I have a scrapbook of advertisements and instruction manuals. Some of the pages are pretty far gone. They have separated from the binding, and the advertisements are brittle. I think if anyone had realized back in the 1890’s that I would be using a scanner to preserve all this information, they wouldn’t have glued the advertisements to the paper. Oh well.

Here is one of the pages. I’m not sure who put the scrapbook together. The information goes back to the very beginning of the company in 1888, so Joseph definitely originated the material. However, all the notes are in Emory’s handwriting, so he played a part in organizing and recording things.


A particularly interesting advertisement on one of the pages is, according to Emory, the first one ever published. The year was 1892. Emory writes the following – The power of advertising. First Adv February 1892 at $8.00 to Dec 1921 for $60.00.


I am curious about this, though. The company would have been in business for four years by that time. So, does this mean that Joseph got all his business prior to this advertisement by word of mouth? If so, the entire business must have been local to the Clearfield, Pennsylvania, area for the first four years. Moreover, doesn’t 1892 seem to be a bit late for the first advertisement? Now, I don’t doubt Emory’s account, but I’ve added yet another fact-check item to my huge list of things to do. I’ll have to go through all the advertisements containing pictures and prices and see if I can find anything which might hint at an earlier advertisement.

I do know for a fact that the price of the Gearhart Knitting Machine started at $8.00, so this is certainly the first, or one of the first advertisements. And the name of the machine, The High Speed Family Knitter is correct for 1892. The only name earlier than this was The People’s Knitting Machine, and I have not found any advertisements for this yet.

If you zoom in to the advertisement, it reads as follows:


Hmmm. So, what is “Allen’s Lists”?