Here is your typical Gearhart appeal to their prime market, in the words of this Gearhart Knitting Machine ad:
My heart goes out to the woman struggling to make ends meet and to her I say, “Write to the Gearhart Knitting Machine Company of Clearfield, Pa., right away. Get a Gearahrt Knitter, knit all the Allwear Hosiery you have time for and accept the liberal pay checks which they will send you for the pleasantest, nicest home work imaginable.”
The Ad starts out by describing Eva Dean as the story of hundreds of other women who have been able to provide themselves with extra money for things they could not otherwise afford. I especially like the lead in:
Was this Eva Dean? I could scarcely believe my eyes. A miracle had happened in only a few short months. The properous looking, handsomely gowned woman before me was indeed my friend, Eva Dean. But what a transformation!
The ad goes on to describe her “desperate” situation and how she gained “happiness at home, new clothes, things for children, and money in the bank.” Who could resist this offer, especially back in the 1920’s when most women didn’t have a job? This was before the Great Depression, so I think if the company had been in business after 1929, they would have had many, many customers based on the kind of story in this ad.
The strategy seems pretty good for the time. I’m sure today it would be met with raised eyebrows, since by today’s standards the ad looks to be exploiting fear tactics, and seems contrived. After all, today there are lot’s to “get rich quick at home” schemes floating around. Back then though, this kind of ad probaby wouldn’t have been greeted with suspicion. It must have worked, because the company gained almost all of its business through this type of appeal.