Fashion magazines contain hidden delights ripe for investigating. One can explore overt content and covert messages in fashion magazine advertising art by probing the periodical and its promotional images for historical or social clues and for the advertiser's manipulative methods. Art librarians can apply and encourage the use of analytical techniques in connection with fashion advertising art from any era or region of the world. The focus here is on a single firm, the Demorest Fashion and Sewing-Machine Company, best known for its paper sewing patterns, and how in a single volume of its monthly magazine it promoted the purchase of fashion goods in connection with a world's fair: the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Comparing a 19th-century fashion engraving with a related photograph; and viewing a magazine advertisement as a set of repeating patterns according to a 21st-century process, fractal-concept analysis, together yield a trove of information and prompt further ideas for alternate and peripheral lines of inquiry.
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