In the days before TV advertising, the printed word was far more powerful and well used. Small format advertisements were widely placed in all manner of local publications, from football matches through County Shows, race meetings, local papers, and in support of all manner of local activities.

This is the oldest advert in my archive, from a local theatre programme in Plymouth of 1897.

Here is a small selection of later versions:


Posters, hoardings and even painting the sides of buildings also had greater importance before today’s focus on TV and on-line ads.