Online Exhibit: Food Trade Cards
Category: The Big Picture

Online Exhibit: Food Trade Cards

From the Cornell University Library, announcing a new online exhibit:

Trade Cards: An Illustrated History features highlights from the Waxman Collection of Food and Culinary Trade Cards—a remarkable assemblage of advertising trade cards about food and related subjects ca. 1870-1900. Trade cards provide a surprisingly revealing look at America during a period of growth and national pride, set against the nineteenth century’s unshakable faith in perpetual civic and individual self-improvement.This online exhibition provides an illustrated overview of the history of trade cards, while exploring the ways in which they illuminate late-nineteenth-century American life, culture, fashion, society, and identity.”

The image above advertises flour, but it also offers a view into social norms at the time. The exhibit description reads, “Not only was a woman’s place in the home, she was responsible for her family’s health and happiness in every respect. This mother is serving cake to her children, while the inscription above states, ‘It brings peace and gladness to the household.'”

View the entire online exhibit here.

Image credit: from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University

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