Vintage Ads from Appalachia 1875 - 1925

Have you ever wondered what ads an ancestor might have seen while reading the morning paper? Love them or hate them, advertisements are important windows into society. Ads tell us about particular time periods and what kind of dreams manufacturers or companies wanted to sell or perpetuate. Just like in our 21st century, companies made sure the “idea of a thing” registered in the minds of readers, from the latest beauty products and miracle cures to kitchen appliances and automobiles.

Take a look at some of the hot products of way back when (1875 – 1925). Some of these will undoubtedly cause a cringe or two and a chuckle. Be warned. In today’s world, some of the following may be offensive.


Banking and Finance






Food and Drink




House and Home


Personal Care and Beauty




And, for the big finale . . .



These advertisements came from the following papers through Southeast edition:

  • The Birmingham Iron Age (AL)
  • The Birmingham News (AL)
  • Interior Journal (KY)
  • Mountain Advocate (KY)
  • Mount Vernon Signal (KY)
  • The Citizen, Berea (KY)
  • The Richmond Climax (KY)
  • The Winona Times (MS)
  • Chattanooga Daily Times (TN)
  • The Chattanooga News (TN)
  • Johnson City Chronicle (TN)
  • The Journal and Tribune (TN)
  • Knoxville Sentinel (TN)
  • Press and Messenger (TN)
  • The Morristown Gazette (TN)
  • The Wheeling Daily (WV)
  • Bluefield Evening Leader (WV)
  • The Clarksburg Telegram (WV)
  • Shepherdstown Register (WV)
  • The Fairmont (WV)
  • The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer (WV)
  • The Weston Democrat
  • Greenbrier Independent


**Featured image from Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes, 1877, unknown artist – Old Book Illustrations


  1. What a fascinating journey. Thank you for the hard work and research for discovering and revealing these artifacts!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed them! I thought they were so interesting. I always come across these little ads when I’m doing research and thought it would be neat to share.

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