A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?” (9/20)
“Act your wage” (9/20)
Crooks In Action (Central Intelligence Agency or CIA nickname) (9/20)
“A politician would attend the opening of an envelope” (9/19)
“Driver carries no cash—he’s married” (bumper sticker) (9/19)
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Entry from July 31, 2012
“He who has a thing to sell and goes and whispers in a well…”

The Outlook of September 20, 1902, described this stanza that appeared in a New York advertising journal (probably Printers’ Ink):

“The man who has a thing to sell,
And goes and whispers it down a well,
Is not so likely to collar the dollars
As he who climbs a tree and hollers!”


The lines were reprinted in many publications to encourage advertising. Henry Taunt (1842-1922), a photographer of Oxford, England, has been credited with the stanza, but his Notes and News did not exist in 1902.


Google Books
20 September 1902, The Outlook, pg. 155, col. 1:
(From The Spectator—ed.)
Advertising is an art—the art of publicity. There is an advertiser’s journal, published weekly in New York, which, though not illustrated, is, to the Spectator’s mind, one of the most readable periodicals in the United States.
(Pg. 156, col. 1—ed.)
There is one verse in the advertising journal aforesaid, too, which advertises advertising itself, and sums up the subject in one pithy stanza:

The man who has a thing to sell,
And goes and whispers it down a well,
Is not so likely to collar the dollars
As he who climbs a tree and hollers!

21 November 1902, Cleveland (OH) Leader, pg. 6, col. 4:
SKETCHES FROM LIFE.
How to Do It.
“A man who has a thing to sell,
And goes and whispers it down a well,
Is not so likely to collar the dollars
As he who climbs a tree and hollers.”
-- The Sample Case.

Google News Archive
12 January 1903, St. Joseph (MO) Gazette, pg. 7, col. 1 banner:
THE WAY TO ADVERTISE
“The Man Who Has a Thing to Sell, and Goes and Hollers it Down a Well, is Not So Likely to Capture the Dollars as He Who Climbs a Tree and Hollers.”

Google Books
31 January 1903, Fibre and Fabric, pg. 7, col. 1:
“The man who has a thing to sell
And goes and whispers it down a well,
Is not so likely to collar the dollars
As he who climbs a tree and hollers!”

24 February 1903, Kalamazoo (MI) Morning Gazette-News, pg. 5 ad:
The man who has a thing to sell,
And goes and whispers down a well,
Is not likely to collar the dollars
As he, who climbs a tree and hollers.
ANONYMOUS
(People’s Outfitting Company—ed.)

The Oxford Times
Lifting the Vale
By Malcolm Graham
11:18am Thursday 9th October 2008
(...)
Henry Taunt was the complete self-publicist, summarising his philosophy in the ditty: The man who has a thing to sell And goes and whispers down a well, Is not so apt to cop the dollars As he who climbs a tree and hollers.

The Armenian Weekly
Uncle Garabed’s Notebook (July 7, 2012)
Posted by CK Garabed on July 5, 2012
(...)
The Adman Sez
He who has a thing to sell
And goes and whispers in a well,
Is not so apt to get the dollars
As he who climbs a tree and hollers.

English Heritage
Morrells Brewery, Oxford
Henry Taunt’s photography recorded the people, buildings and industries of Oxford, and his images relating to Morrell’s Brewery combine all three.
(...)
Taunt himself excelled in the art of advertising and penned one of his ‘jingles’ to encourage people to advertise in his magazine Notes and News. ‘The man who has a thing to sell And goes and whispers down a well Is not so apt to cop the dollars As he who climbs a tree and hollers.’

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Tuesday, July 31, 2012 • Permalink