In the Victorian era, advertising cards exploded in popularity among American businesses and consumers alike. Companies capitalized on new printing technologies, using richly illustrated cards to build brand recognition and convey product information. A fresh and inexpensive method of direct advertising, these cards were distributed free of charge by retailers and snapped up as keepsakes by consumers. A new Special Collections exhibition in Champlain College’s Roger H. Perry Hall, on view from February 15 to June 15, 2016, will feature colorful Victorian advertising cards produced by and for Vermont businesses marketing baked goods, infant formula, breakfast cereal, patent medicine, musical instruments, stove pipe, hardware, and more, including:
An accompanying permanent online exhibition, featuring even more cards from our collections, is available here.
– Erica Donnis, Special Collections Director