The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

'Situation wanted': Arizona newspaper ads were the dating apps of the early 1900s

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 12:32pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 7:33am

Audio icon Download mp3 (11.9 MB)

ads from the weekly arizona miner
AZ Library
Classifieds in the Weekly Arizona Miner, 1880.

It's officially February, which means it’s time to take a few minutes to talk about dating.

These days, a lot of people begin the dating ritual by swiping left or right. But long before the internet age, things weren’t so different. Single folks searched the local paper for a hookup — or a husband.

Just in time for Valentine's season, Arizona newspaper librarian Sativa Peterson dug into the earliest personal ads she could find in those papers. And she found a Valentine’s gold mine.

The Show spoke with Peterson to learn about these so-called matrimonial ads from days past and to find out what’s changed, and what hasn’t.

Sativa Peterson
Arizona Research Library
Sativa Peterson

More Stories From KJZZ

The Show Arizona History