In the 1860’s, people in the United States were intrigued by a publicity campaign about a new city being developed far up the Mississippi, near the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Maps of Rollingstone, circulated by the promoters, showed that this new metropolis of the Mid West was laid out in a most elegant manner. It already possessed a city hall, courthouse, library and other fine public amenities, and there were plenty of building lots for sale in the business and residential areas.
Many people, especially immigrants, hastened to pay the promoters for prime pieces of Rollingstone land then set out to build their futures on this new city. When they reached the site of Rollingstone they found nothing but bleak open prairie and the few people who lived there had never heard about the project. They began to call it the Paper City.
The cynical promoters, having proved the adage that ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’, insofar as the landbuyers were concerned, departed for parts unknown with their profits from the Paper City.
A good con man can sell you something worthless but a great con man can sell you nothing