I’m not sure when I last posted on trade cards, but it was definitely a while ago. This blog is getting to the point where it needs an index, I fear. I’m always on a rather random hunt for interesting examples of advertising ephemera: I like Salem-related items, but they have to be special in some way. There are just too many stock items out there–plump children, scary clowns, kittens, flowers. So many cards were produced in the last quarter of the nineteenth century (before they gave way to magazine illustrations) that millions survive, preserved as tokens of trade and little windows into the contemporary commercial landscape. Harder to find are cards with interesting shapes, and metamorphic cards, examples of Victorian special effects achieved by holding the card in question to the light, or folding it a certain way. The latter are getting pricey; one (a very rare example of cross-dressers) recently sold on ebay for $150. Here are a few of my recent purchases, and cards which caught my eye: corsets and Frank Cousins, one of my favorite Salem entrepreneurs, are an impossible combination for me to resist, as are horseshoes, Kate Greenaway-esque little girls (an exception to my no children rule) and anything apothecary-related. The amazing die-cut trade cards of a butterfly and what looks like a cracker or biscuit to me but is supposed to be a cake of soap manufactured by Enoch Morgan & Sons, are from Harvard Business School’s Baker Library (which is currently featuring an exhibition entitled The Art of American Advertising, 1865-1910) and the metamorphic card of Uncle Sam drinking coffee is from the Miami University Library’s Victorian Trade Card Collection.
Daily Archives: January 31, 2014
Streets of Salem:
Somewhat random but still timely posts about culture, history, and the material environment, from the perspectives of academia, Salem and beyond.
Topicsadvertising American Revolution Antiques Antiques and Collectibles Architecture Art Auctions books Chestnut Street Christmas Collectibles Commemoration Commemorations Culture Decorative Arts design England ephemera Etsy Exhibitions Fashion films Flora and Fauna folklore Food and drink Frank Cousins Garden gardening Gardens Graphic Design great houses Halloween Historic Preservation holidays Home horticulture House of the Seven Gables illustration Illustrations Interior design Interiors Library of Congress Literature Local Events Local History Maine maps Massachusetts Medieval museums Nathaniel Hawthorne New England Peabody Essex Museum Phillips Library Photography Popular Culture Pottery print culture printing Remembrance Renaissance Salem witch trials Samuel McIntire Seasons Seventeenth Century Shopping Teaching travel Tudors urban planning weather Witch City Witchcraft Witch Trials World War I
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