Remnants of Everyday Life: Making It Work

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An examination of historical business ephemera uncovers much more than the products and services that were available for purchase. It reveals how businesses perceived and appealed to the sensibilities of their desired audience. Historical advertising, then, provides a window on popular culture. Through the strategic use of imagery and decoration, businesses took advantage of the immediate impact of the visual. Graphic elements drew the attention of the viewer more readily than words alone and more effectively engendered a personal response. In this way, a connection was formed between the consumer and the product. Businesses of the Industrial Age knew the value of building this connection and seized every opportunity to do so, using even the most mundane and ephemeral materials to convey an engaging and enduring message.

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