Monday, January 24, 2011

Cigarette Trade Cards

Cigarette or tobacco cards spanned about 100 years beginning with the mid-19th century, and were enclosed as premiums with the cigarette packaging. They were usually issued in numbered series of twenty-five, fifty, or more on a particular subject so to encourage the collector to purchase more cigarettes. (Those savvy marketers—as if nicotine addiction wasn't enough.) Typically, the small cards would feature an illustration on one side with related information and advertising text on the other. These 3 cards were part of a collection of Chinese Trades and feature young women bookbinders, a photographer and paper lantern makers. I'm guessing they probably date from late 19th C based upon the typography on the back of the cards.
::From the NYPL Digital Gallery.

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