Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Advertisements from 1891 issue of North American Review

Today we have some advertisements from an 1891 issue of North American Review, which was the first literary magazine in the United States. It was founded in Boston in 1815 by a group that included Nathan Hale. Thomas Jefferson was one of the magazine's early subscribers.

I have a handful of loose pages of advertisements from an undated issue of the magazine. I'm dating this as an 1891 issue because there's an advertisement for the Gurney Hot Water Heater Company that states: "Not too late!!! For a comfortably heated house during Winter 1891 and 1892. Get Estimates immediately; we will take care of your orders."

Pictured below are advertisements for the following:
  • Instantaneous Chocolate ("the greatest invention of the age"), from Stephen F. Whitman & Son. Instantaneous Chocolate had been introduced in 1877.
  • Harderfold Hygienic Underwear from Harderfold Fabric Co. in Troy, New York. It's "adapted to all climates and all variations of temperature."
  • An herbal weight-loss plan -- with a less-than-subtle pitch -- offered by Dr. O.W.F. Snyder of Chicago.1
  • Dr. Haines' Golden Specific, a "cure" for drunkenness. (There's a great article about this remedy by Caroline Rance on The Quack Doctor.)
  • Woodbury's Facial Soap2, for skin, scalp and complexion. You could get a bar sent to you through the mail for 50 cents (the equivalent of about $12 today).

1. There's a forum pertaining to Dr. O.W.F. Snyder on the message board.
2. There's a Wikipedia page for Woodbury Soap Company. But it's a bit incomplete and spotty. I'd only use it as a starting point if you're interested in more about this company's history.


  1. Chris, thanks for posting a link to this in our facebook group "Friends of the NAR."

    To clinch the date of this issue, you can browse Cornell University Library's "Making of America" website, where all the 19th-century NAR issues are available on screen.

  2. Oh, incidentally, I've also posted a link to this blog post in the NAR's facebook page. Thanks again!