As I trudged through this rambling, convoluted bit of century-old writing, I started to hear it in the voice of Mojo Jojo (Roger L. Jackson) from The Powerpuff Girls and it suddenly became much, much better.
It still doesn’t explain the blacksmith though.
The ad copy:
The value of a Pierce-Arrow Car has been fixed as the price for which it is sold, but can that price measure its worth? It is easily possible for the fortunate owner to get more out of it than is represented by what he paid for it, just as it is easily possible for the man whose life has been insured to live longer than the years set down in the actuary’s table.
The cost of a Pierce-Arrow represents merely the least that one can get out of it; in other words, its value. Its worth is the sum of all its desirable qualities multiplied by the years over which it continues to give the full quota of these qualities. Divide that by the cost of the car, and the quotient is insignificant.
The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company • Buffalo NY