Artifact Spotlight-Scatter Tags

An interesting advertising item used by the coal industry throughout the United States from the 1920 through the 1950s was the scatter tag. These cheap cardboard or foil covered cardboard tags were quite literally scattered in loads of stoker coal purchased by customers for domestic heating to reinforce company loyalty and reassure that the customers were receiving the brand they had purchased. Most generally they were circular in shape, although some were triangular or square.

The CF&I advertising department promoted the Diavolo domestic coal brand in many local and regional magazines and newspapers as well as in their own publications. Using a recognizable logo of three devils, their slogan promoted “CF&I Coals for More Heat.”
In 1926, CF&I touted that “it takes about 150,000 40-ton railroad cars to transport one year’s production of Diavolo Coals to market.” The signature three devils logo was used in the merchandising and sales departments. As part of the marketing effort, the company, for a time, also used logo to increase visibility of the product on the sides of trucks while in transit.

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