Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sewing Tradecards




In the late 19th century, tradecards were a common way of advertising American products. Sewing machines and thread were two of the products that were heavily advertised on tradecards. Collecting tradecards was very popular, and many were saved in scrapbooks.

Here I have three cards with a sewing theme. Most tradecards were rectangular and came in various sizes. Some tradecards are diecut in various shapes like the seamstress above and the spool below. The card with the girl sewing a U. S. flag advertises Wheeler & Wilson sewing machines. This card folds so it can stand up.

The main image on the front of a tradecard was usually printed in full color. Often there was one-color printing on the back with an advertising message. The Wheeler & Wilson sewing machine was the "magic silent" machine said to "turn drudgery into pastime." The strength of Clark's O.N.T. Spool Cotton was compared to the strength of  mother's love. It was the "best thread for hand & machine sewing."




The last card is the more typical rectangular shape (size 3" X 4.5"). It advertises Household Sewing Machines and shows one of  their "most durable" machines in use in a household of the time. This card is one of the cards in my collection of  "cats on tradecards."





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19 comments:

  1. You always have such interesting cards to share and these are great. I love such old fashioned things. Much more interesting & fun than today's post or advertising cards!

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  2. I admire so much your fascinating collection The first card in particular is beautiful and so apt for this week's prompt. I have postcard copies from museums of old Singer Sewing Machine adverts - very like your last colour card here.

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  3. So no wonder the industrial revolution was brought slowly into homes...one sewing machine at a time! These cards are new to me...thanks for sharing!

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  4. I like the one of the spool of cotton thread being as strong as a mother's love and then looped around.

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  5. I guess Clark was right about their thread being the best. We certainly bought a lot of Coats and Clark thread at our house.

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  6. I believe my late mother-in-law had a Singer sewing machine rather like that in your last colour picture. My memories of cotton wheels was making them into tanks by corrugating the rims and driving them with a piece of candle and a twieted elastic band.

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  7. I was looking at that enormous cotton reel and wondering what on earth it could mean...now I get it. Fabulous cards...never seen anything like them before.

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  8. The invention of the sewing machine produced as much change in the 19th century as the personal computer has in our time. I have an old Singer hand operated machine that dates from 1895, and in that year alone they made millions of machines. But it still required advertising to convince people, i.e. women, that it was a useful gadget to own.

    I had a post last year about the Wheeler & Wilson company band. http://temposenzatempo.blogspot.com/2012/03/wheeler-wilson-factory-band.html

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  9. These are wonderful. I don't think that I have seen trade cards before. Maybe we didn't have them in Australia? Well there are none in my collection anyway.

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  10. Wow, these are great. Could you imagine today what they might have for trading cards? I can think of a few.... Great photos, thanks.

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  11. Will read more about tradecards as I know very little about them. What lovely images you shared! Love the one with the little boy and kittens playing.

    Hazel

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  12. Wonderful cards that suit the theme perfectly,, especially the first one. You have a wonderful collection.

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  13. I didn't know about trade cards either - must ask my seamstress mother if she does.
    I love the one with the cats - I have an antique sewing machine just like that - still works if I get industrious enough.
    So on theme too.

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  14. I've got a few trade cards, but none as glorious as that die-cut Clark's one! The idea of teaching a baby to walk while supporting him (her?) with spool thread is pretty wild! Proves that there were professional ad-men way back then, eh?

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  15. A lovely collection of cards and very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Before the sewing machine, it just amazes me how they sewed all those beautiful gowns, etc. by hand!!! You were sew sew on the theme this week!!!

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  17. These are interesting. I particularly like the one withe the toddler and his mother.

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  18. These are all so interesting to see. I like viewing the past illustrations and products they decorated.

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  19. Ah, here's Wilson and Wheeler!!
    Great cards!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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