Advertising, as we know it, gained momentum in the 18th century in newspapers, and it has since grown to include television, radio and other media. Old printed advertising is a popular form of collecting. Posters, coasters, leaflets and newspapers are often referred to as ephemera because they were designed and printed for temporary use.
Advertising reminds us of the past and provide a bit of nostalgia and can take any form. Retailers tried to get their brand and product recognition across to users by providing “give aways” which had some functional purpose and had a product and/or retailers name on it to remind the user to purchase that item with them in the future.
Looking for the old advertising items is a popular past time as many of the items are both decorative as well as functional. It is exciting to see the variety of materials that the items are made from. Researching the history of the item and the materials used to make it is also very interesting. Often you will be able to determine the era and where the item was made.
Western Australian firms of all business sectors produced numerous types of advertising items before the advent of commercials in television. It is a wide field in which to collect and inexpensive examples can be easily found at auctions. Garage sales and swap meets, or on Ebay.