Articles About Trade Cards
Jumbo Trade Cards by Buek & Lindner


by Ben Crane


1 - Coming Over

2 - Seasick

3 - Arrival

4 - Lunch

5 - Aesthetic

6 - Coney Island


Jumbo was brought as a baby from Africa to the Royal Zoological Gardens in London, England, and grew to be 11-1/2 feet in height and 6-1/2 tons in weight. In almost 20 years of service there, he gave rides to thousands of children.

P. T. Barnum wanted Jumbo as an attraction for his shows and made an offer of $10,000, but had no hopes of ever owning him. But in 1881 the Zoological Society accepted Barnum's offer after Jumbo threw some temper tantrums. A controversy arose between the English and Americans, mostly instigated by Barnum for publicity, as to whether Jumbo should be allowed to leave England.

Jumbo-mania swept both countries, but on April 9, 1882, Jumbo landed at New York harbor and was led though cheering streets to Barnum's Hippodrome building. Jumbo soon became the most famous animal in the world, and the word "jumbo" became a synonym for true hugeness.

Jumbo toured the country for four years with spectacular success but on September 15, 1885, in Canada he was hit by a train and died. Ever the showman, Barnum contracted a taxidermist to preserve Jumbo in two versions, his skeleton and a stuffed model using his hide, which he began displaying in his shows in 1886.

The set of twelve cards shown here was printed by Buek & Lindner Lithographers, 65 Warren St. N.Y. This company was in operation from 1881 to 1885, and was known as producing trade cards of high artistic quality. Click on a card for a larger view.

Although these twelve Jumbo trade cards are considered to be stock cards used by more than one company, it appears that they were mainly used to advertise two products, Clark's O.N.T. Thread and R. W. Bell's Soaps.

Cards 3, 5, 6, 7 and 10 are found advertising both of these products and are relatively common, probably because of Clark's widespread advertising. However, cards 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 11 and 12 seem not to have been used by Clark and are relatively scarce.

Examples bearing the Burdick's Hay Tedder, Gastrine, and Patapisco Baking Powder imprints have also been reported. This author would welcome hearing of any cards in this set used by other advertisers, or if Clark's advertising appears on more than the five cards listed above.


7 - Opera

8 - Euchre

9 - Performing

10 - Bar

11 - Violin Solo

12 - Vacation

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