A Secret from Copywriting Legend Claude Hopkins

claude hopkins schlitz ad“I want you to have this,” my father-in-law whispered, adding a large, heavy, framed item covered in brown paper to the pile of things we were packing into the car. “It could be worth somethin’.” Inwardly, I groaned. My in-laws were downsizing and I was doing my best to keep our pile small.

I wanted to say, “What is this??” But I couldn’t refuse those twinkling eyes, so I smiled with an enthusiastic, “Oh, thank you!”

When we arrived back in Austin, we unloaded the car and tore the dusty paper from the bulky package. Inside we found an old lithograph ad, featuring a young girl with a white dove under the word “Purity,” and the slogan, “Schlitz Beer — the Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous.”

It looked like an ad to hang over a bar in a saloon or tavern somewhere around the turn of the century. It wasn’t in perfect condition, but had its charm. Curious to see why Dad wanted me to have it, I sat down to research its history and whether it might be “worth somethin’.”

What I discovered was totally unexpected.


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