Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Ads Brigham Young Might Have Seen

Ads Brigham Young Might Have Seen

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 29, 2011

Maybe this should be marked as Utah history; in 1874, it’s hard to draw the line between Mormon and Utah history. That’s the year a new state gazeteer and directory was printed.

It’s amazing to me to see the progress of the community — twenty-seven years after the first pioneers reached the valley, luxury goods and specialty services and every kind of staple known to 1874 were available in the Valleys of the Mountains. Some of the advertising shows that the Saints were no longer completely in control of their new homeland. And while fine manufactured goods (pianos, and the continent’s best wagons) are a significant part of the economy, so too are such raw materials as hides, fur, wool, and ore.














  1. Boy. If I ever tumble through time and end up then and hope to find a “graphic designer” job, I’d better brush up on my typography.

    Comment by SilverRain — April 29, 2011 @ 7:42 am

  2. I love how when they are selling pianos and organs they put a giant picture of a building on the ad.

    “Ohh, what an imposing structure…I’ll bet their pianos sound divine.”

    Comment by MMM — April 29, 2011 @ 9:07 am

  3. The ice cream saloon is a totally under-rated establishment.

    Comment by J. Stapley — April 29, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  4. I like the store that sells bedding and coffins: Bed, Bath, & Beyond fer shur!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 29, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  5. Ardis,

    Great memories of the commercial past of Utah. I especially appreciate the Cardon Bro’s jewelry and photography ad. The business was still active in LOgan into the 1950’s. It was started by Thomas Cardon, a unique Mormon Civil War (and Utah War) veteran. He was a convert from Northern Italy and came to Utah with his immigrant family in 1854. For some reason, he enlisted as a bugler in the Tenth Infantry at Camp Floyd in 1858. He enlisted as Thomas Gordon, either because of his poor english or as an army error. He met a french Corporal, Eugene LeRoy, who helped him with his english and taught him something about watchmaking.

    Just before the Civil War started, he applied for a discharge but it was not final in 1861 when his regiment marched east to battle in Virginia. He was seriously wounded in the 1862 Peninsula Campaign and sent to a convalescent hospital in Alexandria, Virgina. He was there seven months and given a disability discharge and a pension of ten dollars a month for life on February 23, 1863. He spent some time in Washington and then went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he worked for a photographer and learned that trade.

    By 1865, he was in Nebraska City and moved back to Utah in 1867, joining his family in Logan where he opened the shop represented by the advertisement. At the time of the ad, he would have still been the proprieter. He lived an active life right up to his death in 1898. The shop is now gone but his posterity is prominent in Cache Valley today.

    My research indicates he was the only Mormon who served in the regular U.S. Army in the “Utah War” and the Civil War and returned to Utah.

    Comment by CurtA — April 29, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  6. Thanks, Curt — I had no idea of his background!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 29, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  7. “Furniture, Bedding — and coffins” (just in case you’d like to sleep for a really long time!)

    Comment by Paul — April 29, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  8. In the Central Pacific ad, is the “Yo Semite” an ethnic slur? I don’t think I’ve ever seen Yosemite as two words before.

    I wondered as well if the “Wm. Clayton, Notary and Conveyancer” was our familiar William Clayton, musician, composer, and pioneer diarist extraordinaire, or a relative, or not related at all?

    Copy writing as a profession must have been not much fun. I noticed in the Arcade Chop House the use of the phrase “the undersigned have just fixed up the above named establishment, where will be served up to order, on short notice and in fine style…”

    I’m assuming it must be a restaurant serving steaks?

    Comment by kevinf — April 29, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  9. Good stuff — thanks!

    Comment by David Y. — April 29, 2011 @ 2:58 pm



    Comment by Ray — April 29, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  11. Yo! Semite!

    Sounds like a late-80s band of rapping rabbis or something.

    Comment by Chad Too — April 30, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

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