Daily Archives: May 25, 2011

As good coal as I can buy

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Albany Citizen coal ad 1909.png

Ah, for the bronze age of advertising, when advertisers begged your leave to inform you of something, and then politely stated their case John T.D. Blackburn of 108 North Pearl Street in Albany wanted you to know he wasn’t holding out the good stuff: you would get as good coal as he could buy. And that you would get as good service as could be had. And that you would be doing business with a progressive, up-to-date concern. If someone in the coal business tried to present himself as progressive today, it would have to include carbon capture and sequestration. I suspect when this ad ran in 1909, it simply meant he didn’t whip the hired help or the horses, and that the 12-year-old boys working in the coal yard were given half of every Sunday off, and all day Christmas.