[Ads-l] Archetypal Advertisement: Eat at Joe's

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 1 15:15:53 EST 2017

Barry Popik asked off list about the statement "Eat at Joe's" which
appears on signage. Here are the results of a quick search. Below is a
1932 citation in which "Eat at Joe's Place" was employed as a
prototypical message on a
highway sign:

[ref] 1932 November 25, Illinois State Journal, Regulating The Side
Lines, Quote Page 6, Column 1, Springfield, Illinois.

[Begin excerpt]
Another important regulation bans the use of flashing red lights or
"stop" signs erected on the highways to call attention to commercial
establishments. No more will Indiana allow a highway sign reading
"Stop" in large letters and then, in smaller letters, "Eat at Joe's
[End excerpt]

Google Books has an interesting match that apparently occurs in a
1931, but it should be verified with hardcopy. This usage is moving
towards the archetype, I think.

Year: 1931 (Worldcat agrees with date; visible in snippet)
Title: Wide Open Town
Author: Myron Brinig
Publisher: Farrar & Rinehart, Incorporated, 1931
Database: Google Books snippet; data may be inaccurate and should be
verified with hardcopy; text partially visible in snippet

[Begin extracted text]
Zola was whipped by the abrupt pathos of the signs the one in front
bearing the words, Whether It Snows or Whether the Sun Shines, Eat at
Joe's Place, 356 North Main Street. Delicious Food at the Lowest
Prices. Roddy did not see her until ..
[End extracted text]

Below is a classified journal advertisement in 1923 with "EAT AT JOE'S
Restaurant". This seems to be a concrete non-generalized instance.

Date: 1923 April
Periodical: The Nassau Literary Magazine
Volume: 78 (LXXVIII)
Page: Unnumbered Page in advertising section after page 291
Database: Google Books


{Begin excerpt]
EAT AT JOE'S Restaurant
Opposite head of University Place
[End excerpt]

Below is a classified ad from 1915 with "eat at Joe's Lunch Room".
This seems to be a concrete non-generalized instance.

[ref] 1915 December 08, Evening World Herald (Omaha World Herald),
Help Wanted—Male: Miscellaneous (Classified Advertisement), Quote Page
16, Column 6, Omaha, Nebraska. (GenealogyBank)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Wanted—Men to eat at Joe's Lunch Room at S.E. cor., 14th and Harney,
Open day and night.
[End excerpt]

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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