Colonial America

Advertisements in colonial America were most frequently announcements of goods on hand. Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette reached out to readers with new devices like headlines, illustrations and advertising placed next to editorial material. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century advertisements were not only for consumer goods. A particularly disturbing form of early American advertisements were notices of slave sales or appeals for the capture of escaped slaves. Newspapers almost never printed ads wider than a single column and generally eschewed illustrations and even special typefaces. Magazine ad styles were also restrained, with most publications segregating advertisements on the back pages.

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