Monday, July 16, 2012

Prudential advertisement from 1897 issue of The Strand Magazine

"The Prudential has the Strength of Gibraltar"

This 1897 full-page advertisement for The Prudential Insurance Company of America features an inset illustration of one of the company's long-demolished original-headquarters buildings in Newark, New Jersey.

Those original buildings were, according to Wikipedia, "early examples of steel framing in Newark, clad in gray Indiana limestone with Romanesque Gothic styling" and were demolished in 1956. An old postcard that shows you a little more of what this building looked like can be seen here on

Prudential, founded in 1875 by John F. Dryden (whose name appears in this advertisement, was originally known as The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society and then the Prudential Friendly Society for a short time. By 1897, it was well-established as The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

The company's Rock of Gibraltar logo dates to the 1890s and was apparently inspired by an igneous rock intrusion1 that juts upward at Laurel Hill County Park in Secaucus, New Jersey.

On the reverse side of this advertisement is the table of contents for the March 1897 issue of The Strand Magazine, which was published from January 1891 to March 1950.2 Articles in that issue included:
  • "Railways in the Air" by Corrie Sefton
  • "Duelling in German Universities" by An English Student
  • "Portraits of Celebrities at Different Times of Their Lives"
  • "Some Peculiar Occupations" by Balliol Bruce
  • "The Flowery Islands" by Sir George Newnes, 1st Baronet (the magazine's founder)
  • "Policemen of the World" by C.S. Pelham-Clinton
  • "Cliff-Climbing and Egg-Hunting" by L.S. Lewis

1. Perhaps the best-known example of an igneous rock intrusion is Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.
2. Per Wikipedia: "The Sherlock Holmes short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle were first published in The Strand with illustrations by Sidney Paget. With the serialization of Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, sales reached their peak. Readers lined up outside the magazine's [London] offices, waiting to get the next installment."

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