LeRoy Pennysaver & News - page 11

TheHistorical Society recently
purchased a significant collec-
tion of trade cards. These small,
colorful cardsdocumentmanyof
the LeRoy businesses that were
onMain Street in the late 1800s.
Trade cards were like business
cards of today. Theywere away
of advertising. Not only did they
advertise a business or store but
the products that were sold at
the store.
Black and white trade cards
were printed in the late 1700s,
but the development of color
lithography after the Civil War,
transformed the common trade
card into a popular collectible.
Shoppers would be given a card
whenever they visited a store. In
fact, many Victorians collected
trade cards and put them into
The cardsweremass produced
and then thebusinesswouldhave
their name printed either on the
back, or sometimes in a blank
space on the front. Some of the
cards came in sets - - either dif-
children - -or ladies. Someof the
cardsadvertisedproducts - - such
as medicines, pianos, stoves, or
sewing machines that could be
purchased at the store.
Some of the cards are called
“die-cut” cards. They were cut
in avarietyof shapes. In fact the
earliest Jell-O advertising piece
by theGenesee Pure FoodCom-
panywas a die cut card. After a
sheet of cards was printed, a die
–much like a cookie cutter – cut
the shapes. Somecollectorsonly
search for die cut cards and very
little is known about the compa-
nies thatmade them.
for their beauty, others were an
attempt at humor. And what the
Victorians thoughtwashumorous
is perplexing.
The series of the four “dudes”
that were given out by
D. Scanlanare strange.
They show an ostrich
dressedup like a “dan-
dy.” I’m not surewhat
was so funny about
the “dude.” The “dude
mashed” shows the os-
trichwithabroken leg.
There are four dude
cards and all four are
in the collection. Do-
ing a little search on
the Internet I found
the same card used for
other stores, including
one in Geneva, New
York. There are other
trade cards that would
be considered racially
inappropriate, but at
that timewereperfectly
I found it interesting
that Tuttle and Miller,
Jewelry, books, pianos and organs on theLampsonBlock.
DScanlanHats andCaps -The “Dude”.
Eaton&Billings at 38MainStreet.
also sold Liver
offered many
different trade
cards . The
ardfor theCon-
queror wringer
is importantbe-
cause it gives
the address of
the store at 10
Main Street. Now that we have
this collection, we hope to do a
littlemoreresearchaboutall these
Die cut cards.
stores tofindoutwhere theywere
located and when they were in
1...,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20
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