The Advertising Century

Earnest Elmo Calkins

Published on .

Earnest Elmo Calkins
Calkins & Holden, New York

Deafened by illness as a lad, Calkins read voraciously and studied art, design and typesetting. In 1902, Calkins and Ralph Holden, his worldlier associate at agency Charles Austin Bates, opened Calkins & Holden. Success as a "modern" ad agency stemmed from its emphasis on design -- in print ads, packaging and sales promotion materials. Calkins hired top designers, engravers and artists. His white-gowned "Phoebe Snow" for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad emphasized soot-free transportation. With radio's arrival, Calkins retired; his deafness had finally become a handicap.