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Album of late nineteenth-century chromolithographic trade cards and printed ephemera


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

This album bears an inscription on the first page, “For Mother, From Austin, With Kindish Christmas Greetings” and is predominantly comprised of chromolithographic trade cards, many originating from businesses in Philadelphia and St. Louis.

Among the numerous companies and products represented in this collection of trade cards are J. & P. Coats Thread, James Pyle’s Pearline, T. S. Mitchell, Patridge & Richardson, Ayer’s Sarsaparilla, Ayer’s Hair Vigor, Ayer’s Cherry Pectoral, Alden Fruit Vinegar, Page’s Pure Candies, Dr. Price’s Cream Baking Powder, Lord & Taylor, The Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, Dunham’s Concentrated Cocoanut, F. Walker & Son, Clark’s O.N.T. Spool Cotton, Higgin’s German Laundry Soap and The National Surgical Institute of Phialdelphia. Also among these trade cards are numerous examples of medicinal tonics, elixirs, seltzers, aperients, cereals and cures for malaria, dyspepsia, female infirmities, catarrh, bronchitis, whooping cough and consumption.

Several stereotypical depictions of African-Americans can be found in this collection, with one set providing captions that indicate poor language skills and a strong Southern dialect.

A series of sixteen color cards illustrate bird species and habitats in great detail. Numerous trade cards feature songbirds, parrots, cats, sailing ships, pastoral landscapes, floral arrangements, children and fashionable ladies.

A few souvenir cards depict landmarks and tourist destinations, such as a large color print illustrating the now destroyed Terrapin Tower at Niagara Falls and another image that shows the Manhattan Beach Hotel in Brooklyn, New York, depicting the historic beachfront hotel and its lengthy enclosed promenade. Another souvenir card in this collection is from the 1884 Southern Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, illustrating the Main Hall and Art Gallery. Two black and white lithographed trade cards from “Edw’d Ridley & Son” show “The Battery or Castle Garden” and “Manhattan Market.”

Item 0047: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0093 folio


Processed by Tim Pouch, April, 2013. Encoded by Rivi Feinsilber, February 2018.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2018 February 13
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Album of late nineteenth-century chromolithographic trade cards and printed ephemera.
Item 0047

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