It once consisted of first date proposals and fathers making deals with other fathers about whom their daughters will marry.
In terms of online dating, I’d give it a yes — I am in the industry, after all.
From shameful to bohemian and cool It only took a few decades after the invention of the modern newspaper in 1690 for the new medium to become a way for people to meet in Britain.
Matrimonial agencies were big business there by the early 18th century, printing ads on behalf of men who paid the agency to recruit them a good wife.
Taboo or not, the practice certainly isn't new.
Personal ads have a history going back at least 300 years, according to a new book on the subject entitled "Classified: The Secret History of the Personal Column" (Random House Books, 2009).
Anonymity allowed people to be themselves or a creative version thereof.