|"Brooklyn Cracker Works"|
What I wouldn't give for a corporate T-shirt from that place
|What was the "one" to be taken "at night in a glass of hot milk"? Chloral hydrate? Bromide? Oreo?|
|"with neatness and dispatch."|
|A tasteful and Aesthetic-style card that surely spoke to all the "Chinamen", classical statuary |
and palm trees on Fulton Street...
|I practically swooned when I first saw a card for a "Misfit Parlor."|
They are establishments selling what we'd call "seconds" or "irregulars"
|I am especially interested in the phrasing of old trade cards:|
"unusual advantages in our balcony" sounds appealingly flirtatious to me
|Its all about the juxtaposition here: Flesh, Food, Toilet|
|Hidden by the Witchery of Art|
Most people love trade cards for the chromo- artwork: the bouquets, gamboling cherubs and baskets of kittens that the well-known Louis Prang (see the NYPL collection) specialized in. Not me. While I like and admire the artwork, especially the Aesthetic style scenes of "Chinamen", sphinxes and Japanese storks, I've lately been focusing on the wording of the cards. The naive taglines, awkward names, overly intrusive punctuation and the incredible lists of goods and services on offer are what interest me the most right now. The lists—O the lists! I love word lists and when the these are made from items strange, arcane, outlandish and antique— all the better. More on this type of card, of which the below is a pale, enervated descendant, in next post.
Addendum: I found a really nice overview of illustrated trade cards worth a perusal.