• The Coast Team

The History of Merchandise

Just a short history lesson for you today!!

Let’s take it back to the 1700’s, where it all began… the first known promotional products trace back to 1789 when George Washington was elected president of the USA. He had commemorative buttons produced in celebration. After this time, advertising calendars and wooden items became popular forms of merchandise. However, it was the late 19th century when the creation of the industry began, and promotional products were properly developed and marketed.

In 1886, A man named Jasper Meek approached a local shoe store owner with an idea: instead of letting his printing machinery go idle between editions of the newspaper, he realised he could use it to print a message advertising the shoe store onto bags which could be given away with every shoe purchase. That way, he reasoned, when children used the bags to carry their school books, they would also advertise the store. Ta-Da the beginning of branded bags (still one of the most popular products today).

Henry Beach, another Ohio based printer and a competitor of Meek, picked up on the idea, and soon the two men were selling and printing marble bags, buggy whips, card cases, fans, calendars, cloth caps, aprons, and even hats for horses.

That's right HATS FOR HORSES!! (we assume something like this)....

Promotional Merchandise became a recognised form of corporate marketing in the UK in the late 1950’s but the industry exploded in the 1970’s when companies realised the benefits of promoting their brand and corporate identity via the use of gifts featuring their logo.

In the early days the number of different promotional products were limited unlike today where the possibilities are endless, and you can brand ‘almost’ anything!!!

Here at Coast we have branded almost everything! From the humble pen to Bonsai trees! If you have any ideas of a product you'd like branded - get in touch today - we can almost definitely help 😜


#coast #branded #merchandise #promo #history #horse

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