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The First Car Ad, 1898

first car ad

WASHINGTON -- July 28, 2014: Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile America — Monday, July 28th. The nation's love affair with automobiles is generations old, and our devotion can be traced down through the decades by looking at advertising, as cars progressed from romantic if noisy new playthings to a daily necessity. The first known national ad about a car appeared at the end of July 1898 in the Scientific American magazine for the Winton Motor Carriage with the headline "dispense with a horse." Americans did just that, and competing car companies increased spending on advertising. By 1906, 57 car companies spent over a half million dollars advertising in 12 national magazines. Today, cars and trucks are a major part of the nearly $107 billion spent last year at advertising's 13,000 establishments.