52 Colorful, Fun and Disturbing Victorian Trade Cards

Popularized after the US Civil War by businesses, colored Victorian Trade Cards allow us to look at popular culture and society in the late 1800s

The Charles and Laura Dohm Shields Victoian Trade Card Collection is housed in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections Library at Miami University. Donated in 1987 by Charles Dohm Shields the collection contains several thousand Victorian trade cards dating from the late 19th and early 20th Century.

 

victorian trade cards buckingham's dye

 

The Victorian Trade Card collection was started by Charles’s mother Laura Dohm Shields. Trade Cards were typically used to advertise products and services including such items as patent medicines, thread, sewing machines, food and beverages, farm equipment and others.

Trade cards reached the height of their popularity during the 1880s and 1890s.  Reduced postal rates and the rise of magazine publishing led to the eventual decline in popularity of this American form of advertising.

 

victorian trade cards Eagle pencils Philadelphia

victorian trade cards Pears soap butterfly

 

Popularized after the US Civil War by businesses, colored Victorian Trade Cards allow us to look at popular culture and society in the late 1800s. The cards often featured sewing, medicines, cleaning products, food, drink and farm supplies. The cherubic children, smiling housewives and relieved men are infected with a palpable racist and sexist edge. Products for shoe polish are sold to whites on the back of black faces. Washing aids are here to help the Chinese get whites’ clothes whiter. Women fret about making the man’s meal on time. Men are remarkbly vain.

 

victorian trade cards Uncle Sam Turkey Coffee

victorian trade cards red horse tobacco

 

Victorians with time and money collected the trade cards, which often came packaged with the products they advertised. Trade cards became less prevalent and less fashionable when magazines started printing color advertisements.

 

victorian trade cards soapine kendall Rhode Island

victorian trade cards hood's pills

victorian trade cards buster brown bread

victorian trade cards gw leaverton rubbers

victorian trade cards diamond dyes

victorian trade cards sexism

victorian trade cards J & P Coates racist

victorian trade cards Parker's tonic

victorian trade cards Wampole's preparation

victorian trade cards Cellulois Corset Clasps racist

victorian trade cards Ford

victorian trade cards Lombard Bambina Co wigs and toupees

victorian trade cards Henry's Carbolic salve racist

victorian trade cards Fry's chocolate

victorian trade cards Buckbee's onion seed

victorian trade cardsMother

victorian trade cards Edwin C Burt fine shows Little Falls New York

victorian trade cards Red Bird coffee

victorian trade cards tobacco north carolina

victorian trade cards tobacco Alfre Rogers Grocer Boston

victorian trade cards tobacco Lydia Pinkhams compound

victorian trade cards tobacco TE Mosely Boston boots and shoes

victorian trade cards tobacco LD Surett and co Concord Mass

victorian trade cards Parker's tonic

victorian trade cards willimantic

victorian trade cards dr miles laxative tablets

victorian trade cards mrs winslow soothing syrup

victorian trade cards Dr Warner's Corset calendar

victorian trade cards willimantic thread

victorian trade cards waterloo boy

victorian trade cards kellogs corn flakes

victorian trade cards prince albert cigarettes

victorian trade cards the smith premier tyewriter

victorian trade cards wool soap

victorian trade cards Piso's cure Amanda Sixberry Coatsgrove Michigan

victorian trade cards gillette safety razor

victorian trade cards Rising Sun Stove Polish racist

Victorian trade cards Ayer's Pills

Victorian trade cards Mrs Winslow syrup teething

Victorian trade cards salon palmer new york perfume

Victorian trade cards stove polish

Victorian trade cards Shelvador

Victorian trade cards HJ Heinz Pittsburgh

Victorian trade cards Wampole's Preparation

Victorian trade cards Back Ache Carters Belladonna plasters

Victorian trade cards Rough on rats

Victorian trade cards davis standard bread co