Despite all the pulps offered as a passport to far-flung adventure, one persistent link to ordinary life remained: the single column advertisement on the front and back pages. Why those advertisements so often tended towards the oddball or salacious is a difficult question, but apparently followed from yet another pulp-paper myth — that the typical reader was both low-class and gullible. In fact, the pulps pervaded the whole of American society. To wit: while future Nobel laureate Sinclair Lewis provided editorial assistance to Adventure, readers included none other than President Franklin Roosevelt. But in either case, the first and final pages remained filled with ads for false teeth, eczema ointment and the rest of what Ron describes in his wry commentary on “The Pulp Paper Puzzle.”

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The Pulp Paper Puzzle

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