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Stories of the traveling salesman come to campus April 23


Join Ronald Solberg as he recounts “The Whizbang’s of Oohs and Ahs: Those Magnificent Traveling Salesmen of Illinois” on Monday, April 23, at 11 a.m. in Kirby Learning Center, Room 6.

The state of Illinois, especially the Chicago area, has introduced a fair share of innovative and enterprising traveling salesmen. For more than 150 years, a 19th century Marshall Field and his “whizbang drummers” joined with the likes of 20th century super salesman Ron Popeil and his “Pocket Fisherman” to introduce products, services and concepts that are still with us to this day.

Solberg is the author of The Whizbang’s of Oohs and Ahs-America’s Salesmen: Their Lore, Lives and Laughs and has spoken at numerous Illinois conferences on a variety of topics including “The Life and Times of America’s Salesmen.” He was also the 2006 recipient of the “Distinguished Teaching in Social Studies” award by the Illinois Council of Social Studies.

The convocation is made possible in part by an award from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly. The presentation is free, and the public is invited to attend.


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