Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 254



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 254

Association. McFarland and Bok worked together; they took innumerable photographs, and began to publish them, calling public attention to the intrusion upon the public eye.

Page after page appeared in the magazine, and after a few months these roused public discussion as to legal control of this class of advertising. Bok meanwhile called the attention of women’s clubs and other civic organizations to the question, and urged that they clean their towns of the obnoxious bill-boards. Legislative measures regulating the size, character, and location of bill-boards were introduced in various States, a tax on each bill-board was suggested in other States, and the agitation began to bear fruit.

Bok now called upon his readers in general to help by offering a series of prizes totalling several thousands of dollars for two photographs, one showing a fence, barn, or outbuilding painted with an advertisement or having a bill-board attached to it, or a field with a bill-board in it, and a second photograph of the same spot showing the advertisement removed, with an accompanying affidavit of the owner of the property, legally attested, asserting that the advertisement had been permanently removed. Hundreds of photographs poured in, scores of prizes were awarded, the results were published, and requests came in for a second series of prizes, which were duly awarded.

While Bok did not solve the problem of bill-board advertising, and while in some parts of the country it is a more flagrant nuisance to-day than ever before, he had started the first serious agitation against bill-board



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