Monday, July 30, 2007

Victorian Trade Cards

Much of my mixed media work uses images that are over 75 years old; partially because of copyright law as items that old tend to be copyright free or in the public domain, and partially because I love the beauty of the art and printing methods.

Tonight's image is of an advertising card, aka a trade card. These cards were prpoduced in black and white in the 1870's and then when a printing method called chromolithography was invented in the late 1800's, the were mass produced in color. These cards came in products, or used given away as advertising for all the new products of the Victorian era. The industrial revolution made it possible to mass produce items, and this was one of the methods of advertising them, as well as the store that carried the items.

These cards were often collected and pasted into scrapbooks by women and children. Sometimes the cards were left whole, and sometimes they were cut out into various shapes.

More about trade cards can be found in the book Victorian Trade Cards by Dave Cheadle, printed by Collector Books. Though mainly a value guide, it is full of 225 or so pages of color examples, and the history of the cards. In fact, I am going to bring the book up for some night time reading.

Till tomorrow! Patti

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