plained, “There is no evil in America today greater than the passion for
Over the next fifty years, advertising for small household goods
posted quieter, more believable claims on barns, houses, and railcars.
Unlike patent medicines, these wares were generally useful and helped
to improve the credibility of the growing industry, yet it was hard to
shake the sense that private greed eclipsed considerations of public good.
In the 1880s, tiring of cheap handbills, circulars, and outdoor signs
as their medium, advertisers set their sights on the prestigious magazine
market. Harper’s, Century, and the Atlantic made their revenue from
subscriptions and newsstand sales. Fearing a loss of literary integrity,
they resisted the promise of ad revenue that would allow them to lower
Jordan Seiler, Carry On, Harlan Levey Projects, 2017