Victory Parade






Trade cards are an early form of commercial advertising that flourished in the second half of the 19th century into the first decades of the 20th. The cards presented here offer a graphic glimpse into the life of Victorian Trenton and by extension much of America.  

The cards on this page illustrate the variety of images & styles employed to promote local merchants. While the images were sometimes whimsical, like that of the cherub in a shoe cart pulled by ducks shown here, they are most often of floral, pastoral or domestic scenes, as are the other images on this page. Another less benign reality revealed by the 'mammy' & baby card on this page is the pervasive racism present in all aspects of American life. Some of the variety in style is also illustrated here. The vast majority of trade cards are rectangular in shape and usually range in size from an inch to six inches to a side. The text is either printed with the image or on the reverse. In some cases the text was stamped on the image after printing as illustrated by the mother with child card.


The trade cards presented on this page attempt to represent some of the diversity of this interesting art form. The links below provide access to more images from Trenton, arranged by location or specific merchant:

Here is a non-Trenton Trade Card site:

The Trade Card Place

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