Trade Cards

Trade cards mean different things to different people, but for our purposes, they can be seen as printed, most often multicolored and decorative, and collectable give-away items, that often both advertise either a product or a shop or vendor, and were often issued in a series (collect them all!). For the antiquarian ephemerist, the trade card is printed paper used by the early shopkeeper as an aide-memoire for his customers. The paper later became a card, and the term trade card came to be used for all of these items.