Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » How to Compile a Spam List, 1910

How to Compile a Spam List, 1910

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 16, 2010

From the Juvenile Instructor, November 1910 —



  1. I had to read the fine print to understand.

    It is an unusual approach, but I guess if you’re a mail-order only company, and telephone directories only list 10% of the population, it might be a profitable approach.

    I know they had “city directories” in the days before phones. Did “county directories” not exist? (Imagine what West’s would have done with Census data…

    Comment by Clark — November 16, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  2. There are Utah gazetteers all through the 19-aughts and -teens, and I would expect for other places, that listed all the farmers in each county as well as whatever merchants there were in every little berg in the state. Maybe there was so much profit on each watch that they weren’t really looking for addresses, but only to sell more watches by making it appear as if you were saving money? I mean, the difference in work between scraping together 100 names and 200 names without compiled lists would be phenomenal — who knows that many people (absent FB)? who would work that hard to save the extra dollar? Don’t know, just speculating.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 16, 2010 @ 10:15 am

  3. Wool garment, NO!!!! Are they talking about “garments,” or just garments?

    Comment by Aaron Brooks — November 16, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  4. Aaron, in this case I think they’re referring only to ordinary, unmarked long johns for winter wear, mostly because the advertisements for LDS garments from the same era are more explicit.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 16, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  5. #3 made me laugh out loud. Only in the world of Mormondom.

    Comment by Clark — November 16, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  6. I’m wondering about what the difference is between the “$5.00 Wool Garment” and the “$2.50 Wool Garment”. Once when I bought some sod for adding additional lawn when I lived in Utah (I’ve forgotten the exact price for now, so this is all approximate), the nursery had 40 cents a square foot sod, 25 cents a square foot sod, and 10 cents a square foot sod. They all looked alike to me, so I finally asked somebody. After some doublespeak about grass varieties and stuff on the more expensive sod, I pinned him down on the 10 cent sod. “Well, that sod is pretty much dried out, and will be dead within two weeks. But you’d be surprised at how many people buy it.” I bought the 25 cent sod.

    Comment by kevinf — November 16, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  7. Wouldn’t they end up with a bunch of “mostly the same with varriations” lists? I Wonder if anyone ever tore out a few pages of the City Directory and sent that in.

    Comment by J paul — November 16, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

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