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Blanchester Area Historical Society

1897 Z.T. Peddicords Country Advertising.

1897 Z.T. Peddicords Country Advertising.

By Lewis Garrison, in Printer's Ink.

"I am going to tell of how Z. T. Peddicord, the general merchandise, furniture and clothing man, of Blanchester, Ohio, has made a success for the past sixteen years by advertising in a way Mr.Peddicord originated himself.

Mr. Peddicord issues 5,000 circulars as big as the side of a newspaper and distributes them from house to house throughout the country within a radius of twenty-five miles from Blanchester. These gigantic circulars give a good business talk, and articles with prices mentioned. The circulars are distributed over the same country district four to six times a year, each circular being set from entirely new copy.

The work of distribution is carried on by Mr. Peddicord's son and another man, who is paid $1 per day, with board. Mr. Peddicord says he could get a boy for twenty-five cents a day who would probably do the work as well as the man and probably he would throw bundles of the circulars under bridges. It takes from seven to ten days, traveling fifty to seventy-five miles a day, to get over the entire district and to place one in each house on the course.

This rate includes circularizing of every house in the little towns within the twenty-five mile radius. Mr. Peddicord uses but one newspaper for advertising, and that is the local weekly. One half page is used on a year's contract and costs less than $8 per issue, with fortnightly changes free. He uses no methods to test whether the advertising in the Blanchester Star pays, as the same copy used in the circulars is generally printed in the paper.

Mr. Peddicord is content to continue the advertising just as he has done for years, and this fact means that he is satisfied with results, for no man will continue using a medium he thinks does not pay him. Last January, February and March Mr. Peddicord offered $100 in gold, divided up in $10 pieces, to customers who guessed how much money in dollars and cents was taken in in seventy-seven days. This was the first scheme of this sort ever tried, and the result showed that during the three months almost $2,500 more was taken in than for the corresponding period of the preceding year.

Of course this extra business earned $100 that was given away and a profit for the proprietor. This season he is advertising by the 5,000 circulars and single newspaper another guessing contest. This time $500 in prizes are to be given away, consisting of piano, 5-piece parlor suite, oak bedroom suite, oak sideboard, combination bookcase, $15 suit of clothes, large oak wardrobe, $10 set leather chairs, $7.50 dress pattern, and $5 reed rocker, ten presents in all. The contest is a good success so far. Each purchaser to the value of $1 is allowed one guess on the number of sales tickets that will be made out and handed to the cashier during the one hundred days.

Mr. Peddicord said there is no trade that he is working for but what he wants to keep. There is no transient trade in a country store like in the city. Bargains are given and they are genuine. He said he has not made anything on calico while he has been in business. It is run as a leader just because it is mostly in demand in the country. This case is detailed in full for the reason that so many merchants in country towns of 2,000 population and more say that every one around the country knows them, where they are located and what they sell, and if anything is wanted in their line people know where to go. Mr. Peddicord started in a small store years ago, and owes his 12,000 feet floor space store today in a small town to the profits from his scheme of advertising.

Source: The Beloit Gazette, Beloit, Kansas, Thu, Dec 2, 1897, Page 1

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