In the late 1800s, The Matrimonial News in San Francisco became the first newspaper exclusively for singles — where they could read stories about the latest romantic goings-on and post ads for a mate.
In this modern age of digital communication and romance, it's sometimes hard to remember that you could once find a dating ad in a print newspaper or magazine.
However advertising like this has a long and unbroken history, and was used by many people with some success," Cocks said.
From shameful to bohemian and cool It only took a few decades after the invention of the modern newspaper in 1690 for the new medium to become a way for people to meet in Britain.
— A young man in Arrostook County, Maine, advertising for a wife, speaks of himself as follows: "I am eighteen years old, have a good set of teeth, and believe in Andy Johnson, the star spangled banner, and the 4th of July.
Our goal is simple - to add love, romance and fun to the lives of single people.
Since homosexuality was illegal during this time, but newspaper ads were the main way to meet someone, gay men would use code words to avoid being persecuted or even executed, according to a PBS infographic on the history of love and technology.
In addition, whenever gay men wanted to meet up, they would go to what was called a Molly House, where they could drink, dance, and have sex.
Almost everyone these days can name a couple they know that met on the Internet, though it wasn't so long ago that skimming the online personals for love was considered strange, even a bit desperate.
Taboo or not, the practice certainly isn't new.
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