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1800s: Aristocrats Catch On Always on the lookout for ways to exploit media for their own ends, aristocrats in the 1800s used personal ads to broadcast their interest in romantic engagements that seem scandalous by today's standards.

An 1841 ad in the Journal of Munich tells of a 70-year-old Baron seeking a woman "between 16 and 20 having good teeth and little feet." (Well...

1695: The First Personal Ads According to history professor H. Cocks (seriously --The Best Name Ever for an academic) personal ads began as a way to help British bachelors find eligible wives.Even before the Web itself, bulletin boards and newsgroups hosted a variety of ways people could use technology to meet others with similar interests, including dating.Services such as America Online, Prodigy and eventually Craigslist offered chat rooms, forums and online classifieds of use to singles.By the time Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan AOL'd each other in You've Got Mail, it had become clear that the Internet was going to change every aspect of our lives forever -- including love and romance.was founded in 1995, and by 2007, online dating had become the second highest online industry for paid content.One of the earliest personals ever placed was by a 30-year-old man, with "a very good estate', announcing he was in search of 'some good young gentlewoman that has a fortune of £3,000 or thereabouts." (£3,000 is equivalent to roughly £300,000 today.

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