Advertising In The Gilded Age

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Modern day America is an economic superpower. However, one and a half centuries ago, this was not the case. In the late 1800’s there was a large boom in terms of population and industrialization in the United States. From this stemmed many new technological innovations, innovations which could be applied to the creation of alluring products for the masses. This led to the rise of a prominent American consumer culture, which was a driving force in the great economic growth of the Gilded Age. During this time period, rapid expansion westward, centered around railroads (the total length of which doubled between 1865 and 1873) helped to expand markets and transport materials. Furthermore, there was no shortage of materials to transport and process. For example, the United States was producing four times as much crude iron as Britain by the year 1900. Due to this…show more content…
To get a glimpse into the effectiveness of advertisements during this period, one can inspect the brilliant advertising campaigns targeted at middle class women. The women were taking care of the home and would thus be most interested in many of the new household items for sale. The advertisements were meant to have consumers associate emotions and ideals with products. For example, The Kellogg Brothers and Charles Post both succeeded in making the American public associate cereal with healthy eating, and thus cereal became a staple of American eating (Eversole). In summary, there was a cyclical relationship between industrialization, innovation and consumer culture. Each of these aspects of the Gilded Age elevated the prominence of every other. Without the consumer culture, there would not have been nearly enough money being spent on the new products to justify inventing or producing more. The rise of consumer culture played an important role in the enormous economic boom of the Gilded Age, as it provided the demand for
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