Initially only available at newsstands, TIME advertised its innovation—fact-checking—within its own pages in almost every issue of TIME’s first two volumes. However TIME turned to historical and literary myths (of Homer, Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, etc.) to explain the necessity of fact-checking—“When Theseus went into the Labyrinth, he was no fool.” And TIME’s reporting writing style was modeled after Homer, in which subjects and verbs are written in reverse order. From the tradition of oral bards to the distribution of media today, certain stories continue to circulate through time and across culture while others transform or disappear altogether.
Prints made from digital scans of microfilm of photographs of original TIME issues not only re-present the magazine’s pages containing these advertisements but also the marks (tears, scratches, and pixelation) of every media conversion and transformation over the last century—from offset print to microfilm to digitization to ink-jet print.