A Vision Of Today’s Advertisements A Hundred Years Ago


The following extract is from A Hundred Years Hence (1906) by T. Baron Russell. It describes the author’s idealistic prediction about the future of advertising:

Advertising will in the future world become gradually more and more intelligent in tone. It will seek to influence demand by argument instead of clamour, a tendency already more apparent every year. Cheap attention-calling tricks and clap-trap will be wholly replaced, as they are already being greatly replaced, by serious exposition; and advertisements, instead of being mere repetitions of stale catch-words, will be made interesting and informative, so that they will be welcomed instead of being shunned; and it will be just as suicidal for a manufacturer to publish silly or fallacious claims to notoriety as for a shopkeeper of the present day to seek custom by telling lies to his customers.

So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments section.

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Gleanings From The Past #44



A young gentleman on the point of being married, is desirous of meeting a man of experience who will dissuade him from such a step.

— Advertisement publised in the London Times, 1890, cited in The Golden Book Magazine, Vol. 21, 1935 Continue reading

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Grandpa’s Magic Square Puzzle

When I was a boy, my grandfather used to give me puzzles for me to solve. The following puzzle is one of them.

A magic square is an arrangement of numbers from 1 to n2 in an n2 matrix in which each number should only occur once. Every row, column, and diagonal of a magic square have the same sum called the magic sum. The most popular magic square is the 3 × 3 magic square, also known as the Lo Shu Square:

order-3 magic square

It contains the numbers 1 to 9 and each row, column and diagonal of this magic square has a magic sum of 15.

While there are systematic methods for solving magic squares, you don’t need to know anything about them to solve this particular magic square as it can be solved by trial and error.

Now, here’s the puzzle my grandfather challenged me to solve:

When solving a regular 3 × 3 magic square, you would find that the number 8 must be in one of the corners of the magic square. The challenge is this: Can you create a magic square wherein the number 8 is on the top center (same confitions for constructing a 3 × 3 magic square apply) as shown:

magic square 8 is on top center

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A Ghostwriter Who Hired A Ghostwriter


Nowadays, the demand for ghostwriters is on the rise. Some people like to use their services to write for their blogs and social media accouts to lessen their burden while others even hire them to write a book for them. Nonetheless, ghostwriting has been around for centuries, in one form or another. There are historians who surmised that a number of well-known writers in the past had employed ghostwriters to help them finish their works.

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Quotable #44: Fountain


“Be a fountain, not a drain.” – Rex Hudler

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Pun Of The Weak: Daffynitions #2

Banker — Someone who takes a lot of interest in his work.

Document — Reiterating what your doctor said in your own words.

Feedback — What happens when your dog didn’t like the food.

Inflation — Fate worse than debt.

Daffynitions #1

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Strange Business Signs (19th-Century London)

Here is an amusing article from Ballou’s Dollar Monthly Magazine (June 1861) about some peculiar business signs found in Victorian London:

A stranger is surprised in London by some of the signs, which have been handed down for generations, which are used to distinguish particular places of business. Many of them are perfectly unmeaning, but are corruptions of the original signs. A public house was called ‘The Bag of Nails,’ which was derived from the old name, ‘The Bacchanals.’ ‘The Bull and Goat’ was corrupted from ‘The Bologne Gate,’ as the place was called in compliment to Henry VIII, who took the place in 1642. There is another public house called ‘The Goat and Compasses.’ It was established in the old Puritan times. In the days of Cromwell, it was ‘God encompasses us;’ but in Queen Victoria’s time it is ‘The Goat and Compasses.’ There is one public house called ‘The Three Loggerheads.’ The sign has a picture of two men, and the inscription underneath:

‘We three
Loggerheads be.’

And the passer by wonders, as he reads it, where on earth the third loggerhead can be.

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