Time for a competition, Dear Readers! While poking recently through the October 1875 editions of the Peterborough Examiner, I came across a contest being run by the fine establishment whose ad is in the picture above: William Fairweather & Company, George Street. And I thought that it would be fun to run it again!
Click on for full details!
The contest involved the solving of a rebus (one of those puzzles where little pictures stand in for words, or parts of them, in clever ways). And here it is, in the best scan I could get off a microfilm of a 140-year-old newspaper (if you wish to see the original, this is from the Peterborough Examiner of October 21st, 1875):
You can click on it, incidentally, to see a much larger version. That, in any case, is what you need to decode to win the contest!
On the matter of prizes… Here is what Wm. Fairweather & Co. had to say in October of 1875:
“We will give to the FIRST ONE of our GENTLEMEN CUSTOMERS who will solve the correct solution of this Rebus, a FASHIONABLE HAT; to the SECOND, one of our BEST FINE SHIRTS; to the THIRD, a FINE NECKTIE; to the FOURTH, A BOX OF COLLARS AND CUFFS. The solutions of the Rebus must be enclosed in sealed envelopes, and will be numbered as received, and on Christmas Day, at 10 o’clock a.m., when all applicants are respectfully invited to be present at our store, the envelopes will be opened, and the prizes awarded to the successful persons, by a committee of gentlemen selected from those present.”
Now, for our contest, you do not need to be a GENTLEMAN CUSTOMER, or any combination of those things – this is open to absolutely everyone except me. Nor do you have to be first, second, third, etc., as simply completing the puzzle will be enough. Finally, you will not receive a hat, or a shirt, or anything of that sort upon successfully solving the rebus. In fact, I have not yet decided what you will receive, except that it will include laudatory shout-outs here and on Twitter. We will keep the contest open until December 1st, 2014, with announcement of winners to follow shortly thereafter.
So get to work! Send your solutions to the puzzle, or any questions you might have, to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good Luck!