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"I did more research, and realized I almost would rather be a biologist than a writer, because there was incredible stuff going on!"
- Greg Bear

Metal Foil Advertisement  
  An advertising circular made out of metal.  

She had opened the suction mail tube and there was the metal foil advertisement: ROME AND THE BORGIAS! THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AT KITTY HAWK! Travel in Time, Inc., can costume you, put you in a crowd during the assassination of Lincoln or Caesar!
From The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury.
Published by Doubleday in 1951
Additional resources -

I'm not sure when the first metal foil advertisements were sent around (mostly for the novelty value, I assume - advertisers will do anything to attract your attention).

I found this newspaper item on a printed aluminum foil advertisement that was presented in a newspaper (the Milwaukee Sentinel) in 1958:

A glittering "first" for that Sentinel will appear in all editions next Tuesday - the first printed aluminum foil advertisement in newspaper history...

Both sides will be printed, in seven colors on the foil side and two on the paper side.

The advertisement is sponsored jointly by the Reynolds Metals Co., the producers of the foil, and the Robert A. Johnson Co. of Milwaukee, which is using the advertisement to introduce a "first" of its own - its new Saltine package, first to feature a Reynolds foil overwrap.
(From 'Sentinel to Mark Ad Milestone': Milwaukee Sentinel, 1958)

SF writers have long been fascinated by advertising in all its forms. See the advertising airship from Ridley Scott's movie Blade Runner, atmospheric advertising from Jules Verne's 1889 In the Year 2889 and the living advertising characters from Alfred Bester's 1956 classic The Stars My Destination.

This comes from his short story The Fox and the Forest, which is a part of The Illustrated Man story collection.

Thanks to Connor Lawrence for sending in the quote for this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Illustrated Man
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Bradbury
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  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Bradbury

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