July 2

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

New-York Journal (July 2, 1772).

“Mr. SIMNET boasts with Gratitude the abundant Favours of the Gentry.”

The cantankerous John Simnet, “WATCH-FINISHER, and Manufacturer, of London,” inserted a colorful new advertisement in the July 2, 1772, edition of the New-York Journal.  He simultaneously promoted his own business, mending watches, while mocking James Yeoman, a competitor.  The two traded insults back and forth in a series of advertisements in the New-York Journal and the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury in 1772.  For many weeks, Yeoman advertised that he made and repaired “WATCHES, HORIZONTAL, REPEATING, or PLAIN; CLOCKS, ASTRONOMICAL, Musical or Plain,” prompting Simnet to replicate that headline in the headline of his own notice.  He then posed a question: “IS any ingenious Artificer (of Spirit) within 100 Miles, capable of making either, or a Thing in Imitation of either?”  The question alone carried the implication that Yeoman did not possess the skill or expertise to deliver on his promises.  Not satisfied to leave it at that, Simnet provided a snide answer to the question, suggesting that Yeoman might be able to make something that looked like and astronomical or musical clock, but of such poor quality that “‘tis not worth a Dollar.”  Even that would constitute “a wonderful Rarity.”

Simnet then shifted to discussing his own business, “boast[ing] with Gratitude the abundant Favours of the Gentry, &c. in Town and Country, which surpass Expectation.”  In other words, he claimed that discerning customers from near and far entrusted their watches to him for repairs.  He expressed just a little bit of surprise at how many hired him, while also explaining that serving so many customers “enable[d] him to continue to reduce the Price of mending Work.”  More customers meant that he could afford to lower his rates.  He made another dig at Yeoman and other competitors, describing prices as “very—very high.”  In contrast, he did repairs “at HALF Price.”  Simnet eventually made appeals related to his own business, but only after denigrating another watchmaker.  Most advertisers did not resort to such tactics.  Did Simnet have a difficult personality?  Or did he believe that he ultimately benefited from any sort of attention that he could draw to his business?

June 10

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

Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 8, 1772).

“The Post of Mr. SIMNETT’s Dial is white, to distinguish it.”

John Simnet, a watchmaker, ran several advertisements in the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury and the New-York Journal in the spring of 1772.  In several of them, he pursued a feud with another watchmaker, James Yeoman, but he did not make any new insinuations about his competitor in a notice that appeared in the Gazette on June 8.  In the most aggressive portion of the advertisement, Simnet declared that it was “beneath the Character of a qualified Workman, to extract an Annuity by repairing Watches over and over again.”  Such commentary did not apply exclusively to Yeoman or any other rival.  Simnet had a long history of accusing most watchmakers of creating work for themselves by making repairs intended to last for only a short time.

Simnet devoted most of this advertisement to promoting various aspects of his own business rather than denigrating Yeoman or other watchmakers.  He boasted about his credentials, noting that “during the Term of Apprenticeship” he served as “Finisher to Mr. Webster, Exchange Alley, London.”  He also underscored his availability to greet customers “from Five in the Morning till Six in the Evening.”  In addition, he listed prices for several common services, such as “Joining a broken Spring or Chain Two Shillings” and a “new Main Spring either Six or Eight Shillings,” so prospective customers could assess the bargains for themselves.  To guide them in doing so, Simnet asserted that he set rates “at HALF the Price charg’d by any other” and explained that his customers did not have to worry about “future Expence,” those annual repairs.

The watchmaker did insert one clarification that did not previously appear in other variations of his advertisement that spring.  Apparently, another watchmaker set up shop in the vicinity, prompting Simnet to give more explicit directions to his own location.  “As there is now another of the Trade adjoining,” he explained, “please with Care to observe the Place; the Post of Mr. SIMNETT’s Dial is white, to distinguish it, and his Shop is low, aside the Coffee-House Bridge, but not the Corner.”  In a previous advertisement, he described the device that marked his shop as “the Black Dial, with a White Post.”  A competitor may have marked his own shop with a similar device, causing Simnet to focus on the color of the post.  Readers familiar with the usual tone in Simnet’s advertisements may have wondered how much time would elapse before he published more colorful commentary about “another of the Trade” with a shop so close to his own.

June 6

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

Providence Gazette (June 6, 1772).

“HE doubts not of giving Satisfaction to such persons as may please him with their Custom.”

Among the various marketing appeals in their newspaper advertisements, merchants and shopkeepers often vowed to provide exemplary customer service.  Several who placed notices in the June 6, 1772, edition of the Providence Gazettedid so.  Edward Thurber, for instance, declared that “Whoever pleases to favour him with their Custom may depend upon the utmost Fidelity, and on having their Business executed with Dispatch.”  An extensive catalog of the “fine Assortment of Grocery, Hard-Ware, and Piece GOODS” for sale at his store “at the Sign of the BRAZEN LION” in the “North End of Providence” comprised most of his advertisement, but he did not intend for that testimonial to consumer choice to eclipse his commitment to customer service.  Gabriel Allen and William Allen also stocked a “compleat Assortment of English, India, and Hard-Ware GOODS” at their shop “on the West Side of the GREAT BRIDGE.”  They enhanced their allusion to so many choices with a promise that “Ladies and Gentlemen that are pleased to favour them with their Custom, may depend on the best Treatment.”

Artisans and others who provided services also incorporated customer service into their marketing efforts.  Benjamin Bagnall, Jr., informed the public that he “Carefully CLEANED and MENDED” clocks and watches at his shop, confidently stating that he “doubts not of giving Satisfaction to such Persons as may please to favour him with their Custom.”  In this case, “giving Satisfaction” had more than one meaning.  It implied that Bagnall extended good customer service to his clients, but it also signaled quality and skill, two appeals that artisans often included in their advertisements.  In addition, convenience was an element of the customer service that Bagnall provided.  He claimed that “Watches have been frequently sent to adjacent Places to repair,” presumably because colonizers believed that artisans in Providence did not possess the same skills as their counterparts in Boston and New York.  Such inconvenience was not necessary, Bagnall contended, since he “will endeavour to convince his Employers that there is no Occasion to send [watches] out of the Town.”  In making that pledge, Bagnall brought together customer service, skill, and quality in a single appeal to prospective customers.

May 4

GUEST CURATOR: Tyler Reid

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

Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (May 4, 1772).

“Be cautious, there are many … counterfeit watches … so bad they cannot be rendered useful.”

John Simnet, a clock- and watchmaker, created this advertisement.  It displays a competitive market in 1772. Simnet emphasizes his “Term of Apprenticeship to Mr. Webster, Exchange Alley, London.”  He thought that his qualifications mattered.  He also mentioned his expertise in cleaning watches and fitting glasses. These skills mattered.  In an article about clocks and clockmakers in eighteenth-century Philadelphia, Michelle Smiley states that clockmaking “was considered an intellectual profession requiring great artisanal skill and scientific knowledge.”  In addition, “the mathematical precision and mechanical intricacy of the profession put it at a superior rank to the crafts of blacksmithing and carpentry.”  In his advertisement, Simnet had a big ego about his skill and knowledge, especially being trained in England and voyaging to the colonies.  He also complained about “counterfeit Watches … so bad they cannot be rendered useful.”  He believed that colonists should be careful when buying watches from others because they might end up receiving broken merchandise.  He wanted customers to think of him as reliable, as someone who sold only good watches that worked well.  According to his advertisements, they could trust him because of his training in England.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY:  Carl Robert Keyes

When students in my classes submit their proposed advertisements for approval before moving to the research and writing phases of contributing the Adverts 250 Project, I often recognize the advertisers because I have already perused the newspapers to identify which notices belong in the Slavery Adverts 250 Project.  I did not simply recognize the advertiser that Tyler selected for his entry.  Instead, John Simnet has become very familiar to me over the past three years as I have traced his advertisements in the New-Hampshire Gazette in 1769 and 1770 and then in newspapers published in New York in the early 1770s.  I consider Simnet the most notorious of the advertisers featured on the Adverts 250 Project because he regularly disseminated negative advertisements that demeaned his competitors as much as they promoted his own skill, expertise, training, and experience.  In both Portsmouth and New York, he participated in bitter feuds with competitors in the public prints, sometimes demeaning character as well as their abilities.

Tyler was not yet familiar with Simnet when he selected this advertisement, one of several variations that Simnet published in the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury and the New-York Journal in the spring of 1772.  He chose it because the headline for “WATCHES” caught his interest.  He wanted to learn more about clock- and watchmakers in early America.  This presented an opportunity for me to once again dovetail my teaching and my research, a pedagogical moment that could not be planned in advance when inviting students to select any advertisements they wished to feature.  They usually focus on a single advertisement, an appropriate approach for students working this intensively with primary sources for the first time.  They make all sorts of connections between their advertisements and commerce, politics, and daily life in eighteenth-century America.  Yet we have fewer opportunities to examine the advertisers and their marketing campaigns.  When Tyler chose Simnet’s advertisement from among the hundreds that he might have selected from the first week of May 1772, that gave all the students in my Revolutionary America class a chance to hear more about the clock- and watchmaker’s long history of placing cantankerous advertisements that deviated from the norms of the period.  This context better humanized Simnet, even if it did not make him particularly likeable.  Each advertisement represents a snapshot of a particular moment in the past, but I also underscored the value of examining multiple advertisements, placed over weeks or even years, as a means of constructing an even more robust understanding of the experiences of the advertisers and their world.

May 1

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

New-Hampshire Gazette (May 1, 1772).

“Clocks & Watches Clean’d in the Cheapest and best Manner.”

Nathaniel Sheaff Griffith made brief appeals to price and quality in an advertisement that ran in the May 1, 1772, edition of the New-Hampshire Gazette.  He succinctly informed prospective customers that he “Clean’d” clocks and watches “in the Cheapest and best Manner” at his shop in Portsmouth.  In addition, he sold “Silver plated Shoe and Knee-Buckles” and other goods.

While this advertisement may not seem noteworthy when considered alone or alongside other notices that ran in the same issue, regular readers of the New-Hampshire Gazette likely remembered other advertisements placed by Griffith or that mentioned Griffith.  For a period of eighteen months, Griffith participated in a feud with another clock- and watch-maker, John Simnet, an exceptionally public disagreement undertaken in advertisements in the colony’s only newspaper.  Simnet had relocated to New Hampshire after several decades working in London.  Like many artisans who crossed the Atlantic, he attempted to leverage his training and experience in the cosmopolitan center of the empire to woo customers unfamiliar with his work.  His competitors, including Griffith, benefited from having established a reputation among local consumers.  Simnet adopted more aggressive tactics than most artisans, not only promoting his own credentials but also proclaiming that his rivals did inferior work that actually damaged the clocks and watches they pretended to repair.  He singled out Griffith in particular, eventually denigrating his character and intellect as well as his skill.  For his part, Griffith accused the newly-arrived Simnet of being an itinerant likely to abscond with the watches that colonizers entrusted to him.  In general, however, Griffith was much less abusive toward Simnet than Simnet was toward him, at least in the public prints.

After a year and a half in Portsmouth, Simnet relocated once again, this time to New York.  He placed fairly neutral advertisements in the newspapers published in the bustling port, at least at first, but eventually found himself embroiled in another argument with a competitor.  His advertisements became increasingly colorful as he devised new ways to denigrate clock- and watchmaker James Yeoman.

Back in Portsmouth and its environs, many readers of the New-Hampshire Gazette likely remembered the altercation between Griffith and Simnet when they encountered new advertisements from Simnet, no matter how brief or neutral.  Did those memories influence whether they hired Griffith?  Did they think about some of the insults that Griffith leveled at Simnet?  Did they put any stock in Simnet’s accusations against Griffith or dismiss the cantankerous rantings of the interloper?  Did they credit Griffith for the restraint he showed when he eventually decided that the best response to Simnet was to ignore him?  Did they recall being entertained by the vitriolic exchanges, even if they had no need to hire artisans to clean or repair their clocks and watches?  Griffith’s brief announcement published in the spring of 1772 was just one notice among a series of advertisements that likely shaped public perceptions of his business.

April 24

GUEST CURATOR: Turner Pomeroy

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

New-London Gazette (April 24, 1772).

“All Kinds of Goldsmith, Silversmith, and Jewelry Work.”

John Champlin, a goldsmith, advertised in the New-London Gazette on April 24, 1772.  He advertised “all Kinds of Goldsmith, Silversmith, and Jewelry Work.”  He considered being skilled in all three areas very useful, but working with silver was the most prestigious. According to Frances Gruber Saddord, silversmiths worked in “towns up and down the eastern seaboard” in the eighteenth century, but “the three leading cities of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia remained the major centers of silver production throughout the colonial period, for the trade flourished primarily in a thriving urban environment.”  In addition, “colonial craftsmen relied for their success on a network of family and business ties” since “there were no guilds” in the colonies.  As a result, “[i]ntermarriage within the craft was common and many apprentices were related to their masters.”[1]  Working as a goldsmith or silversmith could be very profitable.  Sometimes families involved in the trade rose in the social ranks.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

The advertisement that Turner selected provides evidence of the network of business ties that provided support to artisans in early America.  Although Champlin promoted “all Kinds of Goldsmith, Silversmith, and Jewelry Work” that he produced in his shop, that was not his primary purpose in placing an advertisement in the New-London Gazette.  Instead, he wanted readers and prospective customers to know that an employee in his shop did “Clock and Watch making, mending, cleaning and repairing in the very neatest Manner.”  Champlin offered assurances to “Any Gentlemen favouring him with their Custom” that they “may firmly rely on its being done with Alacrity and Dispatch.”  The goldsmith, silversmith, and jeweler likely believed that diversifying the services available in his shop by adding clock- and watchmaking “in its several Branches” helped in cultivating a larger clientele and generating additional revenue.

Champlin pursued that strategy over the course of several years.  In December 1769, James Watson, a clock- and watchmaker “late from London,” placed an advertisement in the New-London Gazette to inform prospective customers that he “removed from Mr. Robert Douglass, silver smith’s shop, to Mr. John Champlin, silver smith’s shop.”  Watson acknowledged that he was “a stranger” to the community, one who relied on Champlin to vouch for him.  The silversmith did so, “strongly recommend[ing] him to all his customers.”  Champlin also stated that he “will warrant [Watson’s] ability and fidelity in any thing he shall undertake in said business” of watch- and clockmaking.  A couple of years later, Champlin once again formed a partnership with a fellow artisan, leveraging his resources – his reputation and his shop – for the benefit of both.  Former customers who had previously employed Watson could decide for themselves how much stock they put in Champlin’s endorsement of a new clock- and watchmaker.  For his part, the smith seemed confident that he had established a good record in that regard.

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[1] Frances Gruber Safford, “Colonial Silver in the American Wing,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 41, no. 1 (Summer 1983): 8.

April 23

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

New-York Journal (April 23, 1772).

“‘Tis our sole Wish, that the Gent who advertises in Astronomy will favour us with a Specimen.”

John Simnet, “WATCH-FINISHER, and Manufacturer, of London,” seemed to relish nothing more than sparring with an adversary in the public prints.  For eighteenth months in 1769 and 1770, he participated in a feud with rival watchmaker Nathaniel Sheaff Griffith in the pages of the New-Hampshire Gazette.  After relocating to New York, he initially published advertisements that did not denigrate his competitors, but eventually found himself embroiled in a war of words with James Yeoman.

As part of that altercation, Simnet updated an advertisement that first ran in the March 19, 1772, edition of the New-York Journal.  On April 23, he removed a lengthy paragraph that cast aspersion on Yeoman in favor of a shorter paragraph meant to do the same.  In both, he addressed insults that Yeoman delivered in his advertisements, insults that the rival watchmaker was so committed to circulating that he resubmitted the copy to run for additional weeks.  (The April 9 edition of the New-York Journal included a new version of Yeoman’s advertisement, the type reset with new line breaks and the addition of the issue number in which that iteration first appeared.)  Yeoman listed his credentials for repairing “CLOCKS, ASTRONOMICAL, Musical or Plain” before concluding his advertisement with an assertion that “it is the sole Wish of the said James Yeoman, to obtain Favours only proportioned to the Knowledge he has, and the Satisfaction he affords in his Business.”

In the updated version of his advertisement, Simnet mocked Yeoman by paraphrasing his rival’s words.  “‘Tis our sole Wish,” he declared, “that the Gent who advertises in Astronomy will favour us with a Specimen of his Qualifications in that Science, for if he can cause the Planets, Eclipses, Comets, &c. to move on the Table, ‘twill save the Charge of Telescopes.”  Simnet questioned Yeoman’s ability to repair astronomical clocks, challenging him to provide examples of his work for others to examine.  Earlier in the advertisement, he mentioned the harm done to clocks and watches by “Persons not qualified to practice in this Business.”  The new paragraph more explicitly leveled that accusation at Yeoman.  Simnet seemed to hit his stride in his advertisements when he treated competitors with condescension, a tactic rarely adopted in eighteenth-century advertising.

April 15

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

New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (April 13, 1772).

“Such Alterations which don’t engage much Time, GRATIS.”

John Simnet, a watchmaker, placed rather colorful newspaper advertisements over the course of several years in the late 1760s and 1770s, first in the New-Hampshire Gazette and later in newspapers published in New York.  During the time that he resided in New Hampshire, he engaged in nasty feud with a fellow watchmaker, Nathaniel Sheaff Griffith.  Having trained and worked in London, Simnet accused Griffith of not possessing the same level of skill and suggested that Griffith actually damaged the watches he attempted to repair.  In a series of advertisements, Simnet denigrated Griffith’s character, intellect, and skill.

That rivalry may have played a part in Simnet’s decision to relocate to New York.  He once again turned to the public prints to promote his business.  For a time, he focused primarily on his own credentials and expertise, but old habits died hard.  Simnet eventually found himself embroiled in another feud with a fellow watchmaker, though James Yeoman appears to have been the first to pursue their disagreement in print with an advertisement that seemed to critique Simnet’s credentials without naming him.  Given his personality, Simnet may have initiated the insults in person before the dispute moved into advertisements in the newspapers.  Regardless of who started it, Simnet had extensive experience demeaning a competitor in print.  In March 1772, he deployed some of the same strategies that he used against Griffith a few years earlier.

Even though he could not resist placing negative advertisements about Yeoman, Simnet may have learned from his experience in New Hampshire that consumers did not respond well to marketing campaigns that revolved entirely around disparaging others.  In his next advertisement, published in the April 13, 1772, edition of the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury, he returned to the kinds of appeals that he incorporated into his notices when he first arrived in New York.  He gave prospective customers a careful accounting of how much they could expect to pay for various goods and services, such as “a new Chain Six Shillings” and “the Price of joining a broken Spring or Chain Two Shillings.”  He also promoted his prices while offering a guarantee, stating that he set rates for “every particular Article in repairing, at HALF the Price charg’d by any other, and no future Expence while the Materials, that is, Wheels and Pinions will endure.”  Simnet declared that it was “beneath the Character of a qualified Workman, to extract an Annuity by repairing Watches over and over again.”  That may have been a subtle critique of his many competitors, but not a targeted attack on Yeoman or any other watchmaker in New York.  To draw customers to his shop, Simnet also offered “such Alterations which don’t engage much Time, GRATIS.”

Simnet has been a fascinating character to track over the past three years, in large part because he deviated so significantly from one of the standard advertising practices of the period.  He sometimes placed advertisements that vilified his rivals rather than focusing on his expertise and experience.  Yet Simnet did not always go negative.  He also published advertisements that incorporated the tone and appeals usually found in newspaper notices by artisans.  In some cases, he also crafted innovative appeals, including free services to entice prospective customers into his shop in hopes of establishing relationships with them.  As an advertiser, he covered a greater range of appeals, positive and negative, than just about anyone else marketing their goods and services in the colonies in the decade before the American Revolution.

March 19

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

New-York Journal (March 19, 1772).

“The manufacture he governs is 100 miles from real.”

It was probably only a matter of time before John Simnet, “WATCH-FINISHER, and Manufacturer, of London,” engaged in a war of words with a competitor in New York.  In late 1768, he migrated to New Hampshire and began placing advertisements in the New-Hampshire Gazette.  Over the next eighteen months, Simnet developed a rivalry with Nathaniel Sheaff Griffith, a watchmaker who already resided there.  The two waged a feud in their advertisements in the public prints, though Simnet was often more aggressive.  In a series of newspaper notices, the newcomer ridiculed his rival’s skill and intelligence before deciding to relocate to New York in the summer of 1770.  He occasionally published advertisements in his new city, but focused on promoting his own business rather than denigrating competitors.

That changed in March 1772.  In fairness to Simnet, another watchmaker, James Yeoman, seemed to start the dispute when he published an advertisement that seemed to critique the “WATCH-FINISHER, and Manufacturer, of London.”  In an advertisement that first ran in the March 12 edition of the New-York Journal, Yeoman listed his credentials, stating that he “received his Instructions in the Business from the ingenious Mr. Neale, (whose great Knowledge in Mechanics was well known),” and declared that he “can with Propriety declare himself a real Manufacturer, having had the Government of a large Manufactory from its Infancy to its Maturity, one Hundred Miles from London.”  Yeoman cast doubt on Simnet’s description of his occupation and work in London.  As a further insult, he declared, “The above is not the Result of Vanity or Parade, for, should it be doubted, proper Testimonial shall be produced to prove the Assertion.”  Yeoman suggested that Simnet’s advertisements consisted of nothing more than puffery.

Perhaps the argument started before anything appeared in print.  Simnet and Yeoman may have exchanged words in person before Yeoman took to the pages of the New-York Journal.  Once Yeoman published his advertisement, Simnet responded in the next issue, updating a notice that previously ran for four weeks.  He doubled the length of his notice, starting with an introduction that instructed that “Persons who write in public on this art, where faith is be reposed, should consult their ability, and have strict regard to – not pull down truth.”  Sinnet did not mention Yeoman by name, but it was clear that his description of “Hocus Pocus” addressed the content of Yeoman’s advertisement.  In ridiculing an unnamed rival, Simnet remarked that the “manufacture he governs is 100 miles from real,” alluding to Yeoman’s claim that he managed “a large Manufactory … one Hundred Miles from London.”  Simnet also quoted Yeoman’s proclamation that he repaired clocks and watches “as cheap as by any Person in this City” in his own notice.  “As cheap as any person in this city,–can we save the value of a bowl of punch, or a turkey by reading that? –alas–No.”  He further underscored that “words are wind, and declare the expresser full of emptiness” before concluding with a poem that cast aspersions on Neale, Yeoman’s mentor.

No matter who started the dispute, Simnet and Yeoman took their argument to the public prints.  Simnet once again had a rival to denigrate in his advertisements.  Purveyors of goods and services rarely resorted to negative advertising, usually preferring to promote their own businesses and largely ignoring their competitors.  They often stated that they possessed the greatest skill or offered the lowest prices, but rarely did they directly critique or even address others who provided the same goods and services.  That made Simnet and Yeoman’s advertisements all the more notable and perhaps even entertaining for readers.

March 16

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

Pennsylvania Packet (March 16, 1772).

“Proposes to engage his performance for one year, provided the owners do not abuse the same.”

When Thomas Morgan, a watch- and clockmaker, relocated from Philadelphia to a shop on Gay Street in Baltimore in the early 1770s, he placed an advertisement in the Pennsylvania Packet, published in Philadelphia.  Why did he advertise in a newspaper published in the town he left rather than one published in his new town?  Baltimore did not yet have its own newspaper.  Colonizers in Baltimore and the surrounding area depended on the Maryland Gazette, published in Annapolis, and several newspapers published in Philadelphia, including the Pennsylvania Packet, as regional newspapers.  When he placed an advertisement in the Pennsylvania Packet, Morgan anticipated that prospective customers in Baltimore would see it.

In addition, he deployed other marketing strategies.  He marked his new location in Baltimore with “THE SIGN OF THE ARCH DIAL,” a visual statement to all passersby about what kind of business he operated.  He also offered a guarantee for repairing and cleaning watches and clocks, stating that he would “engage his performance for one year, provided the owners do not abuse the same.”  In other words, the guarantee remained in effect only if customers treated their clocks and watches well.  That included not subjecting their timepieces to “unskilful hands” who did more harm than good.  Morgan lamented that “many good watches are greatly abused for want of experience” by artisans who purported to possess skills that they did not.  In so doing, Morgan made appeals similar to those that John Simnet, a watchmaker in New York, included in his newspaper advertisements.  He also offered guarantees of his work, contingent on how customers treated their clocks and watches, and warned against trusting inexperienced watch- and clockmakers who damaged the timepieces entrusted to them.

Morgan invited “Any Gentleman” to visit his new location in Baltimore, promising that they may “have new Watches and Clocks made after the neat and best construction.”  To encourage those previously unfamiliar with his work, he indicated that he already attracted new clients and “most gratefully acknowledges the many favours received from the Public, and hopes for the continuance of them.”  Morgan hoped that advertising in the Pennsylvania Packet would further ease the transition after setting up shop in a new town.