Early Advertising

Selection of advertising modes current from early times until the height of the industrial revolution.

Though mass production and international marketing companies as we know them are post industrial revolution phenomena, word of mouth advertising, and makers' logos on e.g. ceramic containers, armour etc. existed from earliest times.

Written signs advertising shops and brothels are sometimes found on Ancient Roman and some Medieval buildings, particularly inns and pubs.

Written signs depend on a literate populace for their effectiveness. Symbolic hanging signs, such as pawnbrokers' three golden spheres, and large, painted wooden models of spectacles, boots, pestle and mortar etc. hanging outside trading establishments, informed the illiterate.

Pedlars and hawkers had their own cries, and ditties that they shouted or sang in the streets - "cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!" being a famous example. Shouting the name of the newspaper is still a current practise for streetcorner newspaper vendors.