This Victorian Trade Card is advertising the Grand Central clothing company operated by Streeter, Brimmer & Olean. The company sold both ready made and custom menswear. The business was located in Watertown, New York and had existed there since 1823. It is commonly said and written that many dog owners look amazingly like their dogs. This trade card humorously gives an example by showing a dog owner that closely resembles his bulldog. The card measures about 3 1/4″ x 5 1/8″ and is in very good condition (see scans),

Buy this original vintage Trade Card (includes shipping within the US) #2911

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Buy this Vintage Trade Card (includes International shipping outside the US) #2911

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Published in: on November 15, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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This vintage trade card was distributed as a premium by E. W. Hoyt & Co which was headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts.The 1889 calendar was distributed as an advertisement for Hoyt’s German Cologne and Rubifoam (for the teeth).  Hoyt’s cologne is billed as “The most fragrant and lasting of all perfumes”. In 1889, you could purchase a large bottle of the fragrance for just $1.00. Interestingly, this trade card calendar was scented with the cologne it advertised in order to serve as a sample. The year 1889 was a year full of interesting events in the United States.  North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Montana all became US states. Benjamin Harrison was sworn in as the 23rd President. The Johnstown flood killed more than 2200 people in Pennsylvania. The Wall Street Journal was first published. This trade card measures about 3 3/8″ x 5 3/4″.  (SOLD)



Published in: on October 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TRADE CARDThis vintage trade card advertises “Au Bon Marche” located in Paris, France. The translation from French to English is “At the Good Market” or “The Good Deal”. The shop was founded in 1838 and it sold lace, ribbons, sheets, mattresses, and other miscellaneous goods. The store opened with twelve employees. The entrepreneur Aristide Boucicaut (1810-1877) became a partner in the business in 1852 and instituted many innovative changes in the business. The store became more and more successful evidenced by its rising revenue. The store is known as the first modern department store. Interestingly, Gustave Eiffel, creator of the Eifel Tower, was involved in the redesign of the store. A drawing of the Au Bon Marche can be seen on the back of the card. The picture on the front of the card features a Black woman in a fancy dress and wearing feathers in her hair. She is walking into the store and is being directed to the entrance by a well dressed gentleman. The caption on the right bottom of the trade card states “No Purse”. Apparently this woman is going into the department store without any money. This trade card was published by Testu & Massin. This vintage trade card is in very good condition (see scans).


Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2619

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Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes international shipping outside the US) #2619

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Published in: on December 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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 This vintage trade card is from an interesting time in American medicine. The product advertised in “Dr Wm. Hall’s Balsam for the Lungs”. This product was advertised as curing consumption, colds, asthma, whooping cough, and other pulmonary diseases. The front of the card features a patient and his wife and a house visiting doctor. The patient raves about the medicines effectiveness and the doctor responds that he has never seen Hall’s Balsam fail a patient. The reverse of the trade card has a printed testimonial from a consumption patient who experienced a Balsam cure. The testimonial is entitled “Rescued from Death”. Sounds like a miracle drug but it was really a product used by “quack” medical practitioners. This type of trade card is called a “metamorphic card” because it sets up a scenario that highlights positive change in health as a result of using the potion. The product was produced by John F. Henry & Company. It made its medical debut in 1860.   SOLD

balsam 1


Published in: on September 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Perhaps this entry into the Cabinet Card Gallery is a mistake on my part. I began this blog in 2008 and for many years all the photographs that the gallery displayed were Cabinet Cards. Having difficuly putting reins on my vintage photography interests, I added cdv’s, real photo postcards, and vintage post cabinet card photographs to the collection. I must have trouble setting limits because today I am entering a “non photograph” into the blog. I feel a need to provide you with a rationalization. The entry today is a vintage trade card advertising corsets for the Chicago Corset Company. The card dates back to the 1880’s. The question remains, what is this “non photograph” trade card doing in the gallery? Here is my explanation. There are many entries in the cabinet card gallery that discuss the use of corsets. The wasp waisted women seen in a number of the gallery’s photographs didn’t get that way from going to Jenny Craig and the gym. Their secret weapon was wearing a corset. Therefore, it seems a brief discussion of corsets is appropriate content for the Cabinet Card Gallery. This trade card utilizes a “celebrity spokesperson”.  Adelina Patti, a famous opera singer, sings the praise of Ball’s Corsets which were manufactured by the Chicago Corset Company of Aurora, Illinois. She ordered eight corsets and testified that she wished that she had known about them sooner. The company advertising on the card brags that “they need no breaking in” and that they provide “health and comfort”. This particular trade card is advertising for T. J. Elcock & Company which was a Dry Goods, Carpets, and Notions store in Mechanicsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here is a little information about the Chicago Corset Company, The business is cited in Robin Shepard’s “The Best Breweries and Brewpubs of Illinois (2003), I’m not kidding about the reference. The author writes that in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Aurora was considered the corset capitol of the world. There were at least three corset companies operating their factories there and one of the largest was the Chicago Corset Company. In fact, I read elsewhere, that the company was the second largest corset company in the world. At one point, the business employed 600 people and produced 2 million corsets a year. The word “corset” began to be used in the English language in about 1828. “The Ladies Magazine” described it as a “quilted waistcoat”. The primary reason for using corsets was to slim the body and help it conform to a fashionable silhouette. Generally speaking, the corset reduces the wist and exaggerates the bust and hips. Apparently there were “overbust corsets” and “underbust corsets”. Sometimes, corsets were used for medical or for fetish purposes. I’ll refrain from elaborating about the medical and fetish purposes and leave detailed explanation to your imagination. The corset company’s spokesperson on this trade card is Adelina Patti (1843-1919). She was a celebrated 19th century opera singer who earned a great deal of money for her performances at the height of her career. She sang in both Europe and America and is probably one of the most famous sopranos in history. She was born in Madrid. Her father was tenor Salvatore Pattie and her mother was soprano Caterina Barilli. Her parents were Italian and she grew up in the Bronx, New York. She sang professionally from childhood. At sixteen years of age, she made her operatic debut at the Academy of Music in New York City. At age eighteen she began performing in Europe. She later performed “Home Sweet Home” for President Lincoln and his wife shortly after the death of their son, Willie. The bereaved parents requested an encore. She was associated with the song for her entire career. In her prime, Adelina Patti demanded to be paid five thousand dollars a night. She asked to be paid in gold, prior to each performance. She demanded top billing and that her name be in bigger font than others in the company. She also demanded that she not be obligated to attend rehearsals. Did someone say, DIVA? It was reported that she trained her parrot to say “Cash, Cash”. Be sure to look below to see some interesting images pertaining to corsets as well as an image of Miss Patti.

corset 2


 Adelina Patti

004                              Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The                                                 Metropolitan Museum of Art