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J Walter Thompson -- known as the Father of Modern Advertising -- here is a Perfect signature on a RARE document -- Proxy to vote ------
James Walter Thompson(October 28, 1847 – October 16, 1928) was the founder of theJ. Walter Thompsonadvertising agencyand a pioneer of style="margin: 0.5em 0px; line-height: style="list-style-type: none; margin: 0.3em 0px; padding: 0px; list-style-image: none;">1Biography2Legacy3In popular culture4References
He was born inPittsfield, Massachusettson October 28, 1847.
In 1864, William James Carlton started selling advertising space in religious magazines. The agency was called Carlton and Smith, although almost nothing is known about the Smith partner. In 1868, Carlton hired Thompson as a bookkeeper. Eventually Thompson found that soliciting and sales were much more profitable and he became a very effective salesman for the small company. In 1877, Thompson bought the agency for $500 and renamed itJ. Walter Thompson Company. Thompson paid $800 for the Carlton and Smith furniture in the same transaction.
Realizing that he could sell more space if the company provided the service of developing content for advertisers, Thompson hired writers and artists to form the first knowncreative departmentin anadvertising agency. He is credited as the "father of modern magazine advertising" in the United States.
Thompson, having served on theUSSSaratogain theCivil War, was a passionate sailor. He owned a variety of vessels, including a seagoing houseboat, a steam, (Stella). He headed theNew York Yacht Club, for which his title as Commodore and his portrait became famous within the company. He lived at 11 EastSixty-eighth StreetinManhattan.
He developed the Roosevelt Manor section of Cranford in the 1890s and built the Cranford Opera House block inCranford, New Jerseyfor his wife, Margaret Riggs Boyle Thompson, in 1892.
The J. Walter Thompson Company was incorporated in 1896. In 1899, Thompson opened an office inLondon. An avid traveler, Thompson went abroad nearly every summer for twenty years, and rarely came back without important accounts. He saw New York as "the flagship" office for a company with no geographical restrictions. "It has no limitations. Any spot on earth where goods are to be sold by advertising is inside the fence of the Thompson field", said Thompson.
In 1900, JWT published a house ad explaining trademark advertising. This was the first known commercial explanation of what we now know asbrand management. Thompson soon became known for his philosophy of drawing a straight line between the manufacturer and the consumer.
In 1916,Stanley B. Resorand several partners bought the company from the aging Thompson for $500,000.
In 1930, a letter addressed to Thompson arrived from soon-to-be president,Franklin D. Roosevelt, asking for a job for his son, Elliott, guaranteeing that "he has a perfectly good mind"; JWT’s mother was a distant cousin of FDR, but Thompson had died in 1928.Elliott never did work for JWT.
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