A drawing of Raymond Charle's factory, in 1875

The origin of trade cards began in the early nineteenth century, and was an early version of business cards used today, in modern marketing. The one specifically exhibited is a trade card from the eighteen hundreds, used to advertise a sewing machine company founded by Charles Raymond. Charles Raymond was a Canadian born, mechanical engineer. He was at the very beginning of the start of the sewing machine industry, and wanted to be a part of the revolution. Raymond took his skills that he had learned from his trade and applied it, making one of the easiest operated sewing machines on the market. Charles Raymond based his production out of Guelph, Ontario. He chose Guelph to open Guelph and his first sewing machine factory. Raymond charles opened his factory in the fall of 1861 and became wildly successful selling his different versions of easily handled machines. This factory ended up being very beneficial to Guelph, and enabled Raymond to run a very successful business.

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