Saturday, January 31, 2009

Would marry if I can find a congenial companion

"A very stylish and attractive widow by death, with property worth $3,000. Age 33; weight, 125; height, 5 feet, 5 inches; blue eyes, brown hair, complexion fair; American; good housekeeper and cook. Would marry if I can find a congenial companion. Either city or country life. Will answer all letters containing stamps. Will inherit $6,000."

So wrote an anonymous miss in 1917. Lonely hearts ads are not a modern invention. The New Plan, a "magazine for marimony," was published in Kansas City, MO, between 1911 and 1917. The magazine encouraged single women to post an ad. "Don't think because you are not wealthy yourself that you cannot get a rich party to marry you. Love is not measured in lucre. Morality, fidelity, respectability, ambition and beauty often tip the opposing weight of wealth on the matrimonial scale."

While mail order brides have a long history, the personal ad opened up a new door for singles. With the payment of only $1, a bachelorette also promised to answer each and every response she received. It's intriguing to wonder how many marriages developed out of these ads.

2 comments:

Loretta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meemzter said...

Who would have believed e.harmony and the like were new? Someone said there's nothing new under the sun and that is so true. I wonder just how many women answered these ads. Probably a lot if the truth be known. How much better to be cleaning and cooking for your own household than to be stuck cleaning and cooking for your siblings and parents because you are the old maid?