25 February 2009

Victorian trade card collection

Not trading cards, mind you. These are "trade cards" distributed for centuries by businesses as a form of advertising. Miami University Libraries has a digital collection of I believe a thousand or more of these online; if you like history, it's well worth exploring.

The one pictured above, with an 1887 calendar on its back, is classic. "Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup" was almost certainly a tincture of opium or other narcotic, used "for children teething" or just to keep kids quiet (or mommy relaxed). The lower classes only had gin-soaked socks to use as pacifiers; the upper classes were much more sophisticated.

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