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Perkins of Portland

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Ellis Parker Butler (1869-1937) was a contemporary of many big names in American fiction straddling the 19th and 20th centuries, b... Lire la suite
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Ellis Parker Butler (1869-1937) was a contemporary of many big names in American fiction straddling the 19th and 20th centuries, but today he's almost completely forgotten. Butler, the author of more than 30 books and more than 2,000 stories and essays. His writing spanned more than forty years and his stories, poems and articles were published in more than 225 magazines. 'Perkins of Portland ' are amusing tales showing the effectiveness of advertising some rather questionable products. Perkins and the narrator partner in promotions directed at a gullible and willing public. Unlike most tales of the kind, with moralistic endings where the 'sharps' come to grief, Perkins and Co. become wealthy and quite pleased with themselves.

Échantillon de lecture


THERE was very little about Perkins that was not peculiar. To mention his peculiarities would be a long task; he was peculiar from the ground up. His shoes had rubber soles, his hat had peculiar mansard ventilators on each side, his garments were vile as to fit, and altogether he had the appearance of being a composite picture.

We first met in the Golden Hotel office in Cleveland, Ohio. I was reading a late copy of a morning paper and smoking a very fairish sort of cigar, when a hand was laid on my arm. I turned and saw in the chair beside me a beaming face.

"Just read that!" he said, poking an envelope under my nose. "No, no!" he cried; "on the back of it."

What I read was:

"Perkins's Patent Porous Plaster Makes all pains and aches fly faster."

"Great, isn't it?" he asked, before I could express myself. "That first line, 'Perkins's Patent Porous Plaster,' just takes the cake. And the last line! That is a gem, if I do say it myself. Has the whole story in seven words. 'All pains and aches!' Everything from sore feet to backache; all the way from A to Z in the dictionary of diseases. Comprehensive as a presidential message. Full of meat as a refrigerator- car. 'Fly faster!' Faster than any other patent med. or dope would make them fly. 'Makes!' They've got to fly! See? 'Perkins's Patent Porous Plaster MAKES all pains and aches fly faster,' 'makes ALL pains and aches fly faster,' 'makes all pains and aches fly FASTER.' Isn't she a beaut.? Say, you can't forget that in a thousand years. You'll find yourself saying it on your death-bed:

"'Perkins's Patent Porous Plaster
Makes all pains and aches fly faster.'"

I held the envelope toward him, but he only tapped it with his finger.

"There is a fortune in those two lines," he said. "I know it I'm Perkins, known from Maine to California as Perkins of Portland, Perkins the Originator. I have originated more ads. than any man living. See that shoe? It's the 'Go-lightly' kind. I originated the term. See this hat? It's Pratt's. 'Pratt's Hats Air the Hair.' I originated that ad. Result, six million pair of the Go-lightly kind of shoes sold the first year. Eight million Pratt's Hats sold on the strength of 'Air-the-Hair.' See this suit? I originated the term 'Ready-tailored.' Result, a boom for the concern. Everybody crazy for Ready-tailored clothes. It's all in the ad. The ad.'s the thing. Say, who originated 'up-to-date in style, down-to-date in price?' I did. Made half a million for a collar concern on that. See that fringe on those pants? And to think that the man who's wearing them has made millions! Yes, millions-for other guys. But he's done. It's all off with Willie. Now Willie is going to make money for himself. Mr. Perkins of Portland is going to get rich. Are you with him?"

"How is the plaster?" I asked, for there was something taking about Perkins. "Is it good for anything?"

"Plaster!" he said. "Bother the plaster! The ad.'s all right, and that's the main thing. Give me a good ad., and I'll sell lead bullets for liver pills. Display 'Perkins's Bullets Kill the Disease' in all the magazines, and in a year every person with or without a liver would be as full of lead as a printer's case. Paint it on ten thousand barns, and the inhabitants of these glorious States would be plugged up like Mark Twain's frog. Now I have here an ad. that is a winner. Give me fifty thousand dollars, and we will have every man, woman, and child in America dreaming, thinking, and wearing Perkins's Patent Porous Plaster. We will have it in every magazine, on every barn, fence, and rock, in the street-cars, on highways and byways, until the refrain will ring in sixty million American heads-

"'Perkins's Patent Porous Plaster
Makes all pains and aches fly faster."

"But, my dear sir," I said, "is the plaster good?"

Mr. Perkins of Portland leaned ove

Informations sur le produit

Titre: Perkins of Portland
Sous-titre: Perkins the Great
Code EAN: 9788381621687
Protection contre la copie numérique: filigrane numérique
Format: eBook (epub)
Genre: Dès 12 ans
nombre de pages: 81
Parution: 01.08.2018
Bonus: Unterstützte Lesegerätegruppen: PC/MAC/eReader/Tablet
Taille de fichier: 2.5 MB