of old family items, I had to admit some excitement.
In short, my great-grandfather Sam and his brother J.J., joint proprietors, had sent their newspaper ad to the Robeson Rochester Corporation to show off the store’s promotion of a new line of coffee percolators and stoves. The salesman from RRC was, needless to say, excited. Here’s his reply:
(Click on the image to see a larger size)
Taking advantage of “women folks” like that. How dare they! ;)