Did You Know Uneeda Biscuit?
Included in the Indiana Historical Society’s collection is a cache of historical advertising material. Such material often richly illustrates not only the marketed products but also period culture, fashion, business practices and advertising art history. Most of the images are ephemera such as trade cards, calendars, almanacs, postcards, fliers and leaflets for a multitude of products.
Trade cards peaked in popularity in America in the 1880s and 1890s, virtually disappearing in the 20th century as color ads became prevalent in magazines. The cards were sometimes inserted in product packages, but more often they were given away in shops.
With their bright colors and sentimental or humorous pictures, they were not only useful advertising devices, but they quickly became collectibles. Often the color print didn’t have anything to do with the product for sale. Rather the print was promoted as a work of art, as a free bonus or as a hand-produced item.
Be sure to stop by the William H. Smith Memorial Library at the History Center to view this material in person.