We’re nearing the end of newspaper page collation for Phase II. Our final title that our team of Michael Breiner, Mary VanBuren-Swasey, and Karyn Norwood, have been hard at work examining issue by issue on microfilm is the Orleans County Monitor, a weekly published out of Barton, Vermont, serving Orleans County from 1872-1953 (we’re only digitizing up to 1922, as it is the cut-off date for copyright).
While examining a reel from 1910, I stumbled upon a fascinating and innovative marketing campaign by the Orleans County Monitor that by all accounts was a huge success. “Monitor’s Great Popularity and Prize Contest,” was a popularity contest for the ladies of Orleans County–prizes included a grand prize of a $500 Brush automobile, four $50 diamond rings, a couch, dresser, 112-piece dish set, and a center table. The premise of it was very simple: write down the name of a lady that you think should win (and it could be yourself) on a voting certificate and turn it into the Monitor office. The trick of it was, of course, you needed to buy (or get your friends to buy) to a copy (or better yet, a subscription) of the paper to get the certificate to vote. You could, of course, vote as many times as you wanted; men could also certainly vote–but it had to be cast for a woman. The contest went on for seven weeks between September and October 1910.
Continue reading A Capital Campaign: The Orleans County Monitor Circulation Contest