ADVERTISING AND AN ACCIDENTAL CLASSIC: ILLUSTRATED SKETCHES OF DFATH VALLEY

Douglas Steeples

Abstract


Illustrated Sketches of Death Valley (1891) originated as a hastily-written series of journalistic sketches of our Western borax deserts. They were written on commission to supplement their authors income. Conceived as a means subtly to promote the borax industry the Sketches in time won unintended recognition as a classic source for their subject. They also assumed unforeseen importance as an illustration of the role of advertising in America’s changing economy.

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