Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Victorian Shoes and Advertising Cards

In the late 19th century, advertising cards were one of the best ways to get people to take notice of your business. My great grandfather Charles Hicks, like Jacob Stolz, had cards for his Syracuse, New York shoe store; my great grandfather's was in Brooklyn. My grandmother was born in the apartment above the store in 1889, so I've always been very aware of his store. She used to talk about it when I was growing up. His father had invented something to do with children's shoes, she said, but he lost the patent in a card game and the family never forgave him. I'm still trying to figure out what it was that he invented!

Riding in Central Park
A lot of Victorian business cards had pictures totally unrelated to the business - my great grandfather had a picture of a train set that he had in the front window for Christmas, for example. I like Jacob Stolz's card for giving us a peek at the inside of the store - look at all those boots hanging up! And the customer seems to be in riding pants -I guess he was going to go riding, wherever you went in Syracuse. In New York City, you'd go to Central Park.

Now, if you have a business, you have so many more ways to let people know what you have to offer the world - whether it be riding boots and shoes "constantly on hand" or anything else, for that matter. The internet, of course, is the first resource you'll look to - and it is an amazingly powerful one. Since 1996, Superb Internet Corp. has offered managed hosting, dedicated servers and colocation centers for storing your business hardware in a secure and excellent place. All things that my great grandfather, with his shoe store cards full of colored pictures of model trains, never dreamed of.

[Images from Wikimedia Commons.]

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