Hump, There It Is!

Product: DeLong Hook and Eye
Date: 1896

This ad reminds me of nothing so much as the Victorian equivalent of “SEX! ha ha. Now that we have your attention…”

1896 hook and eye ad

Why else use those two strange words called out in large letters: approximately and hump. Does Approximately hump make any sense as a sentence? No. Does it speak of hook and eyes? No, not really. Does the sentence starting with approximately even make sense?

Approximately the cut below represents the DeLong Hooks and Eyes.

Nope, no sense at all.

But you’ve got hand it to the designer — it certainly is an attention grabber.

And I haven’t even mentioned the clean, uncrowded layout with lots of white space (this during a time when it was common practice to cram your ads with as much copy as possible) and the simple, yet elegant diagram demonstrating the Dramatic Difference of the product.

From the text, we can surmise that randomly popping hooks were quite a problem for well-dressed ladies of the day. Oh my.

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One Response to “Hump, There It Is!”

  1. Jim on September 20th, 2009 4:17 am

    In the days of lead type a “cut” was a separate engraving of an illustration or halftone photo – given that though, the language is still pretty klunky to our ears. Interesting site!

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