The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910s by Ellen Gruber Garvey

The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910s

byEllen Gruber Garvey

Paperback | April 30, 1999

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How did advertising come to seem natural and ordinary to magazine readers by the end of the nineteenth century? The Adman in the Parlor explores readers' interactions with advertising during a period when not only consumption but advertising itself became established as a pleasure. Garveyargues that readers' participation in advertising, rather than top-down dictation by advertisers, made advertizing a central part of American culture. Garvey's analysis interweaves such texts and artifacts as advertising trade journals, magazines addressed to elite, middle class, and poorerreaderships, scrapbooks, medical articles, paper dolls, chromolithographed trade cards, and contest rules. She tracks new forms of fictional realism that contained brand name references, courtship stories, and other fictional forms. As magazines became dependant on advertising rather than sales for their revenues, women's magazines led the way in making consumers of readers through the interplay of fiction, editorials, and advertising. General magazines, too, saw little conflict between these different interests. Instead,advertising and fiction came to act on one another in complex, unexpected ways. Magazine stories illustrated the multiple desires and social meanings embodied in the purchase of a product. Garvey takes the bicycle as a case study, and tracks how magazines mediated among competing medical,commercial, and feminist discourses to produce an alluring and unthreatening model of women bicycling in their stories. Advertising formed the national vocabulary. At once invisible, familiar, and intrusive, advertising both shaped fiction of the period and was shaped by it. The Adman in the Parlor unearths the lively conversations among writers and advertisers about the new prevalence of advertising formass-produced, nationally distributed products.

About The Author

Ellen Gruber Garvey's involvement with periodicals began in her four years at Liberation News Service. She has taught American Studies and is now Assistant Professor of English at Jersey City State College.

Details & Specs

Title:The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910sFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.13 × 6.14 × 0.47 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195108221

ISBN - 13:9780195108224

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From Our Editors

How did advertising come to seem ordinary and even natural to turn-of-the-century magazine readers? The Adman in the Parlor explores readers' interactions with advertising during a period when not only consumption but advertising itself became established as a pleasure. Garvey's analysis interweaves such diverse texts and artifacts as advertising scrapbooks, chromolithographed trade cards and paper dolls, contest rules, and the advertising trade press. She argues that the readers' own participation in advertising, not top-down dictation by advertisers, made advertising a central part of American culture. As magazines became dependent on advertising rather than sales for their revenues, women's magazines led the way in turning readers into consumers through an interplay of fiction and advertising. General magazines, too, saw little conflict between editorial interests and advertising. Instead, advertising and fiction came to act on one another in complex, unexpected ways. Magazine stories illustrated the multiple desires and social meanings embodied in the purchase

Editorial Reviews

"This is a well-organized and well-written book. Garvey avoids jargon almost entirely yet clearly understands current gender and literary theory and methodology. This is a considerable achievement, given current academic practice....a valuable resource for museum professionals who organizeexhibitions and programs about advertising, magazines, the history of women, and the Victorian era in the United States."--Winterthur Portfolio