Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Lure Of Trade Cards

One of the curious habits I have developed over the years is a fondness for collecting vintage paper ephemera.

The obsession no doubt began in the 1970s when I first started buying nonsports trading cards; specifically, Star Wars cards. These days, I continue to dabble when finances allow (which is increasingly rare). Today, I discovered a lot of Victorian-era advertising trade cards that I simply couldn't pass up. As far as I can tell, these date back to the 1870s or 1880s. They promote a product called "Tarrant's Seltzer Aperient," which, according to an article by Ben Crane, "was sold as a bottle of white powder which when poured into cold water gave 30 to 40 glasses of 'foaming, sparkling seltzer' to which 'headaches, constipation, indigestion and dyspepsia yield at once.'"

I've scanned a few of the cards for your enjoyment.