As my regular readers know, I have started my Master's degree at APU, in History, of course. The first class I am taking is a survey class concerning source work. It is pretty good, and I learn stuff all the time.
In one of our assignments we had to look for anomalies in primary sources--or sources claiming to be primary. One of the examples used was this ad for McCormick farm machines. It shows the Battle of Gettysburg with a McCormack grain binder in the field across which General Pickett's men are preparing to charge.
How would a McCormick grain binder from the 1880s end up getting stuck between the battle lines during the fighting at Gettysburg in 1863? Obviously, the ad is playing a clever trick on you, the viewer. In 1886, the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company used an ad campaign in which its harvesters made a series of ahistorical appearances at a number of famous Civil War battles.
Boy, do I wish I could find more of them!
Basically, this ad shows the viewer that Yankee ingenuity won the war, and is still at work, inventing things like the binder--but it is pretty funny as well.
What? No cute cats?