In the early 20th century, with the Second Industrial Revolution underway, Americans were faced with more leisure time which presented advertisers opportunities to profit by emphasizing how their products would improve life and make it more enjoyable.
With the mass production of automobiles, along with roadway construction, and the convenience of a railway system and ocean liners, Americans were able to travel further than before. Also, the establishment of the National Baseball Association, in 1871, allowed the game to evolve into professional teams and leagues. Advertisers realized the public identified with sports figures players in baseball, boxing and other sports.
Advertisements below include sports figures’ endorsements for products, the latest automobiles available, and auto accessories, as well as railways and ocean liners travel.
Sports celebrities from baseball, cycling and boxing endorsement a variety of products in advertisements as seen in The Chicago Ledger for 1916.
Nuxated Iron Endorsement
The product, marketed by Dae Health Laboratories, in Detroit, promoted increased strength and endurance.
Above advertisements include:
Two advertisements with baseball legend Ty Cobb promoting Nuxated Iron appeared in The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 31, July 29, 1916, p 7 and The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 39, September 23, 1916, p 9.
Above advertisements include:
"These World's Champion Athletes . . . almost Superhuman strength," as proclaimed Nuxated Iron appeared in The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 32, August 5, 1916, p 20. Endorsement by Ty Cobb, Freddie Hill and Jess Willard.
Jess Willard, world heavyweight boxing champion, revealed his secret for success in The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 41, October 7, 1916, p 16.
The American Medical Association exposed Nuxated Iron, in 1921, in the second volume of their publication Nostrums and Quackery; Articles on the Nostrum Evil and Quackery Reprinted From the Journal of the American Medical Association. [Nostrums 536]
For more Nuxated Iron advertisements, see Cure All Advertising.
Coca Cola Endorsement
Grover Cleveland Alexander The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 21, May 20, 1916, p 9.
John J. McGraw The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 31, July 29, 1916, p 5.
Sloan's Liniment Endorsement
Manufacturer William R. Warner Co. advertised Sloan's for "sore muscles, stiffness, pains and strains, rheumatism and neuralgia."
Pat Moran The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 39, September 23, 1916, p. 15.
Willys-Overland Auto The Fra: a Journal of Affirmation, v. 10, no. 4, January, 1913, p. x.
In the biography of the founder John Willys, published in Encyclopedia of World Biography, “Willys-Overland's automobile production jumped from 4,000 in 1901 to more than 15,500 in 1910. By 1915, production had reached 141,000. From 1912 to 1918, Willys-Overland ranked second only to the great Ford Motor Company in total output.” ["John Willys." 408]
Above advertisements include:
Hudson Motor Auto The Fra: a Journal of Affirmation, v. 10, no. 4, January, 1913, p. lxiv.
"The Hudson Motor Car Company made Hudson and other brand automobiles in Detroit, Michigan, from 1909 to 1954. . . . The company had a number of firsts for the auto industry; these included dual brakes, the use of dashboard oil-pressure and generator warning lights, and the first balanced crankshaft, which allowed the Hudson straight-six engine, dubbed the "Super Six" (1916), to work at a higher rotational speed while remaining smooth, developing more power for its size than lower-speed engines." [Hudson Wikipedia]
Chandler Motor Auto The Youth's Companion : the Best of American Life in Fiction Fact and Comment, v. 92, no. 16, April 18, 1918, p. 204.
Weed Tire Chains The Youth's Companion : the Best of American Life in Fiction Fact and Comment, v. 92, no. 16, April 18, 1918, p. ii.
". . . Harry D. Weed patented the Weed Chain Tire Grip in 1904 . . . The new device helped to open America’s often unpaved and heavily-rutted roads to everyday motorists. . . . For more than half a century, most of the chains sold in the United States wore the Weed family name. They were made by the American Chain and Cable Co., started by Walter B. Lashar, James Weed’s other grandfather, in 1912." [Corbett]
Shaw Motorbicycle The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIX, no. 35, Saturday, August 27, 1921, p. 18.
In his book, The Gilded Age, published in 2004, author Shrock wrote, “Bicycling took the nation by storm with the introduction of the safety bicycle in 1890, which featured same sized pneumatic tires driven by a rear wheel sprocket and chain. . . . the number of bicycles owned by Americans exploded from 1 million to 10 million from 1893 to 1900." [Shrock 118-120]
Phila-Germantown-Norristown RR National Defender, v. II, no. 46, Tuesday, June 29, 1858, Whole Number: 98, p. .
Americans, Shrock noted, had “Mass transit revolutionized travel in and to American cities, allowing for the rapid geographic expansion of cities.” [Shrock 232]
Automatic revolver The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIX, no. 35, Saturday, August 27, 1921, p. 14.
Repeating Shotgun The Rural New-Yorker: a Journal for the Suburban and Country Home, v. 72, no. 4180, December 7, 1912, p. 1222.
Empire State Express Collier's Weekly : an illustrated Journal of Art Literature and Current Events, v. 23, no. 5, May 6, 1899, p. 23.
Cruise Panama The Fra: a Journal of Affirmation, v. 10, no. 4, January, 1913, p. xvi.
View Panama Canal Zone before it the 1915 opens "to the ocean traffic of the world" in 1915.
The Panamanian cruise, advertised in The Fra, was on the liner Grosser Kurfürst. According to Norway Heritage, the liner was "In 1896 an entirely new type of vessel was created, the "Barbarossa" class. In the construction of these vessels the aim was to provide for an unusually large quantity of freight, as well as for a large number of passengers in the three classes, while keeping the cabin accommodation entirely separate from the freight space." [Norway Heritage]
The article in the Encyclopædia Britannica noted, "Philadelphia Zoological Gardens, first zoo in the United States, opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1874 with an animal inventory of several hundred native and exotic specimens. It was begun and continues to be operated by the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1859. In 1868, three years after the end of the American Civil War, a 42-acre (17-hectare) site was selected in Fairmount Park, an architect was sent to study the London Zoo, and the collection was begun." [Britannica]
Segrave, Kerry. Endorsements in Advertising: A Social History. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., 2005, p. 13. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.
Volti, Rudi. "Automobiles and Leisure." Encyclopedia of Recreation and Leisure in America. Ed. Gary S. Cross. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004. 49. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.
Pollard, Hugh B. C. "Chapter XII: Pocket Pistols and Revolvers." The Book of the Pistol and Revolver. 1917. Reprint. Sportsman’s Vintage Press. © 2016 Default copyright text. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.
Giordano, Ralph G. Fun and Games in Twentieth-Century America: A Historical Guide to Leisure. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2003, p. 76. Print.
Giordano, p. 106.
"Miscellaneous Nostrums: Nuxated Iron." Nostrums and Quackery; Articles on the Nostrum Evil and Quackery Reprinted From the Journal of the American Medical Association. v. 2. Ed. Arthur Joseph,Cramp. Chicago : Press of American Medical Association, 1921, p. 536. Internet Archive.org Web. 30 August 2016.
"John Willys." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 20. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 408. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
"Hudson Motor Car Company." Wikipedia. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.
Corbett, R. Patrick. "Harry D. Weed, inventor, developed the first tire chains." The Post-Standard. syracuse.com. October 13, 2011. 21 Nov. 2016.
Shrock, Joel. “Leisure Activities.” The Gilded Age. Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 2004, 118-120. Print.
Shrock, p. 232.
"S/S Grosser Kurfürst, Norddeutscher Lloyd." Norway Heritage. Copyright 1997—2016. © Norway Heritage. Web. 7 Sept. 2016.
"Philadelphia Zoological Gardens". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Last Updated: 8-20-1999. Web. 07 Sept. 2016.
"Ty Cobb Stats, Fantasy & News." MLB.com. © 2016 MLB Advanced Media, LP. All rights reserved. Web. 29 August 2016.
Ginsburg, Daniel. "Ty Cobb." Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). © SABR. All Rights Reserved. Web. 29 August 2016.
"Jess Willard." Wikipedia. Web. 30 August 2016.
"Grover Cleveland Alexander." National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Cooperstown, NY © BHOF All Rights Reserved. Web. 30 August 2016.
"Empire State Express." Wikipedia. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.
"History of the North German Lloyd Steamship Line (1911)." G G Archives. Copyright © 2000-2016 Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives. All rights reserved. Web. 7 Sept. 2016.
"The idea that famous people, and ordinary citizens, could nelp sell products through endorsements was a long-standing one, although such ads were not much used outside of the patent medicine industry." [Seagrave]
" . . . Automobiles represented effortless speed, coupled with privacy and the ability to travel without being limited to the routes and schedules of public conveyances." [Volti]
" . . . The pocket revolver should either be hammerless or devoid of projections to catch in the pocket or clothes when drawing the arm. The hammerless pistol has the additional advantage of being safe against accidental discharge, as it cannot fall upon its hammer and so fire the cartridge. . . " [Pollard]
". . . new designs introduced luxurious dining and sleeping accomodation to lure wealthy travelers, and first-class was considered the best way to travel." [Giordano]
"The short cruises offered all of the appeal and amenities of the long ocean voyages to Europe without the expense and extended travel time." [Giordano]