Slavery Advertisements Published February 2, 1773

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonizers encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonizers who did not purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by enslavers rather than enslaved people themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Essex Gazette (February 2, 1773).

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South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 2, 1773).

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South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 2, 1773).

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South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 2, 1773).

February 1

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 1, 1773).

He most humbly addresses the Fair Sex, requesting their aid.”

John Keating regularly offered “READY MONEY … for CLEAN LINEN RAGS” in the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury in the late 1760s and early 1770s.  The papermaker needed as many rags as he could gather to supply his mill with raw materials.  To convince readers to make an effort to collect and submit rags, he developed appeals that emphasized both commerce and devotion to the best interests of the colonies.

In an advertisement that ran on February 1, 1773, for instance, Keating stated that the “advantages that must result to this colony from the establishment of manufactories in it, are so obvious that the subject needs no elucidation.”  Then he elucidated.  “Since paper manufactories were established in Pennsylvania, the money saved and brought into that province, the money saved and brought into the province” amounted to “the many thousand pounds of which is annually drained of[f] by purchasing paper in England.”  Supporting domestic manufactures, goods produced in the colonies, helped to address the trade imbalance with Great Britain.  Keating challenged readers to think about what more they accomplish by working together.  “Might not every shilling of this money be saved?  Have we not materials amongst ourselves?  Is our patriotism all pretence …?

New Yorkers did indeed already have the materials necessary for making paper, clean linen rags.  Keating suggested that women played a vital role in sustaining the patriotic project that he pursued, declaring that he “most humbly addressed the Fair Sex, requesting their aid, without which it will be impossible for him to establish this manufactory upon a respectable or prudent footing.”  He requested that every “frugal matron … hang up a bag … and take care to put every piece of linen that is unfit for any other use, in it.”  When the bag was full, the frugal matron would sell the contents to Keating in an eighteenth-century version of recycling to support a good cause.  The papermaker indicated that in return for the clean linen rags the frugal matron would receive enough money to “supply herself and family with the very essential article of pins.”  Just as significantly, “she will have the satisfaction of being conscious of contributing her part to the advancement of her country.”  Women’s industry served a dual purpose when it manifested patriotism.

The project did not depend solely on those frugal matrons.  Keating also asked “young ladies to co-operate … in saving rags,” though he presented a more romantic rationale to them.  The papermaker asked young women to “observe a very curious remark made by the celebrated Mr. Addison in the Spectator, ‘That a young lady who sends her shift to the paper mill, may very possibly in less than six months, have it returned made into a piece of fair paper, upon which her lover has written a billet doux.’”  Although Keating (and Addision) asked young women to imagine love letters, their shifts and other linen garments may just as likely been transformed into newspapers that kept their households informed about the imperial crisis that faced New York and other colonies.

Women, both “frugal matrons” and “young ladies,” participated in politics and expressed their patriotism when they heeded the call of papermakers who encouraged them to collect clean linen rags.  Similarly, their actions and decisions made an impact when they produced homespun textiles and garments and participated in nonconsumption agreements.  During the era of the American Revolution, both men and women understood that the personal was political.  That included gathering clean linen rags in “a bag in some convenient part of the house.”

Slavery Advertisements Published February 1, 1773

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonizers encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonizers who did not purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by enslavers rather than enslaved people themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Boston Evening-Post (February 1, 1773).

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Boston Evening-Post (February 1, 1773).

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Boston Evening-Post (February 1, 1773).

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Boston Evening-Post (February 1, 1773).

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Boston-Gazette (February 1, 1773).

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Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy (February 1, 1773).

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Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy (February 1, 1773).

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New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 1, 1773).

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New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 1, 1773).

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Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 1, 1773).

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Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 1, 1773).

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Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 1, 1773).

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Pennsylvania Packet (February 1, 1773).

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Supplement to the Pennsylvania Packet (February 1, 1773).

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Supplement to the Pennsylvania Packet (February 1, 1773).

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Supplement to the Pennsylvania Packet (February 1, 1773).

January 31

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago this week?

New-York Journal (January 28, 1773).

“Printed Proposals for taking in Subscriptions for Printing the ANSWER to De Laune’s Plea for the Non-Conformists.”

In addition to printing the New-York Journal, John Holt also sold imported books and printed and sold books and pamphlets.  Following the example of other printer-booksellers in the colonies, he inserted advertisements in his own newspapers.  Such was the case on January 28, 1773, when he advised readers of several pamphlets available at his printing office, including “A Memorial of the first Settlement of Plymouth in New-England.”

Holt also used that advertisement to pursue other business.  He planned to print “the ANSWER to De Laune’s Plea for the Non-Conformists,” a work that he indicated had been “lately reprinted.”  As part of that project, Holt distributed subscription notices that likely described the work, both its contents and the material aspects of the paper and type, and the conditions for subscribing, including prices and schedule for submitting payments.  He provided these “printed Proposals for taking in Subscriptions” to associates who assisted in recruiting customers who reserved copies in advance.  In some instances, subscribers made deposits as part of their commitment to purchasing a work once it went to press.  Holt’s associates may have distributed subscription notices in the form of handbills or pamphlets to friends, acquaintances, and customers or posted them in the form of broadsides in their shops.  Subscribers may have signed lists, perusing the names of other subscribers when they did so, or Holt’s associates may have recorded their names.  Holt’s reference to “printed Proposals for taking in Subscriptions” did not offer many particulars.

Like many broadsides, handbills, trade cards, and other advertising ephemera that circulated in eighteenth-century America, Holt’s “printed Proposals for taking in Subscriptions” were discarded when no longer of use.  Perhaps one or more copies have been preserved in research libraries or private collections, but they have not yet been cataloged.  For now (and probably forever), a newspaper advertisement that makes reference to a subscription notice that circulated in New York in the early 1770s constitutes the most extensive evidence of its existence.  As I have noted on several occasions, this suggests that early Americans encountered much more advertising, distributed via a variety of printed media, than historians previously realized … and much more than will ever be recovered.

January 30

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Providence Gazette (January 30, 1773).

“The NEW-ENGLAND ALMANACK, Or Lady’s and Gentleman’s DIARY, For the Year of our Lord 1773.”

By the end of January 1773, it was a familiar advertisement to readers who regularly perused the Providence Gazette.  John Carter once again promoted the “NEW-ENGLAND ALMANACK, Or Lady’s and Gentleman’s DIARY, For the Year of our Lord 1773,” though it was not “Just PUBLISHED” as the advertisement purported.  Instead, Carter, the printer of both the newspaper and the almanac, sought to sell surplus copies and achieve a better return on his investment.  With each passing day, portions of the almanac, especially the “astronomical Calculations,” became obsolete.

Carter announced the imminent publication of the almanac in the October 24, 1772, edition of the Providence Gazette, treating it as a news item, following immediately after an update about the Gaspee incident, rather than an advertisement.  A week later, the advertisement that ran in late January appeared for the first time (with a brief note about the price staying the same as the previous year despite “valuable Improvements” that made the almanac “a Quarter Part larger than usual”).  Carter gave it a privileged place, first among the advertisements.  A week later, he gave it even more prominence, the first item in the first column on the first page of the November 7 edition.  That made it difficult for readers to miss it.

In subsequent weeks, the advertisement moved around among the paid notices that ran in the Providence Gazette.  When it appeared in the January 30, 1773, edition, Carter once again attempted to direct attention to it via its placement in the first column on the first page.  Only one item appeared before it, a public service announcement about an upcoming meeting “to consider of some Method for erecting and building a Bridge from the Town of Providence (across the Lower Ferry) to the Town of Rehoboth.”  In this instance, Carter did not place his own interest in selling the remaining copies of the almanac ahead of all other items in his newspaper, but he did give it priority by having the announcement about an important public works project flow into his advertisement for the New-England Almanack.

January 29

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

New-London Gazette (January 29, 1773).

Difficult jobbs performed for those who pretend to the business.”

At the end of January 1773, watchmaker Thomas Hilldrup continued expanding his advertising campaign.  When he arrived in Hartford in the fall of 1772, he inserted notices in the local newspaper, the Connecticut Courant, starting on September 15.  His advertisement ran almost every week throughout the remainder of the year and continued into the new year.  Early in 1773, he decided to increase the reach of his marketing by placing the same advertisement in the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Packet.  Not much time passed before he ran that notice in the New-London Gazette as well.  With that publication, Hilldrup advertised in all of the newspapers printed in the colony at the time, making his efforts a regional campaign.

Hilldrup made a variety of appeals intended to attract attention from prospective clients who may not have otherwise considered seeking the services of a watchmaker in Hartford rather than one in their own town.  When he asked “the candid public to make a tryal of his abilities” in repairing several different kinds of watches, he emphasized his training and experience in the cosmopolitan center of the empire.  The watchmaker declared that he “was regularly bread to the finishing business in London,” implying that, as a result, he possessed greater skill than watchmakers who learned the trade in the colonies.  To underscore that point, he proclaimed that he did “difficult jobbs … for those who pretend to the business.”  In other words, he informed fellow watchmakers who did not possess the same level of skill that they could bring repairs beyond their abilities to him to complete.  Such an offer planted a seed of doubt about his competitors and prompted readers to question their capabilities.  Hilldrup also attempted to cultivate a clientele by offering free services, pledging “any other jobbs that take up but little time [done] gratis.”  That allowed him to meet new clients while also creating a sense of obligation that they would eventually purchase accessories, like chains and keys, at his shop or hire him when their watches needed more extensive repairs.

The newcomer made his presence known in the colony, first by advertising repeatedly in the Connecticut Courant and then by advertising widely in the other newspapers published in the colony.  He promoted credentials that he believed eclipsed many of his competitors and offered services intended to incite interest among prospective clients near and far.

January 28

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Massachusetts Spy (January 28, 1773).

An EXTRAORDINARY … will be published To morrow.”

“Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!”  That was Isaiah Thomas’s message to readers of the Massachusetts Spy.  The printer included an announcement in the January 28, 1773, edition, alerting subscribers and other readers that “An EXTRAORDINARY [No. 104, of the] Massachusetts SPY, or Thomas’s Boston Journal, will be published To morrow.”  Unlike the supplements and postscripts that sometimes accompanied early American newspapers, Thomas considered the extraordinary, distributed on a Friday, a separate issue.  As he noted in his announcement, it had its own number, 104, following “NUMB. 103,” distributed on Thursdays as usual for the Massachusetts Spy.  Thomas or a compositor who worked in his printing office updated the masthead to include “EXTRAORDINARY.”

The “extra” issue consisted of two pages, compared to four for the weekly standard issues of the Massachusetts Spy and other American newspapers published at the time.  It consisted almost entirely of a single item from the “HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES” in Boston, along with half a column of news from Salem and one short advertisement for grocery items.  (In similar circumstances, other printers took the opportunity to insert advertisements about the goods and services available at their printing offices.)  The main item that prompted publication of the extraordinary was an “ANSWER to [Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s] SPEECH, to both Houses, at the opening of this session.”  Representatives “ORDERED” that a committee comprised of “Mr. Adams, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Bacon, Col. Bowes, Major Hawley, Capt. Darby, Mr. Philips, Col. Thayer, and Col. Stockbridge” compose that answer.  Members of the committee agreed with the governor that “the government at present is in a very disturbed state.”  They did not, however, identify the same causes.  “[W]e cannot ascribe it to the people’s having adopted unconstitutional principles,” as the governor claimed.  Instead, they believed that problems arose as a result of “the British House of Commons assuming and exercising a power inconsistent with the freedom of the constitution to give and grant the property of the colonists, and appropriate the same without their consent.”

When Thomas published the extraordinary, he already had a reputation as a printer devoted to principles espoused by the patriots.  The masthead for his newspaper described it as “A Weekly, Political, and Commercial PAPER:– Open to ALL Parties, but Influenced by None,” yet immediately below that sentiment appeared this message: “DO THOU Great LIBERTY INSPIRE our Souls,– And make our Lives in THY Possession happy,– Or our Deaths glorious in THY JUST Defence.”  Thomas likely had two reasons for quickly publishing the committee’s response as an extraordinary.  He scooped his competitors while also disseminating rhetoric that matched his own views.  (Most other newspapers printed in Boston included the response as part of their coverage when they distributed their next weekly edition, but that took several days or, in the case of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter, printed by Loyalist Richard Draper, an entire week.)  Thomas previously published the governor’s speech as an extraordinary, dated and distributed on the same day as the weekly issue on Thursday, January 7.  In so doing, he upheld his pledge that the Massachusetts Spy was “Open to ALL Parties,” yet publishing the governor’s speech also kept colonizers informed about the dangers they faced from the narrative of recent events that Hutchinson constructed.  Releasing the committee’s response as its own extraordinary on a day that no other newspapers were published in Boston and announcing his plans to issue that extraordinary may have garnered more attention more quickly to the version of events that matched Thomas’s own views.  Patriots and imperial officials vied over how to represent what was occurring in Boston and throughout the colonies.  Thomas may have considered getting the committee’s response to the governor in print as quickly as possible an important counteroffensive against the governor’s speech that he published three weeks earlier.

Massachusetts Spy Extraordinary (January 29, 1773).

Happy Birthday, Mathew Carey!

Though Benjamin Franklin is often considered the patron saint of American advertising in the popular press, I believe that his efforts pale in comparison to the contributions made by Mathew Carey (1760-1839) in the final decades of the eighteenth century. Franklin is rightly credited with experimenting with the appearance of newspaper advertising, mixing font styles and sizes in the advertisements that helped to make him a prosperous printer, but Mathew Carey introduced and popularized an even broader assortment of advertising innovations, ranging from inventive appeals that targeted potential consumers to a variety of new media to networks for effectively distributing advertising materials. In the process, his efforts played an important role in the development of American capitalism by enlarging markets for the materials sold by printers, booksellers, and publishers as well as a host of other goods marketed by merchants, shopkeepers, and artisans who eventually adopted many of Carey’s innovative advertising methods. Mathew Carey will probably never displace Benjamin Franklin as the founder of American advertising in the popular imagination, but scholars of early American history and culture should recognize his role as the most important leader in eighteenth-century advertising among the many other activities and accomplishments of his long career in business and public life.

mathew_carey_by_john_neagle_1825
Mathew Carey (January 28, 1760 – September 16, 1839). Portrait by John Neagle, 1825. Library Company of Philadelphia.

Carey’s efforts as an advertiser were enmeshed within transatlantic networks of print and commerce. Though he did not invent the advertising wrapper printed on blue paper that accompanied magazines in the eighteenth century, he effectively utilized this medium to an extent not previously seen in America, Ireland, or the English provinces outside of London. The wrappers distributed with his American Museum (1787-1792) comprised the most extensive collection of advertising associated with any magazine published in North America in the eighteenth century, both in terms of the numbers of advertisements and the diversity of occupations represented in those advertisements. In Carey’s hands, the American Museum became a vehicle for distributing advertising media: inserts that included trade cards, subscription notices, testimonials, and book catalogues in addition to the wrappers themselves.

Located at the hub of a network of printers and booksellers, Carey advocated the use of a variety of advertising materials, some for consumption by the general public and others for use exclusively within the book trade. Subscription notices and book catalogues, for instance, could stimulate demand among potential customers, but exchange catalogues were intended for printers and booksellers to manage their inventory and enlarge their markets by trading surplus copies of books, pamphlets, and other printed goods. Working with members of this network also facilitated placing advertisements for new publications in the most popular newspapers published in distant towns and cities.

Carey also participated in the development of advertising appeals designed to stimulate demand among consumers in eighteenth-century America. He targeted specific readers by stressing the refinement associated with some of his publications, while simultaneously speaking to general audiences by emphasizing the patriotism and virtue associated with purchasing either books about American history, especially the events of the Revolution and the ratification of the Constitution, or books published in America. In his advertising, Carey invoked a patriotic politics of consumption that suggested that the success of the republican experiment depended not only on virtuous activity in the realm of politics but also on the decisions consumers made in the marketplace.

For my money, Carey is indeed the father of American advertising.  Happy 263rd birthday, Mathew Carey!

Slavery Advertisements Published January 28, 1773

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonizers encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonizers who did not purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by enslavers rather than enslaved people themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Maryland Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Maryland Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Maryland Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Maryland Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (January 28, 1773).

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Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (January 28, 1773).

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Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (January 28, 1773).

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Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (January 28, 1773).

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Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (January 28, 1773).

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Massachusetts Spy (January 28, 1773).

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New-York Journal (January 28, 1773).

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South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (January 28, 1773).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (January 28, 1773).

January 27

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Pennsylvania Gazette (January 27, 1773).

“We find them very advantageous … and certainly is preferable to any method ever before invented.”

When Samuel Reynolds invented a machine “for raising Mill-stones, and turning them on their back, fit for dressing or washing in five minutes or less,” he took to the pages of the Pennsylvania Gazette to promote his product.  In an advertisement addressed “TO THE MILLERS IN GENERAL” in the January 27, 1773, edition, Reynolds described how millers could safely use his invention with “one hand only” to maneuver millstones for cleaning “without hurting the plaister on burr stones.”  He invited millers who wished to order the machine to contact him in Wilmington, Delaware, or any of three millers “at Brandywine mills,” Daniel Byrnes, Joseph Tatnall, and William Starr.

Rather than ask prospective customers to rely solely on the inventor’s own proclamations about his product, Reynolds included a testimonial from Byrnes, Tatnall, and Starr.  The experienced millers asserted that Reynolds “made each of [us] one of the said Machines, and we find them very advantageous, as the Mill-stone is taken up by them, with great ease and safety.”  In so doing, they reiterated the most important claims made by the inventor.  In addition, they declared that using Reynold’s new machine “certainly is preferable to any method ever before invented.”  Such an assessment bolstered the pitch made by Reynolds.

The inventor also suggested that he received advance orders or at least interest from other millers, though that may have been a marketing ploy rather than fact.  “As there has been a number made for people at a considerable distance, whose names an approbation are difficult to be collected,” he stated, “said Reynolds will be obliged to those that join in sentiment with the above, to favour him with a line for that purpose.”  In other words, he invited millers interested in the new machine to join with many others in showing their support by placing orders to acquire their own.  The savvy Reynolds sought to incite demand by demonstrating that demand already existed among experienced millers familiar with his product.