'Situation wanted': Arizona newspaper ads were the dating apps of the early 1900s

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 12:32pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 7:33am

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ads from the weekly arizona miner
AZ Library
Classifieds in the Weekly Arizona Miner, 1880.

It's officially February, which means it’s time to take a few minutes to talk about dating.

These days, a lot of people begin the dating ritual by swiping left or right. But long before the internet age, things weren’t so different. Single folks searched the local paper for a hookup — or a husband.

Just in time for Valentine's season, Arizona newspaper librarian Sativa Peterson dug into the earliest personal ads she could find in those papers. And she found a Valentine’s gold mine.

The Show spoke with Peterson to learn about these so-called matrimonial ads from days past and to find out what’s changed, and what hasn’t.

Sativa Peterson
Arizona Research Library
Sativa Peterson

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