Sunday, January 11, 2004

Nothing New Under the Sun

The September 1900 issue of "The Land of Sunshine - The Magazine of California & The West," a 300 page mini mag devoted to non-fiction, fiction and photos of all things West, featured 24 pages of paid advertising. Among the advertisers were:

- Several oil companies, seeking investors, and one broker, R.B. Dickinson, who told potential investors "to make the best investments of this kind, you should be guided by a reliable Broker, who is thoroughly in touch with the conditions, and purchase only through him. Information of value given to clients."

- Merchants Parcel Delivery, which promised, "Parcels delivered to any part of the City for 10 cents each. Special rates to merchants."

- Mrs. Graham's Cucumber and Elder Flower Cream. "It cleanses, whitens and beautifies the skin, feeds and nourishes skin tissues, thus banishing wrinkles."

- Dr. John Wilson Gibbs' Obesity Cure, for permanent reduction and cure of obesity.

- Saint Louis Bohemian Beer, King of All Bottled Beers. A refreshing beverage to the weary traveler. Brewed and bottled in St. Louis by the American Brewing Company.

- The Chicago & North-Western Railway. Leaves Los Angeles daily 6:45 PM, San Francisco at 10 AM, arrives Chicago 9:30 AM third day. No change of cars; all meals in dining cars. Best service; quickest time.

- Southern California Music Co. Musical instruments of all kinds, sizes and description. Pianos, pianolas, violins, guitars, mandolins, banjos, music boxes, wind instruments.

- Elgin Watches, The World's Standard. Run all 'round the world--- run with precision--- run for a lifetime.

- Williams Sauce, for meat, fish, gravies, soups. This sauce has no equal. If this sauce is not satisfactory, return it to your grocer and he will refund your money

- Beautiful bust guaranteed by The Madame Taxis Toilet Co. Corsique is a simple home treatment which positively fills out all hollow and scrawny places, develops and adds perfect shape to the whole form wherever deficit. By its use, any woman who lacks development may soon acquire a form of perfect shape and loveliness. Guaranteed to develop any bust or money refunded.

- An educational advertising section, which included ads from Pomona College, Occidental College (1st semester began September 26, 1900; 3 majors offered....classical, literary and scientific), College of Immaculate Heart and Los Angeles Business College as well as Miss Orton's Boarding & Day School for Girls, The Brownsberger Home School for Shorthand & Typewriting and National Correspondence School of Nursing.

- Magic Seals and Lucky Stones to wear on your person. Thousands testify to the good results obtained by wearing them.

- The Hollenbeck Hotel, in the heart of Los Angeles. "Has first-class cafe and rooms with bath and other conveniences. Rates are reasonable, its conveniences ample and its service prompt and courteous."

- Singer Sewing Machines.

- Dunlop Pneumatic Tires, for bicycles, carriages and automobiles. "The only tire you'll ever need."

- Many real estate brokers, offering large parcels of land across the state at the outrageous prices of $20 to $45 per acre. "Small tracts for home-seekers, large tracts for Colonies. Absolutely the best land proposition offered in California" boasted J.W. Bell, agent.

- The Sahlin Perfect Form and Corset Combined. Grace-Elegance-Comfort. "Physicians approve this new device, which retains all the good and avoids the evil of the ordinary corset. There can be no compression or displacement of heart, lungs or stomach. Nothing is lost in style or shape."

The medium may be different....cyber-messaging at warp speed now instead of monthly mags that took weeks or more to be delivered....but the messages are very much the same. It struck me as I readied this 100 year old tome for eBay sale, that Solomon was so on target when he penned, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1: 9.

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