Late 1800s: The Scam Emerges You know, someone's always got to ruin the party.
The popularity of personals paved the way for grifters who soon realized that they could prey on the vulnerability of people seeking love.
) Mid 1800s: The General Public Follows In the mid-19th century, the need to advertise for a husband or wife was still considered a "failure" and associated with deviant behavior for many judgmental straight, white, middle-to-upper class people.
But as magazines and periodicals such as The Wedding Bell in the US and The Correspondent, Matrimonial Herald and Marriage Gazette in the UK hit the newsstands with immense popularity, matchmaking and personals took off as well, creating the first wave of true mainstream normalization for the personal ad.
Because they were often used by homosexuals and sex workers, British police continued to prosecute those who placed personals until the late 1960s, when ads became part of the burgeoning youth counterculture. In 1965, a team of Harvard undergrads created Operation Match, the world's first computer dating service.
For , users could answer questionnaires and receive a list of potential matches, a process that is still used by many dating sites.
We have already been on holiday together and everything still looks very positive.
Hardly a week goes by without another new think piece about online dating either revolutionizing society or completely ruining our ability to have real relationships.
1920s: Lonely WWI Soldiers Seek Pen Pals Personal ads went mainstream again in the early 20th century, when social pressures to get married by 21 (and thus, expectations for relationships) were much lower, thankfully than their earlier incarnations.
Many of the postings were simply calls for friends or pen pals.
These kinds of ads were especially fashionable among lonely soldiers during World War I.
1695: The First Personal Ads According to history professor H. Cocks (seriously --The Best Name Ever for an academic) personal ads began as a way to help British bachelors find eligible wives.
One of the earliest personals ever placed was by a 30-year-old man, with "a very good estate', announcing he was in search of 'some good young gentlewoman that has a fortune of £3,000 or thereabouts." (£3,000 is equivalent to roughly £300,000 today.