Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Advertising Trade Cards


Lewis Jacobs Phoenix Glass Works
Active in London 1830-1870

never tear overalls (balloon)

F Overalls
Intaglio print published by Short & Forman, Ohio {1800-1900}

champion guage cock

Philip G Schofield Champion Gauge Cock
Pennsylvania - letterpress trade card {1850-1900}

copeland tea dealer southampton

Copeland Grocer to Her Majesty
Southampton tea dealer {1840-1900}

dobbin's electric soap - pantaloon and card

'The lean and slipper'd pantaloon with spectacles on his nose'
IL Cragin & Co - Dobbins Electric Soap
Premium card exchange collection (verse from 'As You Like It')
Multicolour lithography/letterpress in Philadelphia {1880-1900}

fearnley wholesale slop merchant

J Fearnley Wholesale Slop Merchant
Portsmouth England {1780-1820}
Definitely the weirdest image I've seen this week. Presumably they shared the same premises. How on earth did they decide on such an elegant Britannia engraving and script? Although I'm (fairly) sure it's just age-related chance, the splattered appearance seems somehow appropriate. {Slop Merchant being a seller of goods to ships/military - thanks biteyourowntail}

g byron morse bread carriage
g byron morse bread carriage page

G Byron Morse Baker, Dining and Ice Cream Parlors
Philadelphia {1870-1900}

greyhound inn

J Beckett Greyhound Inn
Intaglio engraving by Lucy Birchinall {1830-1850}

l'indescret chocolates

Dubois & Cie L'Indiscret (chocolate)
Belgium {1850-1900}

lion hatter

capon hatter detail

Capon - Hatter, London
Intaglio print by WJ White {1800-1850}

mitchell's licorice (donkey and trade card)

Mitchell's Elegant Pharmacy
Philadelphia {1870-1880}

rowley & chew printers

Rowley & Chew Printers
Philadelphia {1870-1890}

steam powered printer

Book & Job - W Hering & Co
Steam Power Printers
Philadelphia {1880-1900}

the lord chief baron

American Drawing-Room
The Lord Chief Baron
England {1800-1900}

tub soap pair

soapine carriage

The pair of Tub Soap girls and the Soapine carriage advertisement {~1880} are of particular interest because the artist/lithographer was Charlotte Perkins Gilman (neice of Harriet Beecher Stowe) who would later become a notable writer/social reformer and feminist. Her 1892 short story 'The Yellow Wallpaper' was a first hand account of post-partum depression and suffering at the hands of (learned) quackery. The great medical minds of the day recommended isolation from family, near-total bed rest, restriction of intellectual activity and occasional application of electricity to the muscles. See: i, ii, iii.

These are somewhat random selections from the Early Advertising Collection (900 images) at the excellent Triptych digital initiative of Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore College Libraries.

This was also something of an experi-mental post: I just wanted to check out Webshots as an image host. Click on any of the images above and then on the '+' button below the flash window to see the full size version. I guess there are advantages and disadvantages. While I'm constructing this post there appears to be excessive digital compression artifact - much more than I would normally get if I resized the images myself. Hm. Any thoughts?


Rachel said...

Hard to say. I'm pretty sure I'll be happy as long as you keep posting, regardless of which image host you go for. I'm also all for saving time, which I assume not having to resize the images does for you...


biteyourowntail said...

Re: Slop-merchants - slop was simply a stock of merchandise. Merchant trading ships also carried 'slop-chests' with goods in them that were sold to the crew - tobacco etc.

So slop in this instance does not mean what you think it means.

Re: 'B Captain', not another company at all - if you read the text it says 'B Captains supplied...' B Captain was a rank in the Merchant Navy, the co. supplied them with hats.

I'm sure the elaborate nature of the font is not longer puzzling ;)

And the image is, of course, Britannia - I realise that the information available on the www is in fact erroneous (I checked) but surely the image of Britannia is not totally unfamiliar?

peacay said...

biteyourowntail, somehow your name is appropriate here and I admit my very very cursory search was slanted with a preconceived notion in mind. Ouch! I was led to believe they were 2 businesses by the Triptych site notes. Britannia is a very familiar symbol - but like the script, elegant embellishment also seemed out of place with my preformed idea. Thanks for the info!

Rachel, I suppose I was partly talking to myself re: the image hosting/quality. What I didn't say is that my normal practice (which really is no work in the throes of hammering a post together) is to keep the upload size to no bigger than about 1500x1500 with portraits at about 1700x1000/1100, tops. This is about the largest that the blogger uploading/storing architecture can deal with.

So the automatic resizing to format for the post doesn't actually compress the images as much normally as it in fact did here in this post because the uploaded images to Webshots are mostly much larger than the 1500x1500 range.

As I say, there are some advantages afforded through webshots that are timesaving -- readjusts to multi image sizes and has a simple code copy interface.

It was just a test. I'm at 90% of my image storage allowance via blogger/google and I'm kind of thinking out loud/in practice as to what I'll do moving forward. For me, or at least, in my complexificating mind, there are a LOT of competing and interconnected elements to take into consideration. My number one thought though is to have the image presentation quality here on the site as high as possible, so this 'test' at least shows me perhaps why google/blogspot have that upload limit in place, in a quality/compression noise from automatic resizing-sense.

lotusgreen said...

some of the images loaded oddly slowly on google reader.

which didn't stop me from loving the lily soap :^)

Sage said...

Have you considered uploading and linking to larger versions on Wikipedia for the public domain material (or rather, Wikimedia Commons)?

That way, you'd not only have a limitless, permanent host, but the images could be put to good use in Wikipedia articles.

GJOL said...

A suggestion. Very interesting ads and good quality reprodution of illustrations in a Portuguese magazine published 1922/26

peacay said...

Sage, I left a comment at one of your blogs - please drop me a line.

Thanks Gjol, I'll have a look. I did post a couple of magazine covers from the hemerotecadigital site before.

Benjamin L Clark said...

Love the printer's devil card. THe script on the bottom that says "PRITNERS", I think is a try at a fantastic font made up entirely of little devils forming letters.

peacay said...

valrossie said...

"Before radio and television, trade cards were considered a mainstay. These colorful, interesting cards were circulated to generate interest in a product. Nowadays, they are quite collectable--and beautiful."

[comment deleted to remove marketing link]

The Playground Collective said...

Love this stuff, very inspirational. We did a modern take on this style for Orange Communications over christmas - Orange Online Paper Theatre

Unknown said...


Jacobs of London said...

Very interested in the Lewis Jacobs Trade Card. My 2xgreat grandfather was Moses Jacobs and he had a glass works at the same address until it burnt down in 1829. (Moses was charged with arson and the court case is reported on the Old Bailey Trials web site.) This card suggests his cousin took over the business and presumably re-built the glassworks. I intend to cover the life of Moses Jacobs in my blog - http://jacobsoflondon.blogspot.co.uk/ - would you mind if I displayed a copy of this image on my blog? Do you have any further information about Lewis Jacobs?

Best wishes, Gerry

peacay said...

Jacobs of London, thanks for your comment and what an interesting avenue of family history research you have! I'm glad for your comment, too, because I'd nearly forgotten this post. To be honest, it's not me from whom you need to seek permission (if you want to be a stickler for rights/permission). You'll note in the blurb after the images that there's a link to the original repository from which the images in this post were selected. Write to them. I've never heard any complaint from them since this blog entry was posted 5-odd years ago, so perhaps you'll be ok if you post the image(s) and include a link to the site of origin. Good luck.

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