Trade card, 1730-1742 V&A Museum no. 14435:60 Trade card describes small cards, similar to the visiting cards exchanged in social circles, or that businesses would distribute to clients and potential customers. Trade cards first became popular at the beginning of the 17th century in London. These functioned as advertising and also as maps, directing the public to merchants' stores, as no formal street address numbering system existed at the time.
The trade card is an early example of the modern business card. Some businesses began to create increasingly sophisticated designs, especially with the development of color printing. A few companies specialized in producing stock cards, usually with an image on one side and space on the other side for the business to add its own information. As the designs became more attractive and colorful, collecting trade cards became a popular hobby in the late 19th century, since color images were not yet widely available.
In its original sense, the "trade" in trade card refers to its use by the proprietor of a business to announce his trade, or line of business. By moving into the realm of collecting, trade cards gave rise to the trading card, the meaning now shifting to the exchange or trade of cards by enthusiasts. Some cards, particularly those produced by tobacco companies featuring baseball players, later developed into collectibles and lost their function as a business advertisement.
Lithographed trade card advertising Murray & Lanman Florida Water Cologne
|Back of a german Liebig Extract of Meat Trade Card from 1885|
Early 19th-century English-language trade card of John Maria Farina, cologne manufacturer, showing Farina Haus, Köln.
Trading cards are traditionally associated with sports; baseball cards are especially well-known. Cards dealing with other subjects are often considered a separate category from sports cards, known as non-sports trading cards. These often feature cartoons, comic book characters, television series and film stills.
As with playing cards, which they generally resemble, trading cards are often used to play various games. In the 1990s, cards designed specifically for playing games became popular enough to develop into a distinct category, collectible card games. These tend to use either fantasy subjects or sports as the basis for game play.
From Wikipedia (See original Wikipedia article ») Last modified on 11 March 2011 at 04:57
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I have been honored by Nicecrane Designs in that they have made me my own ATC, but after purchasing the card images, I have been able to apply my own text, just as Nicecrane's Trading Card page on their blog shows. If you click on Nicecrane's name just above, you will see a post that further explains the history of the Trading Card. You can purchase these beautiful cards for your own personalization at Nicecrane Designs Store.