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History of whatever.... If you can't afford Porcelain then we have just what you want
His name is well known.
Josia WEDGWOOD. He was a potter and Entrepreneur.
In the Colonial times in USA, and up through our independence, Josia was working away perfecting his craft of making near fine earthenware for the emerging upper middle class.
Sure, Kings, Queens and the whole of upper crust society had China, Porcelain from China...it was one of the major imports of the time for the wealthy.
But there was DEMAND for nice tableware, and Josia filled in nicely. He is considered by many people as being the father of "modern" marketing having developed such concepts as direct mail, money back guarantees, self-service, free delivery, buy one get one free, and illustrated catalogues.
His early catalogues, like those of Sears and Ward, were simply ONE PAGE HOTSHEETS.
His company, shortly after the Revolution, was one of the largest Exporters to the new USA, and demand soared.
We have European Royalty to thank for knock offs, emulations, simulations...you may not be able to get your hands on Ming Dynasty Pottery, but you could get Wedgwood, a symbol of success as much as a Rolex became eons ago. Actually, it did become a Royal Brand, thanks to Queen Charlotte and once she gave her "seal of approval", Wedgwood became the de facto china of royalty.
Now Josia was also in the printing game, and used a process which is known as transferware, and is quite the collectible today.
But all this is history, what I discovered was his meticulous bookkeeping of buyers. One of the first Entrepreneurs to develop MAILING LISTS, and then send out back-end offers. Ben Franklin knew of Josia's work, and it was reported, he may have brokered deals (for a FINDER'S FEE) between Wedgwood and American distributors.
Anyhow, that is some history. Fast forward to post American Civil War, and the building of the Railroad system, one of the great successes/boondoggles (or ClusterFx) of the 19th century.
But the real significance of the Golden Spike on May 10, 1869 wasn't the joining of the coasts...it was the ability to SELL stuff remotely, to any place in America...as Montgomery Ward began to do in 1872, just 3 years later after organizing suppliers in Chicago and his first catalog was a HOTSHEET, with 112 items and prices on a 8 x 12 sheet of paper.
Then came Richard Sears, who made his first real money selling watches, and one TIMING factor involved in his success (we seldom talk about timing) was the introduction of TIME ZONES, and many of his customers lived close to the line, so pocket watches soared, seldom mentioned in history.
Sears then secured suppliers and issued his own HOTSHEET, and with a decade the two companies grew at Facebook/Amazon speed, mainly because they could then DELIVER the goods via railroad to anyone in the country.
Now a part of the history few discover is; the hundreds of employees who had the job of tracking the customers, what they bought and sending out follow up offers. We read a lot about the early days of copywriting and all these geniuses, but many got their start at either Sears or Wards writing copy for these direct mail giants.
For several decades LISTS were maintained by hand, on cards, often 4 x 6 cards, and new purchases were added to the card, a crude system for identifying buyers was added.
Then came Herman Hollerith and his success with punch hole cards used in the Census of 1890, showing his tabulating machine did work for keeping data...it wasn't long before several companies were formed and then combined and what emerged was IBM, and an interesting side note, it was IBM punch cards used in Nazi Germany to keep tabs on the Jews, and this part of history has often been swept under the carpets where T. Watson is concerned.
But, back to lists. PUNCH cards became the way to manage list and coupled with modern printing, we came into the pressure label used for the last 100 years. Modern computers and mailing lists weren't much of a thing until a few of the Direct Marketers which exploded in the 1950's and 60's had need for maintaining control of their customer lists.
Enter Harvey Brody. He was one of the first people to offer mailing list controls and supervision. With a computer program partner he revolutionized the mailing list industry and many fortunes came along.
After I post this, I'm going to shine some light on a promotion, lists and secret words of almost automatic response,
Last edited by GordonJ : February 24, 2021 at 03:30 PM.
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