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

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 1 16:13:19 EST 2017


The line was already a stereotypical sandwich-board advertisement by the 1940s.  In a textbook about advertising:


Philip Ward Burton, Advertising Copywriting, New York, Prentiss Hall, 1949:


You will probably never be asked to create a selling message for a sign that will urge one and all to "Eat At Joe's Quick Lunch," nor will you be likely to write spiels for a carnival barker.  Yet both sandwich boards and carnival barker's spiels must be considered within the realm of outdoor advertising.



In a mining novel that takes place in Montana, a down-on-his luck miner becomes a sandwich-board man.

Myron Brinig, Wide Open Town, New York, Farrar and Rinehart, 1931:


The two signs were held together by pieces of rope with a space in between just large enough to slip over his head.  Zola was whipped by the abrupt pathos of the signs the one in front bearing the words, Wheter It Snows or Whether the Sun Shines, Eat at Joe’s Place, 356 North Main Street. Delicious Food at the Lowest Prices.


The phrase, if not as an advertising catch phrase, appears in a cowboy poem from 1921:


N. Howard Thorp, Songs of the Cowboys, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1921.  A reprint of a poem from the “Denver Republican.”


Greaser Joe’s Place


You kin brag of city caffeys and their trout from streams and lakes.  Of their meals served a la carty and their mushrooms and their steaks;


But the grub at Greaser Joe’s is the finest ever dealt: Come, hombre, and jest tuck a bowl of chile ‘neath your belt! . . .


There is sometimes rough stunts doin’ and p’r’aps some powder burnt, For the men who eat at Joe’s all the p’litest ways ain’t learnt; . . . .



The phrase appears as an example of an advertising poster in an advertising periodical in 1921, although not in the familiar form:


The Printing Art, volume 37, number 6, page 524, August 1921.


A HALF-HOUR TO EAT AT JOE'S PLACE.


Of course you'll want to eat at Joe's home-cookery restaurant before going on that inter-urban trip. . . .

















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Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2017 12:15:53 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Archetypal Advertisement: Eat at Joe's

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Subject:      Archetypal Advertisement: Eat at Joe's
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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.
(GenealogyBank)[/ref]

[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
Place."
[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

https://books.google.com/books?id=3DYN0mAQAAIAAJ&q=3D%22Eat+at%22#v=3Dsnipp=
et&

{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=E2=80=94Male: Miscellaneous (Classified Advertisement), Quote P=
age
16, Column 6, Omaha, Nebraska. (GenealogyBank)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Wanted=E2=80=94Men to eat at Joe's Lunch Room at S.E. cor., 14th and Harney=
,
Open day and night.
[End excerpt]

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