Monday, October 23, 2017

Does anyone still own
a 1-square-inch Texas ranch?

Did anyone ever do this and send their two dollars???

This tiny comic-book advertisement is buried at the bottom of Page 8 of Luke Cage, Power Man No. 46, which was published by Marvel in August 1977. It is headlined "OWN A REAL TEXAS RANCH" and promises that, for $2, you will receive a legal deed to a one-inch-square Mini-Ranch in Texas. Perfect for hanging on your wall, the ad copy states. (Also, can we discuss why the rancher is toting a pair of pistols?)

Two dollars doesn't sound like much, and I know it partially covers postage and handling, but let's just say that this Texas land was very overpriced. Math is your friend, in this regard. One acre of land contains about 6.2 million square inches, so you are paying at the exorbitant rate of about $12.4 million per acre. For land with, presumably, no structures or utilities. The average Texas ranch covers about 500 acres, so if you paid for one at the per-square-inch rate offered in this advertisement, you'd be paying $6.2 billion. Not even the Ewing family had that kind of money in the late 1970s.

(To further up the crazy, a $6.2 billion ranch of 500 acres in 1977 would cost about $25 billion today. So, a similar advertisement in a 2017 issue of, say, Ms. Marvel would ask you to send at least $8 for your one-square-inch ranch in Texas. Bananas!)

Here's what some others have written (briefly) about this silly advertisement:

Here's a link to a Flickr page that appears to show one of the deeds you would have received for your $2. It indicates the land is in Potter County, Texas.

Final note: Your Mini-Ranch would be SMALLER than this advertisement, which measures 1⅞ inches wide by 1¼ inches tall.


  1. You know what P.T. Barnum said ....

  2. I was one of those suckers. Not sure where my deed is now.

  3. Hey I have my deed--Anyone want to buy it as a lark?

  4. I have a deed for one square inch of Texas land. Sure it's a novelty but hey it's fun.

  5. Howdy, I found this post while doing a deep dive on the history of this ad. The backstory involves a struggling record label, copyright infringement, and several wild claims. I posted my findings here:

    1. good stuff. An entertaining read.