A Newsletter of the History of Marketing and Marketing
Published by Michigan
The Eli Broad
College of Business
November, 2002, Vol. 15, No. 4
CHARM 2003 Update
RIMmers are reminded that the deadline
for submissions to the 11th CHARM, hosted by the Eli Broad College
of Business at Michigan State University in East Lansing next May 15 through
18, is November 15 (that’s now!).
Conference Program Chair, Terry Witkowski, is
very pleased to announce that the keynote address will be given by Professor
Stanley C. Hollander. Other invited,
distinguished speakers have agreed to attend and details about this and other
program news will appear in the next issue of RIM. Local arrangements chair, Diana Twede, advises us that individual meal tickets can be
purchased for individuals who accompany conference participants at the
following price schedule: dinners @ $36 each, lunches @ $22 each – please
indicate your needs when registering for the conference. Details about CHARM submission guidelines and
contact persons can, of course, be found elsewhere on this website.
If Bill Keep (AHRIM board member) tries to sell you the Empire
check with the New York county
registrar of deeds. Bill has become
quite an expert on various sorts of flimflam, hoax, Ponzi,
pyramid, bucket, and other schemes and scams.
He has been consulting with the Federal Trade Commission and preparing
articles in this field. He recently was quoted with regard to Ponzi schemes by U.S. News and World Report, August 26th,
September 2 special issue on hoaxes and frauds.
Ponzi developed a scheme to profit from the purchase
and redemption of international reply coupons, vouchers sole post offices
throughout the world under the auspices of the Universal Postal Union. They were designed to encourage international
correspondence. They allowed a person
living in country A to write to someone in country B and include such a voucher
to pre-pay first class international postage for the reply to their
letter. At the time Ponzi
operated, these coupons were redeemable for about six cents worth of postage in
the United States
(the first class international rate) but could be obtained in Spain
under currency devaluation for the equivalent for just about one cent. Ponzi claimed he
would purchase and redeem the coupon but instead used the money coming in from
subsequent investors to repay early investors in this plan. This continued until he exhausted the market
and found that he could not repay the later participants. And if you do decide to buy the Empire
from him, please be aware that it has been reported to be in very
deteriorated condition. Do a little
bargaining about price.
Further on the subject of flimflam, hoaxes and scams… We would also like to announce the
publication by Bill Keep (co-authored with Kelly Tian)
of Customer Fraud and Business Responses:
Let the Marketer Beware (2002), Quorum Books, 2002.
In early August 2002, several media sources reported on a
series of lawsuits that are being initiated against fast food restaurant chains
and possibly food manufacturers or processors. The argument is that these firms
have contributed to obesity in the American population and thus to various
medical ills. The claims and the
approach is very repetitious of the successful actions
that were finally initiated against the tobacco interest. Apparently, claims against the food people
will be somewhat more difficult to prosecute, but we can watch history in the
making as the matter continues to be carried aggressively further.
John Steele Gordon’s regular feature “The Business of
America,” in American Heritage
June-July 2002 is subtitled “Pushing the Envelope: The Birth of a Global
Village in the 1860s” is devoted to planting of the Transatlantic, the problems
and eventual entrepreneurial success of the telegraph cable at that time and
its effect upon internationalization of business. Other interesting marketing-related articles
in the same issue are devoted to the history of the immigrant-Italian Sonoma
County California wine industry,
the American beer industry, and the latter-days of the burlesque trade.
In “Third Class Citizen,” Patrick J. O’Rourke, Atlantic
Monthly, April, 2002, talks about the value of the Sears Roebuck catalog
for the study of social history. Many
universities received a microfilm file of this catalog as a gift from Sears
about ten or fifteen years ago.
John F. Ross reports in the August issue of the Smithsonian Institute Magazine on the “First
City in the New World?”. Archeologist Ruth
Shady Solis of San Marcos University has excavated remains of the city of Caral in Peru. Radio-carbon dating of artifacts proves that
the city is 4,600 years old which would make it the oldest known urban center
in the Americas. Her excavations convinced Shady that the city
served as a major trade center for the region.
The rich trading environment gave rise to an elite group of priests,
planners, builders, and designers. Thus,
class distinctions basic to an urban society developed.
The Literature Keeps
“The Perfect Store: Inside eBay” by Adam
Cohen Boston, Little Brown and Company 2002. History,
an examination of the growth of eBay, the most singular success story in online
retailing. In its early days,
however, eBay was established as some sort of electronic utopian
community. It has since grown well
beyond that vision to be become an institutionalized mega-corporation.
Some biologists are
now beginning to reject the rigid mathematical equations of physics as a
paradigm for their own discipline. In A
New Kind of Science, Stephen Wolfram argues for the use of computer
algorithms for the study of evolution instead of the logical positivist model
that has been paramount. The book is
published by Wolfram Media. Champagne,
One wonders whether similar shifts will occur among marketing
The New York Times recently reviewed two remarkably similar
books that were prepared by investigative reporters who converged to describe
the battle between Philo T. Farnsworth, the true inventor of television and
General David Sarnoff, the megalomaniac head of radio corporation of America
who claimed credit for the invention and who fought bitterly for the patent
rights. Although the material is already
well-covered by earlier books, the Times reviewer found both made interesting
reading for the modern reader; The Last Lone Inventor: A Tale of Genius,
Deceit and the Birth of Television by Evan I. Schwartz. New
York, Harper Collins. $24.95 and The
Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television by Daniel Stashower. $24.95. 288 pages. Broadway Books.
And Wait There is More by Timothy Samuelson published
by Rizzoli. May 2002 is a history of the Popeil
brothers and Ronco, the great pitchmen who have
produced and sold Veg-o-matics, the Pocket Fisherman,
Seal A Meals, and Kitchen Magicians. Many revere shall we say most famous
infomercials are reproduced here along with accounts of the invention process
that have produced those miracles of gadgetry.
The Future of the Past by Alexander Stille, published by R. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New
York, 2002. The New York Times’
reviewer strongly and highly commends this collection of essays, mainly drawn
from the New Yorker, among other things, deals with the problems of
points out that it is difficult to decide what is authentic, therefore
deserving of preservation and to maintain it without destroying it. He contrasts Western approaches with Japanese
and Chinese practice where a cyclical view of time prevailed as distinguished
from chronological or linear narrative.
Many important buildings and other artifacts in the Orient were made of
wood, and thus are subject to constant replacement of deteriorating parts, so
the original structure remains without any original components. The culture tended to value a good copy as highly
as an original. Other preservation
issues explored included the impact of ecological preservation on resident
populations and the difficulties induced in record keeping by the introduction
of new communication media.
The June 2002 issue of Enterprise & Society (International
Journal of Business History), Volume 3, number 2, an article and several books
reviews which should be of interest to marketing historians. Ann M. Caros and
Frank D. Lewis authored “Marketing in the Land
of Hudson Bay: Indian Consumers and
the Hudson’s Bay Company,
1670-1770”. Book reviews include: Hugh Slotten’s Radio and
Television Regulation: Broadcast Technology in the United States, 1920-1960;
Richard E. Foglesong’s Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando; and Mansel G. Blackford’s Fragile Paradise: The Impact of Tourism on
The first, and sadly only, issue of the online Journal of Marketing History has been
published and its five articles include two by members of our AHRIM. Roger Dickinson’s “Chasing a Ghost: Retail
Power and the Development of Slotting Allowances in the United States Food
Sector: An Historical Perspective” is the lead article. Arthur Kover and
Sarah Maxwell presented an earlier draft of their “The University in Franeker (1585-1811): A Case Study of the Consumption of
History” at the 10th CHARM in 2001.
The entire issue of the Journal of
Marketing History is available online, free, at
Ranger Roger’s Corner
Ranger Roger reports that the Wall Street Journal for July
13, 2002 pg. R13 contains a full-page
article that compares the printing press, the telegraph, railroads and radio to
The Ranger is excited about Foundations of Marketing
Theory: Toward a General Theory of Marketing by
Shelby D. Hunt published by M.E. Sharpe, Armonk,
Although the volume is not historical, Shelby
makes great use of historical information about the volume.
Related History Resources Online
Jerry Mulcahy, Director of the
Business Library at the University of
Western Ontario has created a
number of online resources that may be of use and interest to marketing
historians. Over the last few years Mulcahy has been posting biographical information about
important management thinkers and as part of that resource he has included
information about the “Pioneers in Marketing” and “Leaders in Marketing” series
that were published during the 1950s and 1960s in the Journal of Marketing. Check
http://www.lib.uwo.ca/business/gurus.html. In addition, there are resources for
researching a long list of company histories, particularly Canadian
companies. Link to
And a third resource includes bibliographic information about histories of the School
of Business at the University
of Western Ontario at
http:www.lib.uwo.ca/business/bibliographies.html. By the way, Western’s School
of Business was one of the first in
among the first to offer marketing courses.
AHRIM Member News
An email distributed to members of the Association for
Historical Research in Marketing earlier this fall asked for news about moves,
promotions, publications, and so on with the plan that we would publish such
news here in RIM. The blue screen of
death (those of who have had a hard drive crash know what that means!) wiped
out all the email responses and post-middle-aged memory being what it is means
the following is all we can report in this issue….
AHRIM board member Bill Keep has been kicked upstairs to the
position of Associate VP for Academic Affairs at Quinnipiac
University. However, Bill has maintained his faculty
status and continues to do research in marketing history.
AHRIM board member Brian Jones will be joining Bill Keep at Quinnipiac
University as a member of the
faculty in the Lender School of Business, effective July 1, 2003.
Of course, this also means that the CHARM website will be moving. Everyone on the CHARM email distribution list
will be notified of that change when it is complete.
CHARM Program Chair and AHRIM board member, Terry Witkowski, has had published in the Journal of Advertising, “World War II Poster Campaigns: Preaching
Frugality to American Consumers”.
With apologies to those who did submit news but are not
listed here, please re-send your information to Brian Jones
for the next issue of RIM. Likewise to
all other members of AHRIM, we welcome your news and would like to include it
in future issues of the newsletter.
The next issue of RIM is anticipated in February, 2003.
Dept. of Marketing & Supply Chain Management
N370 North Business Complex
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
Hollander, Michigan State
Cheryl Hanson, Michigan
Correspondent: Roger Dickinson, University
of Texas at Arlington