Advertising has long been a common phenomenon that is an omnipresent element of the surrounding reality. Merchants, craftsmen and manufacturers have always recommended the products offered and in various ways encouraged to purchase them and use the services provided. The theme of industrial Bydgoszcz in pre-war advertising draws attention to advertisements from the years 1920-1939, which, apart from their sometimes very attractive graphic form, are a carrier of content, which at that time were used by entrepreneurs to win customers, and today play a role of an important source allowing to delve into the history of old companies.
Advertisements published in newspapers and magazines with more or less extensive text contain basic information such as the name of the company, location, assortment produced, but also detailed information such as the name of the owner, date of establishment, awards or patents obtained. By carefully following the advertisements in the press, we can record valuable facts indicating, for example, a change in the location or ownership of a plant. Extremely valuable are the advertisements of companies about which nothing or almost nothing is known, which are forgotten, after which no documentation has been preserved. An example is the furniture industry, where apart from well-known factories retained in memory there were several small factories, carpentry or upholstery workshops in Bydgoszcz, about which we can learn thanks to advertisements. The situation is similar in the metallurgical and machine industry. Therefore, advertisements are valuable material for the diagnosis of the economic history of, among others, inter-war Bydgoszcz. The presentation points out the numerous issues and the importance of old advertisements in research on the history of various industries.
Lecture online, 20.05.2020
Bogna Derkowska-Kostkowska, art historian, head of the Cultural Heritage Studio of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Cultural Centre in Bydgoszcz. She specializes in research on the history of architecture and urban planning in Bydgoszcz in the 19th and 1st half of the 20th century, as well as on the local construction environment, the history of industry in Bydgoszcz and street naming changes. In 2016, she published a book entitled “Bydgoszczanin i budowniczy. O Józefie Święcickim, architekturze i Bydgoszczy 1859-1913.” Moreover, she is the author of many monographic articles. She was a member of a local expert group consulting on the creation of the Bydgoszcz Industrial Heritage Route (TeH2O) within the European project SHIFT-X.