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."
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