In 2011, online advertising has beaten out print and radio as the number two place ad dollars are spent. But how did it come to be that way? Four thousand years ago Ancient Egyptians invented advertising by carving public notices in steel. Fast forward to the present day, and in-text online ads, Facebook Like-driven campaigns and viral commercials, such as the Old Spice Guy, are common form.

This illustrated timeline, created by Infolinks, takes a walk down advertising’s memory lane.

The evolution from steel to digital took many turns along its way, such as print fliers hoping to get young men to fight in the Revolutionary War, billboards spurred by the rise of automobiles, electric banner ads following the invention of the light bulb (Times Square’s first went up in 1882) and direct marketing with the nascent postal service.

But we don’t want to give everything away. Take a look at the graphic below. Do you think any of these older forms of advertising would be successful today? Let us know in the comments.

history of advertising