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Advertising in 1909

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In the waning days of November in 1909, the Fargo Forum newspaper, as always, had the pulse of the community reflected in its reporting and advertising.

Many print ads in that early century were bolder than seen today. Here are some of the interesting enticements from those days.

A quarter page ad announced in underline: “It’s Really the Best for You. This fact was positively settled over 56 years ago, at which time Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters was first presented to the public, and it has been proving the claim continuously ever since. No remedy has a more thorough and successful test in ailments of the stomach, liver, kidneys, and bowels than the famous Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters!

“You’ll find it excellent in cases of poor appetite, heartburn, sour stomach, flatulency, indigestion, Dyspepsia, Constipation, colds, grippe and malaria, fever and ague!

“Sold only in bottles, never in bulk and has our private stamp over the neck. If offered to you in any other way -- refuse it -- because it is not genuine!”

Another ad on the same page urged the reader: “Ask Your Dealer for Hauser’s sour pickles, Sauer Kraut and Horse Radish. The best that money can buy. Nearly all good dealers sell them!”

An adjoining page was entitled: “The Sunday Lecture. An interesting lecture will be given at the Grand Theatre Sunday evening when Dr. Benjamin F. Shambaugh, head of the Department of Political Science of the University of Iowa, will speak on the subject of ‘The Community of True Inspiration.’

“This is a community in Iowa of 2,000 who practice in the community form of government entirely. It is said to be the most successful attempt of communism in the world.”

Lastly, under the bold face title of “Coal and Wood” is this pitch: “A man noticed the improvement in the food set before him, but when he complimented his wife, she informed him that she should not have all the credit, as the last load of coal gave a much better fire than she had ever used before. The man was happier, the wife did her work easier, and they saved money! The coal was Platt’s Purity. Phone 1269, Fargo, ND.”

Advertising has certainly changed since then.

Dakota Datebook by Steve Stark

Source: The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, Nov. 20, 1909

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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