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You will find in our archives, exact dates for some of this research.
Do you recall when our local library Summit County Public Main Branch was renovated? It was about 2001 and for over 2 years the library was housed in an old supermarket. During this time, I spend 2 to 4 hours a day in the historical section making copies and doing research.
The Summit County Library has some unique collections due mainly to the contest between the Rubber Companies, founders built mansions, have parks named after them and donated books, and MOOLAH galore during the early 20th century.
Thank you Goodyears (Seiberlings) Firestones, etc., etc. and their contributions made Akron one of the richest small cities in America.
Point being, I used that time to dive very deeply into mail order, advertising, marketing and have a bent for local history, it was enjoyable research for me.
Never intended to do anything with it, for my own edification...but as I am going over notes and Marie Kondo ing my life...thought it might be time to share some of these secrets.
Akron was the early days Chicago, pre steel, and shortly after the Erie Canal was built. The area was the Oats Capital and I've told the story many times about Quaker Oats and how they developed some of the many marketing vehicles which were BREAKTHROUGH. It has a long history of Remote Direct Marketing and so it is no surprise the likes of Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, Ben Suarez, Gary Taylor, Bud Weckesser and many others have originated from the area.
I got my start with KRISTEE PRODUCTS, and you may remember my story with that, started as a courier/seed, collecting offers (promotions) which had been sent to customers whose name had been rented.
Back then, pre Harvey Brody computer list management, there was a lot of misuse of mailing lists. So a Remote Direct Marketer like the long established Kristee Products had a big list and rented it out. They were keyed, and I would buy stuff with their money, have it sent to various local addresses and then pick it up...and often be allowed to keep the product.
It was a great gig and I was fascinated with the Mail Order aspect, having been a door to door salesperson of some of their catalog stuff prior to that.
Anyhow, it changed ownership during this time, the founder retired and the marketing guy, a long time employee took over and started doing workshops and seminars, which is where I first encountered Gary Halbert.
This early work in the business gave me sort of an inside view and then I found out about the little one man bands which were doing great selling INFORMATION. Kristee sold products and I got a peek at how that supply chain worked.
Now about the same time Mid 60's, my Aunt Nelle worked for Sidney Olson who had a camera shop on State Rd and also an electronics business with his brother...Olson Electronics grew pretty big in the 1970's. I worked at the Chapel Hill Mall store.
But as a teen, I was able to go into the warehouse, now a building on Akron U campus and pick out returned kits and such for free, it was less than a mile from Kristee. Now Olson Electronics had a huge mail order division as well as the many stores.
So you see, I was sort of immersed in the mail order business unknowingly. It was just something that evolved and only because of family mostly, people knowing people and those people knowing people type thing.
There is the backdrop.
I'll post up some more history as well as reveal one of the biggest secrets of copywriting...
if anyone is interested, that is.
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