Advertising may be the ideal mirror of our popular culture.  All our fantasies, values, and desires are ultimately reflected in our advertising.  It shows advances in media, technology, and medicine, and changes in our language and daily life.  In the United States, advertising is so intertwined with popular culture and language that its hard to say which came first, the need for a product or that product's promotion.

An example of the value of vintage signs is a early twentieth century lithographed Chiclets gum sign from 1879 worth $8,500.

These signs will only increase in value!

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America has always been the land of the best next thing, from the time Columbus set out to seek a more lucrative trade route to the Indies to the Gold Rush prospectors to immigrants hoping for a new start and a better way of life.  With the coming of industrialization and new technologies in the nineteenth century, the race for bigger, better, faster, and stronger was definitely on. 

From the late nineteenth century until today, America has offered a particularly fertile soil for advertising, a specialty that arose to fulfill (and often create) the need for commercial products and services.  It did this by unrelentingly persuading Mr. and Mrs. Householder that this soap, or that cereal, gasoline, scouring powder, brand of children's shoes, or headache remedy was essential to their happiness and well-being.

As the twentieth century unfolded, advertising followed many roads to mass merchandising.  Cartoon characters were born, sports celebrities turned into product spokespeople, and matinee idols lured millions to movie theaters and cigarette brands.  Dozens of automobile manufacturers raced to produce and sell better cars, and oil companies clamored to fuel them.  The late twenties brought radios into every living room (replaced in the 50s by TVs) and America willingly embraced every convenience and appliance that promised more free time.  Then, the job shortages during the Depression and the labor shortages created by World War II forced women to work outside the home.  Through all of this, advertising tracked every current, incorporating trends, and frequently, redefining the national taste. -Antique Roadshow Collectibles
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