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Samuel Taylor Suit Bourbon Broadside, about 1872

 

Samuel Taylor Suit chose the recognizable image of the United State Capitol to adorn this advertisement for his bourbon in 1872.   Although he paid homage to Kentucky where he learned the distilling trade, Suit produced most of his product just outside the nation’s capitol in a town now known as Suitland, Maryland and marketed it nationally.  Suit used the image of the Capitol to lend a sense of national prominence to the bourbon that matched his ambitions as a politician and entrepreneur.  This particular broadside probably circulated in New England since it directs interested parties to an agent in Boston. Broadsides like this were among the earliest forms of outdoor advertising.  As printing became faster and cheaper, broadside advertisements  proliferated, claiming outdoor spaces as part of the burgeoning marketplace of the late 19th century.

 

 

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