Personal letter describing pyramid sales (published). US, 1900.

Tuesday, April 3, 1900
Miss Nellie Ryan
Dear cousin--
   Although we do not correspond regularly yet we often remember you, and ma does not write often to any one.
   Probably this will find or not find you or find you married.
   I have just been writing several letters and telling them all the same thing. That is, Has the Parisian skirt fad been in your town, if so all right, if not you have fine chance to get a silk petticoat for nothing or the small sum of .20 cts. Dodge City has been worked until it can be worked no more. I bought a coupon of a young lady for .20 cts. I enclosed that coupon and $1.00 to the Parisian skirt Co in New York, and they sent me a book containing 5 coupons which I sell at .20 cts each then I have my $1.00 back see.
Then each person that bought my coupon sends in $1.00 for a coupon book I get my silk skirt, and so on when you sell your 5 coupons and each person who bought of you sends in $1.00 you get your silk skirt, made to order in black or any color in taffeta silk.
   If it has not been started in your town, you can get a silk for nothing valued at $5.00, so now if you want a coupon answer soon and I will send one by return mail. They cost .20 cts. you can sell them to any one in any place where you are acquainted. I sold one in Pueblo Colo one woman got three silk skirts. If you think you can sell ten coupons, that will be two books and you send in $2.00 and coupons would be for (2) .40 cts. I bought 2 so I have to send out of town as every one has them here.
   So now answer soon and let me know.
   As ever your cousin

Roger Welsh, "The Endless Chain." The World and I, Sept. 1988. The "Parisian Skirt" pyramid sales scheme (chain selling plan) is described in the above letter from a woman in Dodge City, Kansas to her cousin in Trenton , Nebraska.


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