Finding love has never been easy. As early as the 1890s, people were using the papers’ classified section to place matrimonial ads, which were essentially want ads for a spouse.

The first ad I came across is from 1909. This fellow seems heartfelt, if not grammatically inclined.

The Jackson herald., July 15, 1909

This 1905 Babu Matrimonial Advertisement introduces us to a gentleman of 36 who is a self-described “independent, beautiful young widower… very rich family.” As if this wasn’t enough to start an all-out war for his affections, our hero (whom we’ll call Catfish) subtly mentions he still has his late wife’s jewelry.

Hold on to your heart, ladies!
Hold on to your heart, ladies!

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Recently, I came across a coded message in the March 28, 1905 issue of The Evening World:

The evening world., March 28, 1905
 

 

What is this? A clue to an elopement?

If it is a message between sweethearts, one wonders who would welcome “GIMP” as a term of endearment!

There could be other explanations. For instance, what if criminals used the personals ads as a means to convey plans to one another?