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19th Century Advertising Trade Cards: The Basics

Part 1: An Introductory Guide to Collecting Advertising Trade Cards being an edited and updated version of the original publication by the (no longer active) Trade Card Collector's Association. Reproduced with permission



On the reverse of the following Victorian Easter Greeting distributed by the makers of Lion Coffee, Wilson Spice Co., appeared a contemporary explanation of the purposes and value of trade cards:



Decorate Your Homes With Handsome Picture Cards
There is nothing that tends more to beautify the home than the tasty arrangement of handsome Picture Cards upon the walls, mantels, doors, etc.  The Woolson Spice Co., manufacturers of Lion Coffee, have given this matter much attention and are constantly arranging for placing in the hands of consumers of Lion Coffee millions of beautiful Picture Cards. This we do as a compliment to our legion of friends and patrons over the country and we know our efforts are appreciated and the cards highly prized. 

We place in each one-pound p…
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