Image: A bicycle badge, Victorian trade cards and pins from local businesses. Photo by Ralph Pearce
Victorian Trade Cards
One day in the California Room I'm came across a scrapbook of Victorian trade cards (c.1870-1900). These predecessors to the modern postcard were like business cards except larger and often with colorful lithographed images. These local business advertising cards were so striking, that I decided to start collecting examples for myself. The California Room is currently hosting an exhibit of these cards along with the scrapbook and other advertising artifacts from November through January 2023.
Items in the Exhibit
The exhibit features Victorian trade cards (c.1870-1900), pins from the 1890s through the 1980s, business cards and fruit crate labels from the 1920s and 1930s, menus of the 1940s and 1950s, matchbook covers from the 1940s through the 1970s, and a tray, cups and dinnerware from the 1890s through the 1990s. Among the items featured in the exhibit are some generously loaned by SJSU's Sourisseau Academy.
More from the California Room:
California Room Index: advertising
A Postcard History of San Jose by Leonard McKay
California Room Index: poster
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