Saturday, June 3, 2017

Something to Chew On


Advertisements for Wrigley’s chewing gum, like this one here, often appeared within the pages of Harrison County’s newsweeklies.

Advertisement from the Cynthiana Democrat, September 6, 1917.

A century seems like a long time ago, but you can still go to the neighborhood grocery or convenience store to see and experience an “artifact” from a time that itself had long ago faded from the average American’s consciousness.

Letters to the "homefolks" from the soldiers, whether stationed stateside or abroad, would often express thanks for the many items sent to them by the friends and relatives or provided by the Y.M.C.A., and chewing gum was one such item.  Sometimes subscriptions to the county’s newspapers, some sponsored by the publishers themselves, were sent through the mails to keep those who were homesick up-to-date about local events. Socks, razors, and other personal care items were often appreciated.  Perhaps the most popular items were tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and assorted “smokes.”

Chewing gum and cigarettes, not exactly good for anyone’s health … but neither was the war that so many from Harrison County were asked to fight.

(The image and texts above were originally published in the April 2017 issue of the Harrison Heritage News, the monthly newsletter of the Harrison County (Ky,) Historical Society, in a special supplement entitled "Winning World War I" (Hey, just like this blog!).  Here the texts are presented with some slight revisions of and additions to the original.)

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