Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Power Of Advertising


These days any organisation worth its weight in bureaucracy has its own website. Whether it manufactures wheelbarrows or prize marrows, whether it collects statistics or rubbish; there will be a website somewhere which provides details of everything it does. If the website is not for a commercial organisation, it will often be  funded by advertisers, who will hope to generate business for their products from people who visit the site. A century or more ago, such information was provided by local handbooks, guides and trade directories, and these too would often be supported by advertisements from local companies.

These illustration are from "Huddersfield - The Official Handbook", which was published in 1930. As the wonderful colour advert for the local dye company, L.B. Holliday, clearly shows, this was still the golden age of advertising, when copywriters were able to combine product information with artistic style. At one time, L.B. Holliday & Co was the largest privately owned dye manufacturer in the world, but the company of that name faded away in the 1990s.


Even without full colour and pre-Raphaelite imagery, the adverts could still be attractive, even if it was simply by virtue of the typography - as illustrated in the advert for the brewers, Bentley and Shaw. That particular company had been established in the Huddersfield area by the end of the eighteenth century, and continued brewing until the early 1960s when its purity, quality and brilliancy finally went flat.


And who could resist this final advert for the Newtown Laundry, which - it seems - was famous for fine finish. Alas it is no more, as all traces of the firm have vanished like the grime from a freshly laundered shirt collar.


3 comments:

  1. There certainly were some noteworthy ads in the so-called "olden days." And have you noticed that the expression "back in the day" seems to have replaced "back in the good old days" -- well, it has in my country, anyway -- as if there's something inherently bad in "old?"

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  2. Bentley & Shaw Ltd... And their telegram address was Timothy?

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    1. The Bentley who started the firm back in the late seventeen hundreds was Timothy Bentley (who also had a hand in Bentley's Yorkshire Brewery - BYB). One of their best known ales was "Old Timothy"

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