Thank Gutenberg! The first known personal ads appear in a British agriculture journal. The publisher immediately recognizes its novelty and commercial potential — "'tis probable such Advertisements may prove very useful."


A first newspaper for singles, The Matrimonial News, begins publication in post-Gold Rush San Francisco. Men pay $0.25 to place an ad (about $4.50 in today's dollars). Women post free. By 1900, there were no fewer than 20 similar publications.


With growing acceptance of ads, "lonely soldiers" of World War I and women connect over personal ads. At the same time, authorities suspect that coded messages in The Link, the UK's first "lonely hearts" monthly, are promoting (then-illegal) homosexual activity. A trial finds the publisher guilty of gross indecency and the paper shuts down in 1921.


San Francisco's Craigslist begins offering free personal ads. In 2010, the site closes an "erotic services" section after accusations it facilitates prostitution and sex trafficking.


A Newark-based company, Introduction, uses data as the foundation of a matchmaking service for "social equivalents." Contact information for a match costs $0.25.


ScientificMatch and GenePartner launch, offering to find mates based on DNA. Their tests look for complementary immune systems, something our noses do for us in person. It's easier than sending around swatches from sweaty T-shirts.


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Publish modules to the "offcanvs" position.