Thursday, August 8, 2013

Trading Cards

One "fun" thing about
packing up all the closets and cupboards
is that I've come across some
items I'd forgotten about.

Note: I use the word "fun" lightly

Back at the beginnings of Ebay
it was so interesting to be able
see and find new and unusual things.  
Things I couldn't find in my
 little neck of the woods.

I got interested in the world of
No, that's not a disease,
but the collecting
of written or printed material that
was intended not to be long lasting.

One of my interests was in
the trading cards that the Singer Manufacturing Co
printed  and distributed
as part of an aggressive advertising plan.

One give away group of cards was in preparation for
Chicago's 1892 Great Colombian World Fair.

Singer commissioned a famous series of 36 trade cards,
 called "Costumes of All Nations".

The cards were printed lithographs taken
from photographs which were taken by their agents in different countries.
The customers were  dressed in their national costumes. 

The backs of the cards
reveal an "interesting attitude"
towards all these different cultures.

 I love the fact that these
cards show the same country, but
the men and women each have a separate card.

It appeared that Singer was ready to 
civilize the world with their sewing machine.

With a Singer, life was going to be better.

 These cards are interesting too.
 They only show men with the sewing machine.

Millions of these sets of cards
were given away.
People loved them as a window on the world.

Singer continued issuing several different sets.

 These cards are from 1894
The color and detail is really lovely.

 They kept expanding their cards
 as they expanded their marketing in all 
corners of the globe.

Singer continued to show the world how progressive 
having a sewing machine was.
In many cases you have to study your geography
because these regions or countries
have changed.

 They kept printing these cards until
the beginning of WWI.
The cards are an interesting look
at cultural history nearly
a hundred twenty years ago.
 Until Next Time-


  1. I have never seen one of the cards for real but have seen many images on the internet. I have thought it would be a very interesting collection to have.

  2. Fascinating collection!
    (Did you mean ephemera?)

  3. what a great collection! They are so interesting - thanks for sharing them today.
    I love the exotic ones from foreign lands

  4. Beautiful collection. Thanks for sharing them.
    It is fun to find surprises in the packing and unpacking. Good surprises!

  5. Hello, those cards are amazing! Thank you for sharing! Beatrice

  6. These cards are really beautiful. Wonder if I can stitch one out? They would be really lovely framed. Another nice project for the winter.