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Why was this done? Weird historical question

Why was this done? Weird historical question

Posted: 26 Jan 2013 3:50AM GMT
Classification: Query
I am researching a woman who had the career of a psychic in the early 20th century. I happened upon some ads that she'd placed in newspapers around the state of Indiana; they simply said, "Ladies and gentlemen desiring correspondence, please send names to [name and address]." The ads didn't mention anything about her psychic work at all. I looked around and found that others during the same time period (around 1914) were placing similar ads, in other parts of the country. Was this simply a popular pen-pal hobby back then, or was there more to it than that? Do you think it was related to the psychic work? I have tried googling but really haven't come up with anything, other than people had placed similar ads. Does anyone know anything about this custom, and what the correspondence may have been, if not for a simple pen-pal hobby?

Re: Why was this done? Weird historical question

Posted: 26 Jan 2013 1:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
Letters lead to "sending a fee"!!!

the perfect CON for the times!

Re: Why was this done? Weird historical question

Posted: 26 Jan 2013 8:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
I think this was a match-making service -- men and women would write to the service, who would then arrange correspondence and/or meetings.

Re: Why was this done? Weird historical question

Posted: 26 Jan 2013 11:46PM GMT
Classification: Query
Oh, that makes a lot of sense about being a matchmaking service. And given what I know about this woman, it seems a lot more likely than an outright scam of some kind. Thanks for the ideas as to what this might be. I hadn't considered matchmaking. :)
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