For the past two centuries, Warren businesses have advertised their products and services in many clever ways. From whistles and wooden nickels to cards and calendars, businesses have searched for new ways to put across their message. The images and the words businesses used help us understand what was considered attractive and what had value to people in the past. By creating a fan, milk cap and/or business card, students have the opportunity to make a historic piece of advertising or create a new one for their own Warren County business.


This copy of a 1922 county fair fan is a good example of an advertising give away. We suggest making a miniature version of the original fan.

1. Design a fan advertising an event or business.
2. Transfer the design to poster board cut to size.
3. Glue a craft stick to the fan making it sturdy by applying stick approximately 1/3 of the way to the top.


Before the cardboard carton, glass milk bottles were used by dairies. A cardboard cap was pressed into the top of each bottle. The top was used to advertise the dairy which processed the milk in the container. Students might like to create their own Warren County caps.

1. Make a copy of the sheet of milk caps from Warren County dairies. (Found here.)
2. Students will cut out the cap, color, and glue it to poster board of the same size.
3. Apply clear contact paper or laminate, if desired.


Advertising cards have long been a popular way of getting one’s message out. Nineteenth century cards tended to be very colorful and many people created card scrapbooks. Students may wish to make cards based on historic Warren County businesses or create their own.

1. Look at these sample advertising cards. Have students create their own businesses or research a Warren County business of the past (old directories are a good resource). Remember cards were colorful and products often had slogans to encourage people to buy.
2. You may want to copy the finished cards and have students create their own card scrapbook filled with their own and their classmates’ businesses.


Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society