Purpose & Function

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Various Trade Cards

Trade cards were the early models of the modern business card. These cards were an essential part of early nineteenth century advertising as they had important information on the companies usually written on the front and back of the cards. Trade cards were exchanged in social circles, and businesses would pass them out to potential customers as well. The cards would usually have intricate designs and pictures displaying their product. Trade cards became wildly popular in the late nineteenth century, which enabled companies to start that solely sold business cards, as well as designing the pictures soon became a popular hobby. The specific purpose of the trade card in the exhibit, is to advertise their sewing machines, and show how well they could mend clothes.