100 Years Ago: Advertisements on Campus, Spring 1914

Advertisements presented to WU students one-hundred years ago differed somewhat from those today, but in many ways they seem familiar.

Featured below are various advertisements, from Student Life and The Hachet, dating to the spring of 1914 at Washington University.

Coca-cola,  Anheuser-Busch, and other beverage companies constantly advertised to college students — no surprise there.


“College Friendships” Coca-cola ad from Student Life



“For Appetite, Health, and Vigor” Anheuser-Busch Malt-Nutrine ad, from The Hatchet yearbook

In 1914, cigarette ads were prominent in the pages of WU publications such as Student Life. Each brand touted its benefits for health, socialization, and relaxation.  Now, in 2014, WU students study tobacco’s influence on society — including the effects of advertisements.

(below) Advertisements for Bull Durham tobacco and Fatima cigarettes

Tuxedo-tobacco-1914 velvet-tobacco-1914

(Above) Tuxedo tobacco and Velvet tobacco ads from 1914.

The Hammond Multiplex typewriter, first produced in 1913, was touted in Student Life.  While perhaps not quite the same as a shiny 21st century laptop or tablet, Hammond offered the latest technological innovations of one-hundred years ago.  Features included two sets of “INSTANTLY INTERCHANGEABLE” type, and the ability to use a reverse cartridge moving from right to left  for Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Persian, or other “oriental” languages.


If you were graduating from University’s School of Dental Medicine and needed furniture to start your practice, The Harvard Company were among those competing for your business.  Ads such as this (below) for dental furniture were a regular feature in The Hatchet


And while the services and styles have changed, even one-hundred years ago, phones and clothes were popular purchases for college students:


The Southwestern Telephone and Telegraph services company advertised in The Hatchet.


Ads for a local St. Louis store, Jamerson Clothes Shop, appeared in the Student Life newspaper.

About the author

Miranda Rectenwald is Curator of Local History, Washington University Special Collections. More info.