Turn of the Century Matrimonial Ads

Today I bring you matrimonial ads from four eligible bachelors in St. Louis in 1897 and San Francisco in 1912.

Anyone care to make a choice between Bachelors 1, 2, 3, or 4?

1. This one is a bit hard to read but the amount specified is $800, which is the equivalent of $28,695 in 2022. 


2. This ad didn’t request a specific amount, but “of means” suggests that money isn’t exactly a non-issue. This fellow specifies he has life insurance. As someone who spends a lot of time researching true crime, I wouldn’t advise this strategy. 


3. This ad requests just $50, which is about $1800 today. 


4. This ad comes from San Francisco in 1912. I don’t know about this one. $10,000 is a lot of money, even for an active, clean-cut young business man of 28. And if you adjust for inflation, that is the equivalent of $306,918. However, please remember everything costs more in San Francisco, so that does need to figure into your analysis! 


Also, the drawing to win a signed copy of my new book Grievous Deeds: The True Story of Four Years of Fury in Chattanooga, Tennessee is tomorrow evening! If you haven’t entered the drawing yet, click here to go to the post and enter!


Leave a Comment

    • Yep. There are two types of ads. The ones who want money are a big one. But there are also ones who don’t mention money and do use words like good housekeeper, good cook, and strong. They were looking for a woman who would work really hard. On the What’s In it For the Woman side, they would say things like “good home.” Kind of like giving a workhorse a nice stable. Great, but that’s not why they got the horse, you know? Not a whole lot of people really looking for love in the newspaper personals.


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