Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Cigarette and trade cards started as packaging stiffeners and aide-memoire slips, respectively, and evolved into widespread collectible items during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Cigarette cards began as cardboard stiffeners for paper cigarette packages until companies began to use them for advertising and marketing purposes. Trade cards were originally used by shopkeepers as a form of receipt and then became a form of advertising, showing names, addresses, and products of different craftsmen and companies. Chromolithographic printers allowed the trade and cigarette cards to become distinctive and familiar with brightly colored pictures overstamped with a company's name. By the mid-19th century, the production of trade cards was a major industry with "big names" in all the major American cities. Cigarette cards also became a flourishing industry by the 1870s for artists, writers, and editors, as well as a medium for new and innovative printing techniques. These sets of cards pictured a wide range of topics with "cries," trades, and literary characters as popular subjects. Other cards following the cigarette card format were soon published as well. Cigarette and trade card collecting exceeds all other collecting arenas in amassing the most extensive record compilation and catalogue enumeration and they remain popular collectible items today.
This collection contains 6 volumes of trade and cigarette cards from various companies dating from the mid 19th to 20th centuries. The cards depict many subjects and are sponsored by different publishers and companies. They are organized into four slip-cased albums and two hard cover binders. The four slip-cased albums contain both cigarette and trade cards while the two binders house only the trade cards of Liebig's Meat Company, and Currier and Ives. The cards themselves have been left in their original donated positions.
Companies and organizations include Au Bon Marche, Carerras Limited, the Central Electric Authority, Cope Bros. & Co., Currier and Ives, Godfrey Phillips Ltd., Guerin-Boutron, H. Mandelbaum, Imperial Tobacco Co., John Player & Sons, Lambert & Butler, Liebig's Company, Major Drapkin & Co., Ogdens, Rich's, Sniders and Abrahams, the Scottish Co-Operative Wholesale Society, Turf, W. & F. Faulkner, and West Riding County Council. Themes of the cards include, but are not limited to, art; literature (particularly Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle); cries, types, and characters of London; history of London; optical illusions; pirates and highwaymen; Jewish life in many lands; and healthy living.
Gift of Daniel and Eleanor Albert, 2014.
University of Pennsylvania: Dr. Daniel and Eleanor Albert Collection which includes books and broadsides.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Nicole Love
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 October 23
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.