Posts Tagged ‘Advert’

A safety cutter

December 16, 2014

From about 1985 to about 2005 I used to attend computer and technology shows. Sometimes this was in connection with work. Sometimes it was work for on occasion I helped man technical advice stands and sometimes it was just a leisure and pleasure day out. Sometimes an equally childish friend and I had competitions to see who could scrounge the best freebies out of stand holders. I reckon I had an advantage for I wrote for a couple of computer magazines and plenty of software publishers knew me and were keen to make sure I stayed on side.

But sometimes a company found an interesting way to get a message across. Netnanny would like to make the internet safe for children, protecting them from things it is deemed better they shouldn’t come across. So their message is one of safety and at one show they were promoting that message with a safety paper cutter. Mine is actually well used and shows signs of age. It’s a great little freebie.

This little plastic wallet houses their cutter.


The cutter itself looks just like a piece of plastic, carrying a web address.


Yes, that piece of plastic allows easy cutting of a sheet of paper. More or less under the http of the address there is a miniscule blade. It will go through one piece of paper, but not two.


Drag it across the paper as shown and it will cut it, leaving the piece underneath more or less unmarked.

You can drag it along the edge of a ruler for a straight cut or use it freehand if you wish to do something more artistic.

What a cunning little freebie – and it works as an advert. I think the device is useful and I am bringing it to the attention of the readers. But it is up to you whether you are interested in the product advertised. I neither endorse it nor do whatever the opposite is. It isn’t for me to tell others how to run their lives.

But the little cutter really is safe.


William Hall advertises

November 6, 2013

William Hall was a great grandfather and he was based in and around Redruth and Camborne in Cornwall. I wrote about him briefly back in July with a news report of his funeral.

William was born into a mining family in 1844. He first saw the light of day at Kehelland, a pretty little village just outside Camborne. His dad died in 1851 and his family history gets a bit confused after that because miners, including, in time, William, travelled the world in search of fame and fortune – or just a bare existence.

In 1861 William was a miner at Grinfer, Illogan.

He is missing from the 1871 census but we think he may have been a gold miner in the state of Michigan, USA at the time of their 1870 census.

In 1876 William was back in Cornwall, marrying Grace Williams at Illogan. William’s occupation is given as miner on the marriage certificate. He lived at West Tolgus.

But in 1881 William was a draper at 69, Fore Street in Redruth and in 1882 he placed an advert in the local Cornubian Newspaper.


When we first found this advert, almost by chance, we were thrilled. We were scanning old Cornubians for births marriages and deaths, using a film reader and suddenly an advert for great grandfather’s shop appeared. I took a photo of the screen and that’s what you see here.

Unsurprisingly, there were more adverts in 1883.


Business was doing OK, we assume, as William was advertising not only his stock, but also he wanted an apprentice.

Let’s look at another from 1883. This one has the date on it.


There are more adverts, but maybe we’ll save them for another occasion.

William died in 1907 so we never knew him and none of his grandchildren knew him. Somehow these adverts helped to add real interest to a man who was just dates beforehand.

And as you can see you can get tolerable images by photographing fiche and film reader screens. These were taken back in 2003 when I used a 1.3mpixel camera which, incidentally, still delivers good photographs.

An enamel advert

June 5, 2013

When we lived in Devizes, we bought a railway line.

This was not the whole length of a line, but rather about 40 feet of it. And it was a line where rails had long since ceased to be. The Devizes line had been one of Dr Beeching’s closures in the 1960s. A group of us were able to buy the bits of line behind ten houses. British Railways would not consider selling a shorter length.

From our little twenty feet square back garden, the railway dropped down into a small cutting. The ballast was still there, so nothing would grow on that. We were impoverished and so we decided to just fling the soil we had into the cutting, to a depth enabling plants to grow. We moved a lot of soil and made a pretty garden – still at two levels, with a rockery and a nice flight of steps down the slope.

But in soil moving, an old enamel advertising sign was uncovered. Perhaps it had been on nearby Pans Lane Halt although that seems unlikely. The problem arose of what to do with it. In my youthful judgement, I deemed it too far gone to be of any value and it advertised tobacco – always something I loathed. There was no way I wanted to display a rusted away old advert for a tobacco product. So, I took a photo of it.


Then I reburied it.

Westward Ho! was a brand of tobacco made by Wills. Apparently there is a passage in Charles Kingsley’s book, Westward Ho! Which praises tobacco so Wills took the name?

I’d now love to know when the stuff sold for 4d per ounce. I believe the brand may have existed since 1880. Certainly I found that the medical journal, The Lancet, carried an advert for Westward Ho! In its May 1880 edition.

I have also found an advert in a 1910 New Zealand paper which gave a price of 1/3 (15 pence) for 2 ounces – nearly twice the price on the sign but across the other side of the world.

But what of the age of this advert? I just don’t know.