Banner Ladies: The Human Billboards of Yesteryear

The 20th century had both storefront displays of goods and people walking around in sandwich boards; both proved to be effective advertising techniques. In the 19th century, these methods were combined in banner ladies. Vendors would show off their wares by hanging them all over a woman's dress and then taking her picture. Come for the pretty lady, stay for the spoons! Of course, it wasn't just spoons. Women were covered with candy, baked goods, photographs, bottles, toys, horseshoes, and even coffin parts, in a gallery of such images at Messy Nessy Chic. Do not miss the woman dressed as a Christmas tree.


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