Chapter Five

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Growing Up, Breaking Down

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ALBERT LASKER arrived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, late on a blustery November night in 1900. Although only twenty years old, he was already a highly successful advertising salesman—making $3,600 per year, and on a productive day placing $800 worth of ads.1

He had spent the day with a manufacturer out in the country, and didn’t get back to his hotel until after 10 p.m. In those days, most travel was done by train and horse-drawn wagons. As soon as the streets in the northern reaches of the Midwest acquired their ...

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