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Today you can buy hard drives, graphics cards and the like in stores, in the old-timey days vacuum tube testers were readily found in hardware and grocery stores. You could test vacuum tubes and buy their replacements easily, and it was a skill any do-it-yourselfer was expected to have.
Where there are products there is advertising. The problem is they were, like an oil filter in an engine, just a part of a machine, and not a very sexy or graphically interesting part at all. So how to sway consumer dollars?
The vacuum tube ads were pretty straight forward -- either a picture of a tube with copy extolling their virtues, or a their place in the wonders of radio emphasized. Here, and after a the fold, are some old ads that tried to sell what was then a mundane part of electronics.
Source: Duke University Libraries Digital Repository.