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Business Trade Card Collection

 Collection
Identifier: M/A 0306

Description of Contents

The Business Trade Card Collection contains hundreds of decorative cards from businesses in Minneapolis. The bulk of the collection dates from about 1880 to 1910.

Most of the cards have been digitized and are available in Minnesota Reflections: /reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/search/collection/mpls/searchterm/Trade%20cards/field/all/mode/exact/conn/and/order/title/page/1>

Dates

  • 1880 - 1970

Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use during Special Collection’s open public hours and may be used only within the department.

History

Trade cards offered a more intimate method for businesses to advertise their services. Cards could be tucked into products, distributed in the store, or delivered by traveling salesmen. The fronts featured colorful and ornate designs, while the backs often advertised a specific product sold by the company.

Advances in chromolithography in the 1870s and 1880s allowed for very colorful cards, making it one of the most widespread advertising formats. Printers offered numerous stock designs, many of which left a blank area for companies to imprint or stamp their name and address. Because of this, different companies might use the same card to advertise different products. Businesses with larger advertising budgets were able to order custom designs.

The trade cards in this collection feature Minneapolis businesses and individuals.

Source: Harvard University Baker Library, The Art of American Advertising: Trade Cards. /www.library.hbs.edu/hc/artadv/trade-cards.html>

Extent

1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Title
Business Trade Card Collection
Status
Completed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.
612-543-8200