This Month’s Featured Expert

John Rossi,

John Rossi, is a marketing lecturer and the director of The Professional Sales Center in the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University. He is an expert in enterprise valuation, valuation revenue and business advisory services and serves a wide range of local, regional and national clients.

Sales 101: The Art of Selling

When was the last time you saw a matchbook? It’s been a while, right? Smokers tend to flick their Bics and smoking is somewhat taboo these days.

The matchbook was invented in 1889 by Joshua Pusey, a cigar-smoking patent lawyer in Philadelphia. The idea didn’t catch on until 1892 when a salesman, Henry C. Traute, made the matchbook usable and safe by putting the striking surface on the outside.

It was Traute who introduced the idea of the matchbook as an advertising medium and sold it to advertisers, manufacturers and retailers to use as a promotional giveaway. In 1897, a New York City opera company put its logo on matchbooks and distributed them widely to advertise its opening performance. After that, as they say, the rest is history. Demand for matchbooks grew exponentially.

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