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10-Jun-2017 10:13

1920s: Lonely WWI Soldiers Seek Pen Pals Personal ads went mainstream again in the early 20th century, when social pressures to get married by 21 (and thus, expectations for relationships) were much lower, thankfully than their earlier incarnations.

Many of the postings were simply calls for friends or pen pals.

(Farmers Only continues the legacy to find "where all the country girls are" today.) Some very pragmatic examples of early 20th century personals: HOUSEKEEPER: 18 to 30 years of age, wanted by widower, 40.

Have prominent position with the rail company, have 75-acre ranch also house in town; object matrimony if suited; have boy 13 years old, would not object to housekeeper having child. Young woman, reared in luxury, having lost everything and earned her living for the past eight years, is tired of teaching and wishes a home: would like to meet a well-to-do businessman who would appreciate refinement and affection in a wife. If only these two had found each other's personals then.....

Like the Internet today, lonely hearts ads were suspected of harboring all sort of scams and perversities.

Because they were often used by homosexuals and sex workers, British police continued to prosecute those who placed personals until the late 1960s, when ads became part of the burgeoning youth counterculture. In 1965, a team of Harvard undergrads created Operation Match, the world's first computer dating service.

The popularity of personals paved the way for grifters who soon realized that they could prey on the vulnerability of people seeking love.

Scam artists caused a scandal that many newspapers ran with, and personals disappeared practically overnight as public attitudes became more cautious.

1695: The First Personal Ads According to history professor H. Cocks (seriously --The Best Name Ever for an academic) personal ads began as a way to help British bachelors find eligible wives.

maybe not that much has changed for the one percent?

) Mid 1800s: The General Public Follows In the mid-19th century, the need to advertise for a husband or wife was still considered a "failure" and associated with deviant behavior for many judgmental straight, white, middle-to-upper class people.

Less-Than-Fun fact: homosexuality was outlawed and punishable by death in the UK by wife-murderer Henry VIII and continued to be illegal until 1967. A., anyone accused of being a "sodomite" doing "buggery" was also legally sentenced to death as of 1776.) Coded words, female names and other signals in personals were channels to privately expressing vulnerability and find companionship that society forbade.

During this time, gathering sites for gay men known as Molly Houses were subject to regular raids by law enforcement. 1727: Women Get Smacked Down for Expressing Personal Desire In 1727, Englishwoman Helen Morrison became the first woman to place an ad in a Lonely Hearts column.

Before the Internet, there were personal ads, and before that, lonely shepherds carved detailed works of art into tree bark to communicate their longing for human contact.



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Next, I did something a friend had suggested doing in hotels: when you order room service and the tray is delivered, if the employee is a hot stud, just say as he's leaving, "When I'm finished, do you want me to leave it outside the door, or do you want me to call you to come get it?… continue reading »


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