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Featured Advertisement: Electricity!

While doing research I got distracted by this wonderful advertisement published in the New York Tribune on October 5, 1920. It was an advertisement from the New York Edison Company touting the benefits of electricity, mostly for efficiency and safety, for businesses.

New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]), 05 Oct. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

But what really caught my attention was the hand drawn caricatures, for lack of a better word, featuring a bewigged man using and doing all sorts of things with the aid of electricity:

  • Electric Dough Mixer
  • Electric Portable Drill
  • Electric Exhaust Fan
  • Electric Grinder
  • Electric Floor Truck
  • Electric Glue Pot
  • Electric Soldering Iron
  • Electric Cloth Cutter
  • Electric Printing
  • Electric Light Where Wanted
  • Electric Delivery Wagon
  • Electric Traveling Crane
  • Electric Endless Belt
  • Electric Lathe
  • Electric Hand Grinder
  • Electric Tailor’s Goose
  • Electric Babbitting Furnace
  • Electric Refrigeration
  • Electric Furnace

We take electricity for granted – at least until an ice storm or other natural disaster takes it out, but in 1920 that was less the case.  When a company is new or introducing a new product they have to convince people their product is something that is wanted and/or needed.  I guess that in 1920 electricity was still “new” enough that New York Edison didn’t just have to convince potential business customers to buy from them specifically, but had to convince them to buy the product period.  I guess this was a time when there were still a few people who had to be convinced that electricity was more than just a passing fad.

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