born in 1842: a history of advertising

 Born in 1842: A History of Advertising is a really fun and exciting compilation of ads from 1842 to present.  Pages are vibrantly packed with ads and photographs with succinct descriptions next to them.  You learn of the evolution of advertising but also the historical contexts – “why that kind of ad appeared when” sort of thing.  There’s not much to summarize for the book so I’ll write it says on the back cover:

“This is an apple.  It is maybe the ultimate apple symbol. But it’s somehow more than an apple.  It’s an apple that carries with it the feeling of desire.  This is a notion that has been associated with the apple since the Garden of Eden.  But more than that – in contrast to Eve’s apple, which was a natural fruit – this is concocted to be more than just an everyday apple.  This is a fashionable apple, even crunchier and more tempting in its sugar coat.  This is a popular apple.  The apple of fairs, playgrounds, and Wurlitzer music.  This is an apple that believes in progress: the little stick on which it is perched makes it easier to eat and more sophisticated than its orchard companion.  The apple, advertising, progress – it is all a bit the same story.  We are all moved by the desire for what we don’t have.  We never get it, of course.  But trying make the world go round.”

dee’s rec: 5/5