Tuesday, 22 August 2017

litfaßsäule or post no bills

Recently, H and I learned that those purpose-built advertising columns like this one in my neighbourhood in Wiesbaden, known as Morris columns in English-speaking venues after the French printer Gabriel Morris who brought them to Paris, are called Litfaßsäule after the Berlin printer and publisher Ernst Litfass who first originated them. Repulsed by disordered pamphleting of walls, storefronts, fences and trees with random advertising and notices, Litfass received permission to erect Annoncier-Säulen in public places the city in 1855 and earned his title König der Reklame (King of Advertisements) by renting advertising space. During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the columns also became lighting-rods and showcases for propaganda.  Litfass maintained his monopoly until his death, oddly enough, in Wiesbaden in 1874 and afterwards many municipalities undertook building their own pilasters.