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Houston Chronicle: Get the Jump on Tomorrow - Miss Classified

Paul and Elizabeth Nelson

Sound | 1960s

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  •  Miss Classified personified 
  •  A great tennis racket 
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“Get the Jump on Tomorrow” with the Houston Chronicle! This commercial spot for the Houston Chronicle features “Miss Classified,” the voice of and authority on advertising in the Classified section of the Houston Chronicle. Miss Classified is the reason the Houston Chronicle has the largest Classified section in Texas!
Miss Classified
Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle
Published 5:30 a.m., Sunday, October 14, 2001
In 1912, the Chronicle began a classified advertising promotion that was to last eight decades — "Miss Classified."
The idea was to use a young, attractive woman to personify the department. Accordingly, for decades only women took ads over the phones.
The first "Miss Classified," Ina Sparks, working alone, turned out about two pages a day. She left the Chronicle in 1913, married and returned to her native Indiana. During a visit to the paper in 1929, she found 25 Miss Classifieds at work.
Later, said retired classified advertising director Ron Sellars, professional models were used to portray Miss Classified. Trained to understand classified advertising, they were often invited to speak to clubs and civic groups on various topics, Sellars said.
"There were some folks that wanted Miss Classified to come and discuss putting on proper makeup. Miss Classified would visit garden clubs and book clubs to talk about that kind of stuff. Miss Classified was very popular in Houston," he said.
People also called Miss Classified to get weather updates, sport scores and other information.