Old Ads are More Fun than Old News

By Annie Roe

Union Station Blogger

Today’s archival treasure is newspaper clippings from the 1920s! The newspapers are documenting Charles Lindbergh’s famous flight, but that’s not the first thing I noticed.

Flipping through these papers, the ads immediately stood out. For starters, they are everywherep1150744. I mean, there are ads in today’s papers, but they are still manageable and you can read the stories without getting interrupted.

Not in 1927. There are ads everywhere, which I guess makes sense. Newspapers would have been one of the only ways to advertise products. They couldn’t advertise on TV, so there was a bit of an ad overload.

The other thing that struck me as funny was the kind of things the advertisements were selling. All kinds of stuff you’ve never heard of, like Fizz Cola. Don’t all sodas fizz?

One of them was for Wally Caps.

After a little research, I decided that the hats were named after Wally Pipps, a baseball player for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, and Cincinnati Reds. He is most famous for losing his starting position to Lou Gehrig.

p1150745I wouldn’t mind losing my starting position if I got a hat named after me. Silver lining, right?

Another ad boasted low prices for the Union Dental Company (and some strange looking teeth.) Their examinations and advice are free. The prices seem like a killer deal. $1 for a filling? Sign me up! Of course, then I remp1150743ember that $1 is really $12.50 and I change my mind.

Even though I can’t travel back in time and experience these companies or wear a brand new Wally Cap, I think these ads are a pretty good representation of the types of products from that time and they are incredibly fascinating.

Fascinating enough to steal the spotlight from Charles Lindbergh, anyways.