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Personal ads have been around for over 300 years in different forms and variations.In the 18th and 19th centuries, “matrimonial agencies” were often called upon to deftly and confidentially assist bachelors and old maids over the age of 21 to help with the shameful problem of singledom.

The ad says, “I look just like my picture except now I have gray hair.” Traits for the women range from “flexible” to rigid.These advertisements were often mailed to the postmaster general and forwarded to local newspapers.This meant that postings could originate from across the country with the hopes of snagging more exotic partners.Some men quite happily supplied their names and contact information for women hoping to propose: You can see here in this April 06, 1908 issue of The Coos Bay Times that some newspapers published lists of all the eligible bachelors in the surrounding towns in order to give the all single ladies a chance to hunt them down and offer up a proposal of marriage.Some men didn’t necessarily appreciate being exposed as single men, however: “Times Recieves Protests From Bachelor Brigade”.

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