Tag Archives: advertisements

National Electric Week

Electricity is something we take for granted today. No longer do we mostly survive on candles, with only a few lucky people able to afford electricity; now just about everyone has electricity and fancy scented candles are the luxury! Electricity came to Pittsboro in 1922, and almost  forty years later this celebration of National Electric Week ran in the Chatham Record. Click on the image below to read a larger version.

From February 9, 1961:

Don’t miss the “odd fact” in the upper left! Also, it’s a little late for Valentine’s Day references, but I couldn’t help but leave in the cheery ad for Roberts Jewelry & Soda Shop.


Tobacco Advertising

We all know that tobacco advertising laws have changed drastically over the years due to the impact of smoking on health; first tobacco was banned from television and radio advertising, then restrictions were placed on print advertising. Having grown up in this world of ever decreasing tobacco advertising, I was thrown when I suddenly came across this gigantic ad for Camels cigarettes in a 1904 Chatham Record edition. Today, tobacco companies are technically not allowed to take endorsements or testimonials from athletes, making this ad doubly unusual:

The New York Public Library hosted an exhibit in 2008, “Not a Cough in the Car”, displaying tobacco advertising from the 1920s through 1950s. You can see some of the ads featured here on the Time Magazine website – very interesting, and a little disturbing to see babies and Santa Claus promoting cigarettes!

Advertising for Education

It’s hard to believe that the University of North Carolina once needed to advertise, but the proof is here – the July 14th, 1904 issue of the Chatham Record held this little advertisement for the Fall 1904 term. It lists free tuition for teachers and preacher’s sons, plus the bonus incentives of water and central heat. An ad for the Peace Institute was right nearby.





In 1904, UNC had 620 students and 67 instructors; today, the university boast almost 30,000 students and over 3,200 full-time faculty. The Peace Institute in Raleigh is one of the oldest all-female colleges; it later became Peace College, and this coming fall it will transition to co-ed and become William Peace University. It’s amazing to see how things have changed, and continue to do so!

1919: A Bad Year for Women?

Apparently 1919 was a rough time for women; after browsing through years and years worth of Chatham Record issues, I hit 1919 and suddenly was bombarded by ads for “women’s tonics”. Was there something in the air that year? Did one person develop a “miracle cure” and it was quickly replicated by everyone looking to make a quick buck? Click on the images below to read more about these super tonics that claim to cure everything from cramps to madness!

Jelly, Inflation, and More Miraculous Medications

This little section from a 1937 issue of the Chatham Record contains several interesting tidbits. I love old recipes and cooking techniques, and the first thing you’ll notice about this excerpt is the article on troubleshooting your homemade jelly. I’ll admit that I’ve never made jelly at home, but this article sure makes it sound like an exact science! If you’re up for a new project and have never tried making jelly, this article should get you off to a good old-fashioned start. Click the article to see a larger version. (…more below the image)

I also found it fun and somewhat horrifying to read this list of grocery prices, though admittedly, a world in which ice cream costs twenty cents is not a world I need to live in. Also, don’t miss the advertisement in the bottom right – “Rub-My-Tism” is apparently the world’s best liniment!

Freedom for Women!

This advertisement in the Chatham Record from August 1937 calls for a very different brand of freedom and independence for women than we might be used to!

Thinking about the time period, I can see how all electric appliances would come as a relief for the career homemaker; and here I am, unable to live without my electric tea kettle. How spoiled we are now!

Your Yearly Fruitcake

Hop in your time machines, people, you don’t want to miss this amazing offer from the National Biscuit Company! From November 24th, 1922:

That’s right, all the fruitcake you can taste! Try all the amazing varieties! Remember, you aren’t just choosing a holiday snack – you’re picking out a family heirloom that with be with your loved ones for years…and years…and years to come!

Or, if your time machine is malfunctioning at the moment, support some of the great local businesses around Chatham County for real, edible, delicious fruitcake that will never be re-gifted…because it’ll be gone.

Say, friend – you got any more of that good sarsaparilla?

From August 3, 1899:

Are you ever depressed?

And it is not due to nervous exhaustion? Things always look so much brighter when we are in good health. How can you have courage when suffering with headache, nervous prostration, and great physical weakness?

Would you not like to be rid of this depression of spirits? How? By removing the cause. By taking Ayer’s Sarsaparilla.

It gives activity to all parts that carry away useless and poisonous materials from your body. It removes the cause of your suffering, because it removes all impurities from your Mood. Send for our book on Nervousness.

For when the Cascarets just don’t cut it anymore. . .

Good for what ails you

In April 1899, the following ad appeared in The Chatham Record:


“Both my wife and myself have been using CASCARETS and they are the best medicine we have ever had in the house. Last week my wife was frantic with headache for two days. She tried some of your CASCARETS and they relieved the pain in her head almost immediately. We both recommend Cascarets.”

Sounds like good stuff, no?  The following week, another ad for Cascarets appeared, but this time is was for a different ailment:


“I have been using CASCARETS for Insomnia, with which I have been afflicted for over twenty years, and I can say that Cascarets have given me more relief than any other remedy I have ever tried.”

Wow! This stuff cure headaches and insomnia!  But wait – there’s more.  The following week, yet another ad for Carscarets turned up. Guess what else it’s good for?


“. . . My daughter and I were bothered with sick stomach and our breath was very bad. After taking a few drops of Cascarets we have improved wonderfully. They are a great help in the family.”

OK, so my headache is gone, my insomnia is cured, and my breath smells like sweet violets.  But what about my unfortunate complexion?


“My wife had pimples on her face, but she has been taking CASCARETS and they have all disappeared.”

Wonderful stuff! I would get up and order some Cascarets right now if only I weren’t feeling so sluggish.

What’s that? Cascarets can do something for that, too?


“I have been troubled a great deal with a turpid liver, which produces constipation. I found CASCARETS to be all you claim for them and I secured such relief the first trial, that I purchased another supply and was completely cured.”

And if you think this week’s ad is a bit too personal, hang on to your hat. A week later, the following ad offered yet another use for those amazing little tablets:


“A tape worm eighteen feet long at least came upon the scene after my taking two CASCARETS. This I am sure has caused my bad health for the past three years.”

Yep. That would do it.

The Record promotes the Record

1878 – 1886. The Record, established eight years ago, is now a permanent institution, and deserves the encouragement of every citizen of Chatham County. It not only keeps the people of Chatham thoroughly informed as to all their county affairs, but also gives the latest and fullest news from all parts of North Carolina and the United States.

That encouragement must have worked, because another 125 years later, The Record is still going strong.