No Checking Required: An Early Credit Offer From Diners’ Club

By Ray Schultz

It’s hard to picture in this age of instant credit approvals and payment by smartphone. But in 1962, Diners’ Club sent out this offer in a Time magazine envelope without much prior checking:

This invitation is extended to

(Blank for name)

by Mr. Allred Bloomingdale, President


Your credit standing and financial rating have placed you on the select list of individuals to whom we are limiting the mailing of this invitation for Diners’ Club membership.

We hope you will take a moment to review some of the advantages of membership outlined in this folder and decide to fill out and mail your application today.

The enclosed application is transferable to members of your immediate family or associates sharing your business responsibilities, if you now have a Diners’ Club Credit Card.

Sounds a little loosey-goosey, doesn’t it? But remember: In 1962, Diners’ Club was only 12 years old, and American Express less than half that. Diners’ Club must have assumed that Time magazine readers were good prospects.

Diners’ Club had been introduced In 1950 by Frank X MacNamara for use in restaurants The original plan was to make money by taking 6% off the top of each transaction.

First, Diners’ Club mailed the card unsolicited to several thousand businessmen. The card itself was cardboard, and had the names of its few participating restaurants on the back, wrote Matty Simmons, the press agent for Diner’s Club, and later publisher of the National Lampoon.

In 1962, credit card issuers were mailing their offers to everyone, including, the joke had it, dogs and dead people. That practice of sending out cards unsolicited ended in 1970 when Congress outlawed it.

We don’t know now how Diners’ Club personalized the name on the letter—it may have been by hand, given the technology of that time.

The note was accompanied by a list of institutions that accepted the card in “Canada, British Isles, Europe, Asia, Australia, Arica, South & Central America.”

And there was a brochure proclaiming Diners’ Club as “the newest and mot advanced plastic credit card.”

It said:

Designed for your utmost convenience and honored by thousands of establishments that have been screened for quality and service. These are listed by area in wallet-size directories, which are furnished separately as guides for your additional convenience.

Since this single credit card replaces dozens of individual credit cards you now carry, it actually reduces the bulk of your wallet. In addition, you receive on request Diners’ Club directories covering all international listings and special listings of automotive services, gasoline stations, and repair centers.

Collections were a challenge.

“In addition to cardholders who simply couldn’t pay their bills, credit-card thefts, counterfeiting, and fraud started to escalate,” Simmons wrote. “Thieves, who since the creation of civilization had come up with new ways to rob others of their valuables and their money, now learned how to steal credit cards. They discovered how to falsify their credit applications so they could get their own cards and copy them much like the counterfeiter mattered the art of re-creating twenty-dollar bills.”

Things have improved.

The Face Of Ho Chi Minh: A Time Magazine Direct Mail Piece

By Ray Schultz

Marketing guru Ron Jacobs has observed that “Consumers don’t have the patience anymore to read an eight-page direct mail letter.” True, and they probably don’t even have what it takes to read a four-page one.

But they must have had it in 1966, because that’s when Time magazine sent the following four-pager.

Like the classic Time letters from the 1940s and ‘50s, this one is a historical artifact. It introduces Ho Chi Minh, the leader of North Vietnam, to the American people. Then it goes on to quote Marshall McLuhan, mention both LBJ and Jimmy Hoffa in passing, and explain—in some detail—the benefits of Time.

The envelope features a line drawing of a pair of sandals, with this copy: “The wearer of these sandals said: “Americans don’t like long, inconclusive wars. This is going to be a long, inconclusive war.”

Inside, at the top of the letter, is a compelling image of Ho Chi Minh. Unfortunately, I have only a black-and-white Xerox copy, and did not write down the color of these illustrations. I suspect it was red.

Having found this letter in the Time Inc. archive, I am sad to report that it was one of the last of its type. That very year, Time started sending charmless, computer-generated sweepstakes letters, although Bill Jayme’s long Cool Friday letter was mailed into the 1970s.

There were no handwritten notes attached to this one, so I don’t know who wrote it, or how it pulled. And I wonder how many people, even those who snapped up the offer, made it all the way through. But here it is: One of the last great long letters written by Time’s direct mail masters. Enjoy.

Dear Reader: 

The frail, goat-bearded comrade is in remarkable health.

At 76 he is ruddy-cheeked and cheerful. He dresses in –cream-colored, mandarin-style uniforms and “Ho Chi Minh scandals” carved from automobile tires. His tastes are exquisite. He smokes American cigarettes and dines on a rare delicacy called “swallow’s nest” – a marriage of sea algae and swallow’s saliva. 

In 1962 Ho Chi Minh said: “We held off the French for eight years. We can hold off the Americans for at least that long. American’s don’t like long, inconclusive wars. This is going to be a long, inconclusive war.”

Drenched by a monsoon rain, a leathery U.S. Marine sergeant and his platoon wait in the swampy dark outside a wretched hamlet where V.C. are reported hiding. Finally a wan moon reappears. Its dim light glints on weapons carried by four fleeing figures heading out of the village. The marines open fire. A grenade explodes.  

Says the sergeant: “I hate this goddamned place like I never hated any place before, but I’ll tell you something else: I want to win here more than I ever did in two wars before.”

Right now the war in Viet Nam is neither popular nor unpopular with most Americans. It is simply confusing.

But as U.S. commitment deepens, personal involvement becomes apparent to each of us. And it becomes expedient to know all the risks, reasons and alternatives. To know the facts.

And that is one of the reasons why I am sending you this special invitation to enroll as a regular TIME reader, at a special introductory rate:

. . . 17 weeks of TIME for only $1.87. (Just 11 cents an issue.)

But (you may ask) why do I want to read a newsmagazine? And why TIME?

Let me explain why…

In 1923 TIME initiated the newsmagazine idea.

It was a new technique of newsgathering and a new format for presenting the news which offered the reader a multiplicity of news stories each week about all kinds of human activity, within a unified structure.

There was also a consistent “tone of voice” throughout TIME’s pages. Because it was different from all other news media of the era, a new form of journalism had been introduced.

Today TIME’s way of presenting the news conforms completely with the way we live. It is as integral to our society as the electric and electronic wonders that surround us.

The newsmagazine form offers an integrated mosaic picture of our time…

Says Professor Marshall McLuhan, Canada’s social catalyst: “The newsmagazine form is pre-eminently mosaic in form presenting a corporate image of society in action…The reader of the newsmagazine becomes much involved in the making of meanings for this corporate image…”

After assembling what McLuhan calls “the crucial commodity of information” through many channels and from many sources, TIME prints only the most significant of that week’s news, news of greatest human interest. From all directions, covering all facets.

It is then up to the reader to assemble this mosaic of the news and discover for himself what it means…and by doing so becoming involved in his world in a way never before possible.

The reader begins to know who he is, what he is doing, and what it means to be a member of this particular society at this particular moment in history.  

Thus the newsmagazine is recognized as a modern, efficient and essential tool of communication.

But how does this happen? How does the reader receive sufficient information each week to formulate his own meanings?

If you know TIME (and most people do) you know that it covers the news each week completely in23 separate sections. Among them: The Nation, The World, People, Education, Law, Religion, Medicine, Art, Modern Living, Music, Sport, Science, Show Business, Theater, U.S. Business, World Business Cinema, Books.

Each section of Time is also composed as a mosaic…

Take “Medicine” for example. In six consecutive issues TIME published the important news about infectious diseases, orthopedics, metabolic disorders , cardiology, physiology, parasitic diseases, gynecology, cancer, neurology, doctors, diagnosis, bacteriology, gastro-enterology.  

In a single issues under “U.S. Business” there were stories on the economy, profits, auto, advertising, government, mining, banking. The following issue carried news of housing, publishing, publishing, communications, corporations, steel, money, retailing, oil, industry. And the next: shipping, airlines, finance, Wall Street, aviation, insurance, taxes.

One week recently under the heading “The Nation” TIME reported on President Johnson’s Hawaii Conference; the $3.39 billion foreign aid package; Senator Dirksen’s filibuster; Jimmy Hoffa; a wicked snowstorm; California’s Governor Pat Brown; Wyoming’s Governor Clifford Hansen; Mississippi’s Governor Paul Johnson; the Hudson River Valley; and the new head of all military construction in Viet Nam: Brig. Gen. Carroll Dunn.

TIME connects you with the world through a fascinating, complex, modern grapevine of information…

TIME’s staff of editors, writers, researchers and technicians scans the world to amass each week’s fund of new information. They read and translate millions of words, examine thousands of pictures, sift ideas, opinions, quotations, figures, reports….trimming, fitting, checking and transfixing it all into just about 125 columns of news and news-pictures each week. (TIME is a magazine for busy people.)

Each week too, there is an important Cover Story, a TIME Essay (on some subject as controversial as the Divorce Laws, or the Homosexual in America), and a color portfolio. With listings of what’s best in theater, movies, records, books, television.

Only an organization of TIME’s stature, structure and dimension could expend this amount of energy and effort.

But what is just as important: Time is a lot of fun to read … it often reads like fiction, humor or biography…

You can follow the exciting thriller 9reported from TIME’s Paris Bureau): “L’Affaire Ben Barka”, a sensational spy-murder-police scandal that has rocked France as the Dreyfus case did a the turn of the century.

You can play TIME’s new game of “barrendipity” (in contrast to “serendipity”, or the art of finding somewhere where you least expect to find it). Barrendipity is the art of not finding something where you might expect to find it: Danish pastry in Denmark, frankfurters in Frankfurt, English muffins in England, or baked Alaska in Alaska.

You can gain intimate knowledge of a great artist. From TIME’s Cover Story on pianist Arthur Rubenstein, who says:

“I’m passionately involved in life; I love its change, its color its movement. To be alive, to be able to speak, to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings – it’s all a miracle. I have adopted the technique of living life from miracle to miracle. Music is not a hobby, not even a passion with me. Music is me.”

With this weekly fund of news, insight, sidelight and background . . . you sense the unpredictable variety of life itself.

Writes Professor Marshall McLuhan: “By using our wits, we can translate the outer world into the fabric of our being.”

TIME helps you “translate.”

There is no set rule about how to read TIME. Some begin at the beginning. Others start from the back. What interests each man and woman is incalculable. So TIME tries to provide as much of interest and value to as many interested people as possible.

As the artists of 6th century Ravenna arranged mosaic tesserae according to size, contour and direction to create monumental designs, so TIME presents the design of our times.

Why not partake of this experience?

Our invitation is enclosed. It enrolls you at once as a TIME reader and brings TIME to your home or office regularly – for 17 weeks at only $1.87 (just 11 cents an issue).

Just put the card in the mail to me today – it’s already postage-paid.

And thank you.


Putney Westerfield

Circulation Director

Riding the Rails

By Ray Schultz

Spare me your three-word tweets: I yearn for the day when publishers sent four-page direct mail letters. They were worth reading whether you responded or not.

Take this stirring note written by the copywriter Frank Johnson. It’s for a book on railroads offered by American Heritage magazine.

The letter is dated Dec. 30, 1974, but readers probably didn’t get it until the calendar year 1975. If I’m reading it correctly, in fact, the book wasn’t available until that summer.

Hmnn, I wonder if the volume was even written when the letter went out: The single-spaced missive almost serves as an outline or proposal. Did American Heritage plan to go forward only when it had sufficient orders? (Hardly an uncommon practice in those days).

It’s hard to know now. In Frank Johnson’s files, the piece is identified only as RR letter – final, 11/13. And there’s no information on response. But one thing’s for sure: This letter is a richly enjoyable piece of Americana. And it could only have been written by someone who grew up in Ohio, listening to those railroad whistles. Here’s Frank Johnson at his absolute best.

 December 30, 1974

If you’re old enough and lucky enough, you can remember lying in bed as a child and hearing, far off, the whistle of a steam locomotive as it pounded through the night. The wail was hoarse, mournful, inimitable. And once upon a time it was a siren song for any youngster.

You could imagine the engineer, red bandana around his neck, eyes riveted on the gleaming rails ahead, wind-blown and ruddy in the glow from the open fire door. You envied – oh, how you envied – the impossibly glamorous travelers in the spruce train behind, eating five-course feasts in the spotless dining car, ice tinkling in their wine buckets. Or snug in their berths behind swaying green curtains in the long Pullmans, each car lettered with its name. “Someday,” you told yourself, “”Someday ….” It was magic.

Someday, lackaday. Such high-style overland travel is almost gone, as someone has said, with the wind. But as all of us who remember can tell all of us who were a bit too young, railroads were once magic carpets for Americans. The miraculous iron horse changed our modes of life more radically than any mechanical device before or since, from steel plows to airplanes.

Railroads are obviously an important part of the American experience That’s one reason why our editors are now at work on a first-rate, expertly written and illustrated history of the subject.

But I’m inviting you to look at the completed book for ore reasons than its “importance.” As you already now a proper history of railroads is bound to include invention, skullduggery, wild economics, outrageous politics, dashing adventures, and a motley cast of characters. A great history of American railroads, I think you’ll agree, should also include a touch of the magic you – or your parents, and theirs – once felt.

And that touch will be evident in our forthcoming AMERICAN HERITAGE HISTORY OF RAILROADS IN AMERICA. Here I’d like to tell you about the book, make some heady claims, and offer to prove them by sending you a copy late this summer, on approval, and at a good bargain.

To get the magic as well as the facts of that important, colorful story into one illustrated book calls for someone who has an intimate knowledge of America’s history, and more than a bit of railroading experience. Ideally, this historian should also have ready access to the archives of railroad pictures and art; and the ability to write with precision, economy, and wit.

Not by happenstance, our author with all those qualifications built in is Oliver Jensen. For two decades he has been the editor of the world’s biggest and best-known history magazine, American Heritage. All his life he has been railroad buff. And he founded and is chairman of the Valley Railroad of Essex, Connecticut. It features antique steam engines and restored wooden coaches.

He starts with the achievement of the wonderful 19th-century “locomotive engine”: For the first time, you could move across the land without using leg power of some sort! That thought simply hadn’t occurred to right-thinking people since the world began. Even the idea of an “engine” was new in 1830, when The Best Friend of Charleston, the first practical U.S-built locomotive, began to haul goods and people. (So new that six months later, The Best Friend’s unsuspecting fireman, annoyed by the hissing safety valve, sat on it to gain a few quiet moments … his and the boiler’s last.)

But wonder turned to love, and to avarice, in short order “Railroad fever” brought a mania for wildcat railroad enterprises … and a push of rails to the new western states. “West” in the 1830’s an ‘40’s meant Ohio Indiana, Illinois. And access to their rich lands quickly emptied New England’s hardscrabble farms of ambitious young men, and built the first railroad city: Chicago.

Early on, you’ll come across familiar names in new roles. For example, that foxy young railroad lawyer, Abraham Lincoln of the Illinois Central; U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, espousing the virtues of a southern route for the projected transcontinental railroad; Peter Cooper, racing a horse with his Tom Thumb engine; John Quincy Adams, escaping injury in the firs train wreck; and Andrew Carnegie as a young train dispatcher.

A B.&O. train was stopped by John Brown’s men during the bloody raid at Harpers Ferry. Once released, the conductor wired the first news of Brown’s threatened rail blockade – and U.S. Marines were rushed to the rescue, by train. From the Civil War on, railroads were to be part and parcel of all military strategies.

But not even war could stop the drive west. Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act on July 1, 1862, chartering two companies to complete the first Atlantic-to-Pacific rail link. “The Great Highway of Nations between OCCIDENT and ORIENT,” as the ads had it, was completed just seven years later. What rousing stories there are to tell about railroading in the 1860’s: The stolen “General” and the great locomotive chase, Promontory Point and the golden spike, the real emergency that tested the first air brake ….

RAILROADS IN AMERICA will put you on scene at these historic occasions, with fine reproductions of wartime Brady and Gardner photos; with paintings and sketches made by artists who followed the Irish and Chinese track layers into the Rockies; with a moving picture essay of Lincoln’s funeral train; with enticing posters (“83 hours, coast to coast!”), and photos of spidery trestles and tangled wrecks.

The whole saga of our railroads is one of the most picturesque – and best-pictured – in America’s history. So the 300-and-more carefully chosen illustrations in the book are remarkably evocative windows to the past.

You’ll see how the notorious railroad robber barons o the late 19th century were often viciously lampooned by press cartoonists. And you can understand why they were so cordially hated: Among other tyrannies, U.S .cavalrymen were used to break a strike that had been called because the Pullman Company cut its workers’ wages, but not the rents fro the Pullman-owned tenements. There were reasons aplenty by the turn of the century for America’s biggest business to become our most stringently regulated one as well.

But of course railroads were also an economic force that simply coined capital, built cities, populated our plains, made a national market, and cud take you anywhere in the U.S.A. – Key West, Death Valley, Pike’s Peak – in posh style. So by and large, although there was plenty to complain about, there was more to love America’s passion for railroads continued well into the 1930’s.

A chapter looks at the great “name” trains, such as The 20thCentury Limited, The Overland Limited, The Santa Fe Chief – and the music and literature and art they inspired. Another shows you the workmen: the lordly engineer; the fireman, with his giraffe-necked oil can; the busy conductor, turnip watch in hand; the lantern-swinging brakemen; the sledge-hammering trackmen, called gandy dancers ….

Then a couple of spectacular chapters lead you through the crowded bell-echoing palaces we once had for depots, up the long red carpets, and aboard sinfully luxurious cars – with pump organs to sing around, plush an inlaid-rosewood décor barbers, shoe shines, and blue stories in the men’s lounges, already blue with the smoke of fine havanas. And the dining cars, the menus, the service! Wait till you see these pictures.

An 1870’s guidebook advised the rail traveler to “sit and read, play games, and indulge in social conversation and glee.” And so we did. But the “glee,” and the boarding stocks, and the dragon-like locomotives that grew from big to huge to gargantuan – such excitements, obscured some problems. By World War I, seven major “combinations” controlled the country’s key rail systems. Like their steam engines, they were massive, impressive, and doomed.

World War II gave the monsters a brief, busy respite from the attacks of the subsidized competition and the dry rot of rigid managements and archaic laws and too-soft featherbeds for labor. Then came the years of “last trips” and abandonments, of rust and recrimination and nostalgia. The pictures here are exceptional.

And the last chapter, if not a “happy” ending, is a most hopeful one for all of us who wish this once-lovely way to go would get going again. What’s the most fuel-efficient, prettiest device for moving tons of goods and crowds of people across the U.S.A.?

Listen for that whistle. It’s beginning to sound again.

Meanwhile, I can promise you a wonderful trip through history with THE AMERICAN HERITAGE HISTORY OF RAILROADS IN AMERICA. To see an early copy of the $27.50-retail book, with an option on the lowest price we can offer, $19.95, return the enclosed form promptly. There’s also a most elegant, and slipcased, de luxe edition. See the form.

Of course we’ll guarantee the special price, regardless of inflation; and the book is fully returnable if it doesn’t whistle your tune.* But I’m sure it will. And thank you!


Paul Gottlieb


*Speaking of steam whistles and tunes. SONGS AND SOUNDS OF THE GREAT DAYS OF STEAM is both title and description of a rousing stereo record we’ll have available for buyers of the book. The enclosed folder describes it.





The Schlock That Wouldn’t Die

By Ray Schultz

I recently had breakfast with a filmmaker whose masterworks include 2000 Maniacs, The Gore Gore Girls, and Blood Feast, the first movie in which “people died with their eyes open.”

The producer of those splatter classics, now eating yogurt and cereal in a hotel coffee shop, was Herschell Gordon Lewis, a direct mail copywriter and an inspiration to anyone who wants to have fun as well as make a living.

“The technique I learned of how to cause an unsuspecting yokel to come into a theater has served me well in my dotage years in direct marketing,” he confessed.

I couldn’t resist asking how a person goes from being a footnote in movie history to a junk mail legend. Herschell had already worked as an English professor, a disk jockey, and a general ad person, when he started making low-budget gore flicks in Chicago in the 1960s (he just happened to own a half interest in a studio that did commercials and government training films). His first was Blood Feast, which was also the first movie in which fiends “reached in a girl’s mouth and pulled out her tongue.”

Hard to top, wouldn’t you say? But he tried, in follow-up blood fests like Color Me Blood Red and She Devils on Wheels. Men were sliced and diced, white-mini-skirted women were crucified (literally), and Lewis won himself a loyal cult following. A year or two ago, he showed up at a horror film festival in Milan to find the audience singing along—in English–with the opening song for 2,000 Maniacs:

There a story you should know

From a hundred years ago

And a hundred years we waited now to tell

Now them Yankees come along and they’ll listen to this song

They’ll quake in fear to hear this rebel yell


Herschell wrote and sang the soundtrack song himself, and still gets a small royalty– “about $30 every six months, a symbol of what I call the Schlock That Wouldn’t Die.”

Unfortunately, Herschell’s film career faded as distributors went bankrupt and the big studios came in with “more advanced skills in killing people onscreen.” (They didn’t have to splatter ketchup on the walls). And his advertising business took a nose-dive when a client went belly-up owing six figures.

Reduced to arguing with schlemiels about $40 typesetting charges, Herschel was ready to listen when asked to write a direct mail package for the Women of the Century series of collector plates from the Bradford Exchange.

Talk about landing on your feet: He showed a knack for selling collector’s items, and was soon given other assignments by Bradford. By this time, Herschell had gotten another break (the most important one of his life): his marriage to Margot, an agency colleague, who now became his partner in charge of the business end.

The pair moved on to the Calhoun Collector’s Society, where their projects included The Creation, a 12-plate series telling the Genesis story, and the Bethlehem Christmas Plate, which has to rank somewhere near Blood Feast in the Lewis canon.

To get the Bethlehem plate off the ground, Margot found a porcelain factory in Israel near the Lebanese border, then tried to find someone to authenticate the plate. But the best she could do was the Archimandrite Gregorious, an Orthodox prelate whose role in life appeared to be greeting the tour busses and asking for money. His picture, complete with black robe and hat, appeared on the plates, although “we had to airbrush the sunglasses,” Herschell says.

But it sold. “After two years, the Archimandrite was recalled or fired or what I don’t know. But we kept using his name, and he was immortalized. Right now, as we talk, he is hanging on somebody’s wall.”

Herschell confessed that “it’s possible to develop cynicism based on some of the things we market successfully. But there’s a big difference between cynicism and contempt.” One thing that appalls him is when he sees copywriters treating financial offers “in a light-hearted manner. I say, ‘Hold it there, fella, people take their investments seriously. When you make a joke out of it, you make a joke out of your proposition.’”

POSTSCRIPT: Herschell returned to filmmaking late in his career. Whatever he did, he was first to admit that none of it would have been possible without Margot. Now there’s an enduring marriage.


Time Was

By Ray Schultz

Time Inc, not even two years old and decades away from algorithms, sent personalized direct mail letters to businessmen in the 1920s. Take this piece identified in the files only as “before 25.” It went to Alexander Jones, of Market Street, Philadelphia. Since Time magazine debuted in 1923, that gives you some idea of the timeframe.

The letterhead says “Time,” and lists the address as East Thirty-ninth Street New York.” Here’s the direct mail letter:

 Dear Mr. Jones:

 Because TIME is particularly a magazine for people how are not “magazine readers”; for people who have little time to take up with new fads; it seemed to the publishers of TIME that the usual methods of subscription solicitation by mail and advertisements would not bring the new-magazine to the attention of those for whom it was primarily intended—the busy man and woman of affairs.

The publishers, therefore, asked a leading citizen and TIME subscriber in several large cities the great favor of suggesting the names of persons in his city to whom he thought the news-magazine would be of interest. Mr. Edward M. Bok in Philadelphia, Mr. William Allen White in Kansas, Mr. Robert Underwood Johnson in New York, Mr. Bernard M. Baruch, Mr. Otto Bannard were kind enough to give us the names of such people in their respective communities. The judgment of these men in this instance has been most effectively upheld.

The specimen issues of TIME sent to the busy persons whom they suggested have resulted in almost 100% enthusiastic subscribers—an unparalleled response. It is with a feeling of confidence that we have sent you the several issues of TIME. Whether or not you are in a position at the moment to enter a subscription we trust that TIME has afforded you as much pleasure in reading as we have had in sending them to you.

The enclosed card bears your name and address and requires only your signature to bring TIME for the next year. If you will return it promptly we shall take care to see that there is o gap in the delivery of your copies. The card is stamped ready for mailing. It will be a great pleasure to consider you as a subscriber.

Cordially yours,

 Briton Hadden



Alexander Jones Esq.,

Market Street,

Philadelphia, Pa.


Cleanse Thyself

By Ray Schultz

Suffering from cancer or leukemia? Had a stroke or two? Don’t despair, friend. You can reverse these illnesses with a common syrup: a miracle cure that can also help you rebound from heart attacks, diabetes and everything else right down to post-nasal drip.

So said a classic direct mail piece that promoted a “nine-day inner cleansing and blood wash.” It was sent some years ago by the brilliant copywriter Eugene Schwartz.

How could he get away with this baloney without bringing the Federal Trade Commission down on his head?

It’s simple. Gene never offered the actual products: Rather, he peddled a book that told about them. And under the so-called Mirror Image rule, you can’t get in trouble for selling a book as long as your marketing copy accurately describes what’s in the volume.

Granted, he didn’t mention the book until the second-to-last paragraph in the four-page letter signed by one I.E. Gaumont. And he qualified the offering with this notice on the bottom of the very first page:

“The statements contained in this book express the opinions of the author, who is not a medical doctor.” Who knows if he was forced into including that?

Gene Schwartz has been dead for over 20 years, but there is much to learn from his copywriting approach: it wasn’t wordsmithing, but vision, to steal a phrase from the late Andi Emerson.

Mind you, Gene believed in naturalistic healing, claiming that it helped him recover from his own stroke in 1978. And his “authors” were real people, who believed in the cures they were hyping.

Who was Gene Schwartz? The six-foot-four legend from Montana was known as much for his art collection and service on museum boards as he was for his direct mail copy. (Click here for his bio). But he was one of the greatest copywriters who ever lived. And here he is at his best. (There’s a bad visual of the letter at the bottom).

Health Researcher Claims


RIGHT IN YOUR OWN HOME ‘THE NATURAL WAY’ WAY” with the “Miraculous” healing Power of internal Baths:

Painlessly! Without Drugs or Costly, Medical Treatments! You’ll Never have a sick day, he says!

Dear Friend:

I want to tell you about a mighty and powerful weapon for healing and warding off disease: THE “MIRACULOUS” HEALING POWER OF internal BATHS! It’s all part of my 9-day Inner Cleansing and Blood Washing method!

I feel it is my duty as a humanitarian to pass on my life changing discovery of the NINE-DAY INNER CLEANSING AND BLOOD WASH FOR RENEWED YOUTHFULNESS AND HEALTH TO those unfortunate people suffering from disease!

Internal Baths are fabulous! They are the most powerful weapons against obesity and produce “impossible” cures at times. No dangerous drugs or injections with their serious side effects. No costly medical treatments or tedious regimes No pains. This system can be life-saving when illness strikes, even help you survive heart attacks!

*With the “magic” healing power of Internal Baths, you’ll never have a sick day in your life – when used with the NINE-Day CLEANSING AND Blood WASH! Patients who have recovered completely from illness after using this 9-day method swear by it! It will conquer disease in almost all cases, and free your body of accumulated poisons that make you sick, in only 9 days!

Here’s what happens during the 9 days of cleansing:

*It will rid your body of poisonous wastes (toxins) that have accumulated and formed a lining around your intestinal wall – causing disease

*It will reverse the aging process, and increase your longevity by 20 years!

*It will reduce your weight without dieting or the use of drugs – and keep you slim during your lifetime!

*It is a positive way to avoid ever having a heart attack. It may keep you alive even if you’ve had a heart attack or stroke!

*It will heal arthritis if not in the advanced stages!

*It will lessen the intake of insulin by diabetics!

*It will restore masculine vigor and put energy back in your sex life!

*It will overcome low blood sugar!

*It will aid in normalizing high blood sugar!

*It will overcome post nasal drip!

*It will overcome an urge to urinate too frequently

…and still that’s just the beginning!


At this writing, I am 84 years young. When I first began my investigations, I was in a state of broken health. I suffered from bronchitis, shortness of breath, sinusitis, gastritis, acidosis, high blood pressure, constipation, chronic fatigue, backache, obesity, and hay fever. Then, about 35 years ago I discovered the NINE-DAY CLEANSING AND BLOOD WASH!

Today, at 84, I am a well preserved individual, hale and hearty, mind sharp as a razor and productive. I am erect in stature, with a youthful 34-inch waist, a full crop of silver-white hair an no wrinkles on my face.

My wife, Connie, at the young age of 70 “going on 50,” hasn’t been to a medical doctor in about 20 years. I did not have occasion to see a doctor until I was 65 when I thought it best to start having check-ups. I’ve only had one brief illness in 3 years.

What is the secret!

Inner cleansing! You see, my studies revealed to me that many illnesses seem connected with cell stagnation. If your nose is “stuffed up” or congested, or if you experience congestion in your throat or chest, it indicates that there is an accumulation of stagnant matter within you…sinus trouble, bronchitis, asthma, or colitis, is the result of stagnation. So are arthritis and skin eruptions.

All this can be prevented by giving the body an opportunity to cleanse and purify itself, and then rebuilding the body and its cells with proper nourishment.


During the 9 “Cleansing Days,” you’ll be eating certain foods I recommend. During this time, you will also begin the action which will effect a good, thorough wash of your bloodstream. You’ll simply begin to sip certain fresh juices.

What are these foods? There are several, but during my years of research. I have singled out FOUR NATURAL BLOOD-WASHING FOODS WITH HEALING POWER that play an important part in healing, curing, and preventing disease.

You may be skeptical, but remember, the NINE-DAY Inner Cleansing and Blood Wash which I take yearly, has warded off common ailments and most pernicious diseases. It has kept me in the best of health throughout the years..and I am 84. If I merely told you the names of these foods you might not be impressed. But wait till you see what doctors, nutritionists, scientists, researchers, an users themselves say!


One of these foods, a common syrup, is in my opinion, an Unheralded Cancer Fighter. I believe it will not only close the door on cancer in general, but is especially helpful in cases of leukemia, strokes, ulcers, arthritis, varicose veins, and menopause 

*James P. was in a state of broken health, unable to do even the lightest work. He was suffering from a growth in the bowels, blocked bronchial tubes, constipation, indigestion, pyorrhea, sinus trouble, and weak nerves. In addition, he was losing weight, and his hair and turned white – despite medical treatment. On hearing of a remarkable cure with this syrup, he decided to try it himself. And not only did the growth in his bowels disappear, together with all the other troubles, but his hair actually regained its original color (he was over 60 at the time). 

Others, apparently, have had the same remarkable results, including a man with a fibroid growth of the tongue, and another with cancer of the knee. Reputedly, tumors in various parts of the body have withered away without any other measures than taking this syrup. (No cancer cure is claimed, and reputable medical help is advised, of course, in all cases.)

*A “MIRACLE RECOVERY” FROM TWO STROKES! It is widely thought that when a person has had two strokes the third will be fatal – and yet it need not be so. Mr. K., an elderly man, had had two strokes and was completely paralyzed on one side. He then tried this syrup. The result was that he recovered the use of all his limbs and became completely fit, much to the astonishment of his doctor.

*SPECTACULAR CURES OF ARTHRITIS! Elaine B., 60, had severe arthritis in her knees and hip joints. She was in a great deal of pain and was unable to walk without assistance. Finally, she tried this syrup. One week later, she could swing her legs and flex her knees painlessly! Mr. J., an elderly man, could barely hobble with canes. After using this syrup for four weeks, he threw away his canes!

This common syrup can be obtained at any health food store or supermarket at negligible cost. There is nothing like it for prevention of these diseases I always take my quota of this syrup every day. I strongly recommend that you do the same. It’s a must! Several men who had been denied driver’s licenses because of heart trouble were put on treatment with this syrup. After six weeks they got their licenses. A woman afflicted with recurrent heart attacks took this syrup and the attacks subsided!


It has been said that there are a number of ailments that will automatically disappear after taking this beverage in a certain manner. It is made of the most health-giving fruit that exists.

It has been said that there are a number of ailments that will automatically disappear after taking this beverage in a certain manner. It is made of the most health-giving fruit that exists.

Reduction of weight without dieting will be achieved permanently if this beverage is taken a few times a day. It will burn up the surplus fat. It retards the onset of old age…renders the urine normal thus counteracting a too-frequent urge to urinate)…it promotes digestion because it is very much like a digestive juice! 

Observers have been quite astonished to see how forgetfulness in old people partially or wholly disappears through the practice of taking this beverage. Excessive bleeding can be reduced to a minimum in the case of an operation, and the healing process greatly quickened, if the patient takes this beverage. In cases of frequent nose-bleeding due to some unknown cause, a drink of this beverage with each meal will soon put a stop to the trouble. Sore throats – even of the streptococcus type – can be cured with astonishing rapidity, often in one day, by taking this beverage as a gargle. Tickling coughs and laryngitis will rapidly disappear. It regulates menstruation and is very beneficial to women. Belching can be cured or greatly lessened by taking this beverage.


Here is another syrup that is a most effective remedy for insomnia, emphysema, shortness of breath, sinusitis, asthma, and chronic fatigue. Combined with a certain beverage I tell you about it, it is most beneficial to those suffering from various heart troubles, hay fever, colitis, arthritis, neuritis, and many other common ailments. It is a natural laxative, and one of nature’s most powerful germ killers.

Russian medico-scientists have shown that it will cure a condition as serious as gastric ulcers. One doctor wrote: “In heart weakness I have (this syrup) to have a marked effect in reviving heart action and keeping the patients alive.”


This vegetable is the oldest known “home remedy.” It has long been used to rid the body of parasites and in the healing of disease. According to an old news item, “in test tube experiments Virile bacilli that can be killed only after hours of boiling in water die, after one hour of exposure to (this vegetable).”

This vegetable’s almost miraculous antiseptic power is an aid of high blood pressure, asthma, emphysema, colds, gas, gall stones, bronchitis, infections, hardening of the arteries, mucus, elimination, sinus trouble, and many other maladies. It has been widely used in restoring masculine vigor. It clears the blood of excess sugar as effectively as an oral drug. It has remarkable preventive powers and healing powers and offers protection against heart disease.


The diligent use of these 4 foods, with their extensive curative properties, healing powers, and remarkable preventive powers, will aid tremendously in “healing the body” in my opinion. They are all part of my NINE-DAY INNER CLEANSING AND BLOOD WASH FOR RENEWED YOUTHFULNESS AND HEALTH!


Mail the enclosed card for your FREE trial copy. You have 15 days to discover all the incredible health-building secrets that will bring amazing youthfulness to your body: honor the invoice for four easy payments $6.98 pus applicable state tax, postage handling – or return the book and owe nothing.

 Sincerely yours

 I.E. Gaumont


Health & Self Improvement

 IMPORTANT NOTICE [appearing at bottom of first page of letter):

The statements contained in this book express the opinions of the author, who is not a medical doctor. These opinions may, in certain cases, be contrary to those of the medial professions, and are based on experiences which may not be representative of results that can be expected for others. The publisher suggests that you do not attempt to make a self-diagnosis based on the symptoms referred to. Many of those symptoms can be caused be more than one condition, and these conditions cannot be self-diagnosed by the lay person. Where cancer may be involved, early diagnosis and treatment may be critical. In all cases, early diagnosis and treatment by a competent medical practitioner is advisable and, in some case, may be essential.schwartz letter

Golden Cities

By Ray Schultz

Geographic segmentation was no big thing fifty years ago. What was new was the ability to tailor the copy to the area. Take this direct mailing done by Time magazine.

The letters contained a sort of glorified Johnson Box at the top, printed in gold, asking questions that concerned the reader’s city. Below that box, they were the same.

Here are two samples. One focuses on Boston, the other on Cleveland. I assume that other cities were also targeted, but I only have these two letters.

To put things in context, these pieces were dated Feb. 17, 1964 ten days after the Beatles arrived in America and eight days before Cassius Clay, soon to be Muhammad Ali, won the heavyweight championship. Lyndon Johnson had been president for three months in the wake of the Kennedy assassination, and later that year would win a full term by beating Barry Goldwater.

The envelopes were postmarked Lincoln, Nebraska and were identified in the Time archive by the cities to which they were going.

Did the computer play a role in this direct mail campaign? Hard to say. Time Inc did conduct personalized computer mailings to doctors that very year, but it was a long time before this became a regular practice.

Let’s start with the Boston version. Is there anyone there who remembers these worries? Old-timers will recall that the MBTA was called the M.T.A. in those days.

Who will be Ted Kennedy’s opponent in the Senate contest? / What is the outlook for Boston’s tax rate? / When will we have an answer to the nagging on-street parking problem—are theft-proof meters the solution? / Why should the M.T.A. be extended to the South Shore? / Where will the Celtics finish the season? / How corrupt is Massachusetts—and can the crime commission do anything to correct it?

 Now here’s the Cleveland variation.

Who will be Ohio’s favorite son at the Democratic National Convention? / What are the prospects for this year’s Cleveland Indians team? / When did the term “diffusion” come up in connection with school integration? / Where is the first apartment building in Erieview to be erected?  / Why are Shaker Heights residents protesting the proposed construction of the Clark Freeway? / How does Senator Stephen Young feel about John Glenn’s 1960 voting record?

What follows is the body of the direct mail letter, which was identical in each case:

February 17, 1964

Dear Reader: 

Questions like these, of largely local interest illustrate something that’s also true of national or international issues. It’s essential to have more than just a few raw facts; it’s important to know the background.

These same questions also help show why, in reporting the news from every field, TIME has always done something more than give a plain recital of the facts. Naturally it starts of with the eyewitness story; but when the event is big news, the eyewitness may be standing too close to get the full significance. TIME stands back, examines the causes, digs out other pertinent facts, relates it to other events. TIME also knows the personalities involved.

As a way of following the news, TIME makes sense – because it makes sense of the news.  

It’s not just the international news that you find all the more understandable. To give a few examples from other fields – if a report on a dramatic discovery takes you beyond the door that’s just been unlocked, you’re beginning to understand the real meaning of the discovery itself. Events in Washington can be better judged if the issues are clearly spelled out. Explore, instead of just recount, new developments in education and you od justice to their fundamental importance.

In TIME’s other news departments also, even in the briefest reports, you find you get more out of the news, because TIME looks at sit with a penetrating, appraising eye.

It’s the reason why many leaders in business and the professions in communities across the country vote TIME their favorite magazine the most important magazine in the U.S. today. TIME reports with the intelligence, accuracy, and consciousness that the leadership community needs and demands.

If, so far, you’ve only read an occasional copy of TIME, we hope you’ll take advantage of an invitation we offer here and now to read TIME regularly at a special introductory rate. Return the card and we’ll send you

20 weeks of TIME For $1.97 (that’s only 10 cents a copy).

No need to sign or check it. Just drop it in the mail – today.


Putney Westerfield

Circulation Director

The Ten Girl Company

By Ray Schultz

At a time when most firms would not even hire female secretaries, women were sending direct mail—in some cases to survive. The proof is these letters mailed around the turn of the 20th Century.

In Chicago, a group called The Ten Girl Company sent “Gold Plated Handy Pins” to individuals, relying on an honor system for payment.

THE TEN GIRL COMPANY greets you and sends you with this letter six pair of their Gold Plated Handy Pins. The price we have made is 30 cents for the six pair and we hope that you can use them at that price, which is a great deal less than the stores are asking for them.

The Ten pointed out that we are not objects of charity, but have to make a living and our little company of girls, has not enough capital to sell their goods in a regular way.

 We hope you will enclose three 10 cent pieces in the stamped envelope and mail it; if not, please be kind enough to put in the pins and return them. You don’t even need to write your name on the envelope, as the number tells us who pays for the pins.

 Begging your pardon for troubling you and thanking you in advance for your kindness, we remain,

 Yours for business, THE TEN GIRL COMPANY (1900)

 P.S. We hope you will let us hear from you promptly, for if you don’t, we cannot send out any more pins.

Some of our feminine pioneers were mendicants: They sent letters asking for small sums of money, usually quarters or other coins. But others had burgeoning little businesses.

Beulah Hubbard, of Passaic, New Jersey, mailed cards offering silk ties. The cards, featuring her photo, stated, How Would You Like to Earn Your Own Living at My Age?

If you had to, I suppose you would do just as I am doing—GET busy.

 “I am selling Neck Ties for my living and I want to supply You. I can supply you almost any color or combination of colors—Try me. Or will send Ladies Jabot if you prefer.

 If, when you get my tie, you don’t say it is as good a bargain as you ever saw at form 50 cents to $1.00, return the tie and I will send back your money.

I honestly believe you can sell lots of these Ties at from 50c to $1.00.

 $3.00 a dozen is my price to agents, prepaid.

 Second Fold Here….(triangle) last fold here…Put 25 cents here I NEED THE MONEY


 You use ties every day. I can’t convey an adequate idea of just how pretty my ties are. A picture won’t bring out the delicate colorings nor the silky texture, so I say, if you are not in every way pleased, I will return your money. I can furnish Ladies Jabots if you prefer. Say which.

Then there were letters with serious propositions. This one, dated July 8, 1892, is from the Women’s Land Syndicate:

Dear Friend:

 The enclosed circular we trust will explain our plans and prospects fully. In it we have endeavored to show facts as they now exist on which we base our opinion that south Waukegan will have a population of at least 50,000, and when that point is reached our lots which cost the Syndicate $500,000 will be worth from three and one half to four million dollars.

 That our Profit-Sharing Investment Bonds are considered an exceptionally profitable investment is evidence by the large number being sold to some of the most prominent financiers in the country. A Wall Street (New York) banker has made his wife a present of one hundred of them and we could name a dozen other less prominent bankers that have purchased for their wives.

 You will notice in our circular what Mr. Jas. B. Hobbs, one of Chicago’s prominent bankers, has to say about us. Also Gen. Singleton, a man who has made more than a million dollars out of his shrewd investments.

 We are W.C.T.U. women, some of us having labored for years in the cause. We know these Bonds are sure to prove very profitable and therefore we naturally prefer to have them owned as far as possible by white ribboners.

 It is now evident that all our bonds will be sold before August 1st, so this will be your last opportunity to secure one or more in case you desire to do so.

You should therefore write us at once stating the exact number of Bonds you would like, enclosing a small deposit, and we ail reserve them for you until you can arrange to make the payment. They are $10 each and are sold only to women.

 As this will probably be our last announcement before the Bonds are all sold, we wish to say we are greatly indebted to the Union Signal for its generous aid, and to the many temperance workers who are assisting us all over the country.

 Thanking you in anticipation of an immediate reply, stating the number of Bonds you will want, if any, we are,

 Yours very truly…


Was Jesus An Advertising Man?

By Ray Schultz

It’s forgotten now, but one of the biggest sellers of the 1920s was Bruce Barton’s The Man Nobody Knows. It posited that if Jesus Christ returned to earth, he would be an advertising man.

With all respect to my friends in advertising, this I doubt. But the book was published in an optimistic era, in which business people were lionized.

You can get the drift from a direct mail letter for the book written by the great copywriter Robert Collier:

Jesus Christ ‘the founder of modern business?

Jesus a master of efficiency in organization, a born executive?

Jesus a sociable man, a cheerful, bright companion with a pat story on His lips…?

Jesus wording the best advertisements ever written?

This letter, and others like it, were accompanied by a brochure, asking: Was Jesus a Physical Weakling?

The painters have made Him look so—but He swung an adze and pushed a saw until He was thirty years old. He walked miles every day in the open air. He drove a crowd of hard-faced men out of the Temple.

It’s beautiful copy, but there’s one slur I don’t like: that Jesus “faced Jewish hatred and Roman power without a tremor.” The Catholic Church has said that Jews were not responsible for the death of Christ. (Thank you for that). For the record, the religious ones among us await the Moschiach, and nobody has predicted he will be an advertising man.

That said, Collier’s letter sold millions of books. But an upheaval was coming: the Great Depression. At that time, people viewed Jesus in a more traditional light: as minister to the poor and fallen.

As for Robert Collier, he was a direct mail legend, with or without help from the Messiah.

“Collier was first guy that really sold merchandise by mail,” said the direct marketing guru Bob Stone in 1997. “He came up with 10-day pre-trial guarantees, all things we use today. He was a merchandising genius. For example, he had a bunch of black raincoats that they couldn’t sell worth a damn. Who absolutely has to have a black raincoat? So he had a list of undertakers. and sold out entire stock. It was a lesson I never forgot.”

Stone met Collier at a conference in 1939. What was he like personally? “He wasn’t aloof , he was a loner. There’s a difference. He was a shy man. He was dedicated to the sale of merchandise. I don’t think he had a lot of pride. He had a merchandise business by selling those raincoats and hunting books, for himself mostly.”

One legend has it that Collier sold coal at some point. Finally, he joined P.F. Collier & Son Co., publishers of Colliers magazine and books like Harvard Classics, the Five-Foot Shelf of Books. It just so happened that P.F. Collier was his uncle, “but he had always told me he did not want me in the business until I could bring something to it they could get nowhere else,” Collier wrote. In I 931, Collier published his own book: the Robert Collier Letter Book,

And was he a believer in Jesus the businessman or Jesus the healer? This we don’t know.


What’s In the Box

By Ray Schultz

When asked to define a Johnson Box, copywriter Bill Jayme said the purpose was to summarize a direct mail letter, “just as 19th century English writers like Dickens would say at the top, ‘Chapter 10, in which Mr. McGruder discovers Emily in a Compromising Position with the Director’s Son.'”

That more or less nails it. Less certain is who actually invented the box. The alleged creator, Frank Johnson, always disclaimed ownership, although others gave him credit for it. Well, here’s a letter by Johnson, featuring an actual…Johnson Box. (You’ll notice that we’re not calling it a Jayme Box or a Baring-Gould Box). Scroll to the bottom to see the actual letter.

As always with Frank Johnson, the four-page letter for American Heritage magazine, apparently sent in 1959 or ‘60, is a helluva piece of writing. It starts with the box:

This letter contains 

  • one rare picture of a vanished American,
  • the story of an extraordinary magazine,
  • some words of amplification about both the above – plus
  • news of a good introductory offer.

Dear Reader:

 Not much happens to an adult who forgets that π R2 equals the area of a circle.

 But let slip from your mind a concept like “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” – or forget the events that inspired it – and you’ve lost something of value.

 Fortunately, most Americans don’t forget.

 Our nation’s history means more to each of us than a hazily remembered series of texts and tests. We know we are products of a remarkable series of events, and of a magnificent idea. Surely such roots and purpose should be worth more attention than a memory of a copy-book exercise, or a record of a “passing grade.” history – ours especially – can be sheer delight to wander through. And it can reward the journey with a perspective on today that no other cultural asset can match.

 “A national who does not know its history,” said George Santayana, “is doomed to repeat it.”

 AMERICAN HERITAGE is a magazine designed to help you know your history better – and to know it with a growing sense of pleasure.

 So if you agree that a sense of history is an asset worth cultivating, then we suggest you will find this magazine a colorful and accurate chart for a wonderful trip through time. AMERICAN HERITAGE roams freely through the whole history of our country – its people, its land, its growth, its triumphs, its fads and follies, manners and madness.

This is an extensive assignment. It takes an expansive magazine to do it as it should be done – with lots of color illustrations to show history as it looked when it happened, with good papers for fine reproduction, with a staff of skilled journalistic-historians and researchers, and with the talents of America’s front-rank historians as its authors.

So a copy of AMERICAN HERITAGE costs $3.95; obviously we cannot afford to fire off a free sample to each prospective subscriber. We have sent along just one sample print from the magazine, to give you some idea of the quality of the reproduction, the extent of our search for unusual material, and the fresh look of our whole approach to history:

The print enclosed is from a water color painted by the Swiss artist-reporter Carl Bodmer, as he traveled through the West in 1832-33, with the junketing Prince Maximilian of Wied. The Indian, Four Bears, is a chief of a tribe that was wiped out by disease only four years later. He was identified as a friend of the white man. Bodmer did not say whose friendly scalp dangled from the Indian’s lance. (The trailing red disc behind the tip of the lance is the late somebody’s hair piece.)

You’ll find excursions and discoveries such as this in every AMERICANHERITAGE. Each issue covers, with accuracy and style, a wide range of topics – from a first look at some skeleton in America’s closet, to a new look at some famous event where the facts may have been buried under an accumulation of myth.

AMERICAN HERITAGE is published independently, under the aegis of two distinguished groups of historians, The American Association for State and Local History and The Society of American Historians. The senior editor is Bruce Catton, most honored of all students of the Civil War; Dr. Allan Nevins, dean of American historians, heads the Advisory Board. Contributors include America’s foremost writers of lively history.

The August issue will continue the tour of the past with 15 articles and picture features, including

A Tax on Whiskey? Never! By Gerald Carson. A timely piece on an old but still explosive issue. In 1794 the farmers of Western Pennsylvania claimed that country whiskey, that honored rural elixir, was being unmercifully slapped by the tax collectors. The locals were walloping the revenue men and firing up the stills with equal ferocity – until George Washington (who turned out some pretty good rye of his own at his Mount Vernon still) used Federal force to settle “The Whiskey Rebellion.”

End of a Friendship by Charles Seymour, ex-president of Yale. In a personal memoir, Col. Edward House, key man in the Wilson administration and by the President’s own christening “my second personality,” tells for the first time, why he thinks he fell out with Wilson.

The Man Who Invented Panama, an interview by Commentator Eric Sevareid with Philippe Bunau-Varilla, the man who pushed through the Panama Canal.

The Action Off Flamborough Head by Oliver Warner. An important item in each issue of AMERICAN HERITAGE is an extract (not a condensation) from some good new history book. The August selection (from Warner’s forthcoming “Great Sea Battles”) tells of the moonlight sea duel off the Yorkshire coast between Joan Paul Jones and Britain’s Captain Pearson. Jones termed the conditions that night “really deployable.” But he won – and soon was neglected. Pearson lost and was knighted.

Like to read further? More than 330,000 subscribers will. We’ve found that 96% of them save every copy of AMERICAN HERITAGE. It’s written, illustrated, printed, and packaged to last. For example, it comes in hard covers, like a fine book, and with no advertising to date its contents.

In each magazine you’ll find 112 editorial pages and at least 100 illustrations – more than a third in color The pictorial array consists of tintypes, paintings, posters, old charts and notebooks, photographs, etchings, and daguerreotypes — many of them never published before. The August issue has two articles containing rare illustrations:

A portfolio of Japanese water colors (circa 1855), showing how the first Westerners in Japan looked to their Oriental hosts; and some rare on-the-spot sketches of the great Chicago Fire of 1871, with captions written by an eyewitness.

In appearance and content, AMERICAN HERITAGE is unusual. So is its $3.95-a-copy price tag. But matched against books of comparably quality (you can’t compare it to the usual magazine), the single-copy price is a real bargain. Our current introductory offer is better than that:

You buy three issues—and get six.

Ordinarily, a year’s subscription would be $15. Bought one-by-one over the course of the next year, the tab for these same six issues would be $23.70. But by ordering now, your six issues can cost you just half that — $11.85, the retail cost of three.

To subscribe at this introductory price, fill in and mail the postpaid order card. You need not pay anything until after you have seen your first copy. Then you have a choice of three monthly installments of $3.95 each … or a single payment of $11.85. (The order card explains all the options.)

If at any time you feel that AMERICAN HERITAGE does not do at least as creditable job for America’s history and your interest as we promised you, you can cancel your subscription and we will refund the amount of the undelivered portion.

The August issue can begin to show you why AMERICAN HERITAGE has won the acclaim of so many critics, and the loyalty of so many readers. Mail the order card today? Your first copy is boxed, and can be in your hands within a few weeks.

And thank you.


James Parton


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