‘Crispness Compels Mastication’

From a 1907 Good Housekeeping advertisement for shredded wheat cereal:

vintage ad shredded wheat cereal


Can you imagine an ad for cereal today using a phrase like ‘its crispness compels mastication?’ That is one of the things that always strikes me about ads of yesteryear- the advanced vocabulary, as well as the text heavy focus. This one is actually on the scant side. Frequently, the advertisements use plays on words and quotes that indicate they were written for a readership familiar with Tennyson, Wordsworth, Dickens, and other greats we typically would expect would only be familiar to AP students, English majors, and fusty librarians.

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