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Books About Trade Cards

Shown below are some books about trade cards and related material. There is very little overlap among these books, partly because of the vast variety of trade cards that were issued and partly because of the varied interests of the authors, so that each of these books is a valuable contribution in its own right to our growing knowledge about trade cards. A good reference library about trade cards should contain all of these books.

Click on a book's image to learn more about it.

Clipper Ship Sailing Cards
by Bruce Roberts

The Color Explosion - Nineenth-Century American Lithography
by Jay T. Last

Victorian Trade Cards
by Dave Cheadle

The Before and After
Trade Card

by Ben Crane

Meat
Trade Cards Checklist

by Ron Schieber

Currier & Ives
Trade Card Checklist

by Ron Schieber

Trade Card
Check Lists

by Ron
Schieber

Mechanical Bank
Trade Cards

by Bruce Roberts

Snake Oil, Hustlers
and Hambones

by Ann Anderson

The Trade Card In
Nineteenth-Century America

by Robert Jay
Soapine Did It!
by Dave Cheadle &
W. H. "Bill" Lee
The Snake-Oil
Syndrome

by A. Walker Bingham

An American Enterprise
by Wm. Frost Mobley

Victorian Easter
by Dave Cheadle

Victorian Fairies
by Dave Cheadle

Victorian Angels
by Dave Cheadle
   
Victorian Christmas
by Dave Cheadle
Victorian Romance
by Dave Cheadle
   

CLIPPER SHIP SAILING CARDS
In the nineteenth century, many departures of clipper ships were advertised by sailing cards. With their stunning appearance, rarity, and importance as artifacts of nautical, Western, and printing history, clipper cards represent classic ephemera and are highly prized by both private collectors and institutions. Clipper Ship Sailing Cards begins by tracing the history of the clipper ship, particularly as it relates to the California Gold Rush. It then does the same for clipper ship cards, documenting their development over two decades. The printing techniques employed to create clipper cards are examined, followed by chronicles of every printer and engraver known to have turned out clipper cards. All of this is a prelude to the exploration of the images and graphic design concepts that make clipper cards so intriguing. With 115 full-color illustrations, observations drawn from thirty years of study and research, and engaging writing, Clipper Ship Sailing Cards is the definitive work on this topic.
Available for $39.95 at http://www.lulu.com/broberts.

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THE COLOR EXPLOSION, NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICAN LITHOGRAPHY
A large 9 x 12 inch, 320-page, hard cover book beautifully illustrated with 400 full-color images of trade cards, labels, posters, prints, sheet music covers and other types of lithographed paper ephemera. Features the artistic and business histories of more than 700 lithographic firms. $65 plus shipping. To order, contact the publishers, Hillcrest Press.

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VICTORIAN TRADE CARDS
A 224-page, 8-1/2 x 11, softcover book written by Dave Cheadle, co-founder of the Trade Card Collector's Association and co-editor of The Advertising Trade Card Quarterly. Over 700 trade cards in 70 different categories are shown in full color at 75 percent of full size or larger. The current 1996 values are given for these cards as well as for a large number of listed-only cards. Provided for each card category are descriptions of typical images, historical notes, pricing tips, and cards to watch for. Published in 1996 by Collector Books. This book is out of print but might be available from
www.ephemeranet.com.

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SOAPINE DID IT!
A 32-page, 8-1/2 x 11, softcover book written by Dave Cheadle and Bill Lee. Contains over 250 color illustrations of Soapine trade cards and related material, based on the Bill Lee Soapine Collection. The trade cards are shown in full color at 50% to 75% of actual size and are given value estimates. All known custom Soapine cards are shown, and most of the stock cards. The book is organized in terms of the Soapine advertising campaign waged by founder H. L. Kendall during the late 1800s and early 1900s, and provides fascinating insight into the life and times of that era. This book can be ordered from Dave Cheadle - Soapine Book, 3706 S. Acoma St., Englewood, CO 80110 for $25 postpaid or $28 shipped Priority Mail. It can also be ordered on the Internet at
http://www.tradecardcollectors.com/Soapine.html

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MEAT TRADE CARDS CHECKLIST
A 51-page, 8-1/2 x 11, checklist of all currently known meat trade cards as compiled by Ron Schieber, advanced collector, dealer and author of numerous trade card checklists. All cards are listed according to advertiser and set, and small images of representative cards in each set are shown in color (click here to see a sample page). Printed when ordered to insure they include all latest additions, and on 3-hole punched 8-1/2 x 11 sheets. Available from Ron Schieber, Mad Money, P.O. Box 72057, Akron, OH 44372, for $29.95 ppd. Email
madmoney@neo.rr.com

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CURRIER AND IVES TRADE CARD CHECKLIST
A 44-page, 8-1/2 x 11, softcover book written by Ron Schieber, advanced collector, dealer and author of numerous trade card checklists. This book lists the 200 known trade cards printed by Currier & Ives, and shows 138 of them in high-quality, black and white illustrations at 70% of actual size. An index and price guide is provided. Available from Ron Schieber, Mad Money, P.O. Box 72057, Akron, OH 44372, for $16 ppd. Email
madmoney@neo.rr.com

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TRADE CARD CHECK LISTS
38 check lists (with more in progress) of various categories of trade cards and ephemera listing all items currently known in each category. Items are cataloged chronologically when possible and arranged alphabetically by lithographer, product or topic. Some lists include value or scarcity estimates. They are printed when ordered to insure that they include all latest additions, and are on 3-hole punched 8-1/2 x 11 sheets. Ranging in price from Free to $29.50. A list of these check lists is available from Ron Schieber, Mad Money, P.O. Box 72057, Akron, OH 44372, or Email madmoney@neo.rr.com

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MECHANICAL BANK TRADE CARDS
In the nineteenth century, trade cards advertised every business, product, and service imaginable.  Among the most interesting products promoted via trade cards were mechanical banks. These were toy savings banks, usually made of cast iron, with one or more moving parts. Toy mechanical banks are eminently collectible today.  This alone would ensure interest in the trade cards that advertise these banks, but mechanical bank trade cards stand on their own. They are absolutely terrific trade cards from any objective graphics standpoint, and they are extremely scarce. Mechanical Bank Trade Cards, originally published privately by Bruce D. Roberts in 1996 in a limited edition of 100 copies, looks at each known bank trade card in depth. Full-size, full-color illustrations of each mechanical bank trade card (including variants) are here, along with approximate valuations. Information on bank manufacturers and trade card printers is included as well. Available for $29.95 at http://www.lulu.com/broberts.

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THE BEFORE AND AFTER TRADE CARD
A 136-page, 8-1/2 x 11, softcover book written by Ben Crane, proprietor and webmaster of The Trade Card Place and contributor toThe Advertising Trade Card Quarterly. A total of 232 trade cards in 14 different categories are shown in high-quality black and white images at 70 percent of full size or larger. Each of these cards has a before and after theme, exemplifying the benefits of using the advertised product. Over 80 metamorphic trade cards are shown, both opened and closed, as well as several mechanical and hold-to-light cards. Published in 1995 by The Ephemera Society of America, ISBN 0-9657480-0-6. See the
B & A Book page for further description and ordering information.

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THE TRADE CARD IN NINTEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA
A 10 x 7-1/2, hardcover book by Robert Jay, 1987. The most in-depth, general reference work on trade cards. A "must read" book for every trade card collector. 128 pages, illustrated, much in color. Out of print, a limited number of copies available for $55 postpaid from Russ Mascieri at rmascieri@aol.com.

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AN AMERICAN ENTERPRISE, CATALOGS 3 AND 4
Two 8-1/2 x 11, softcover catalogs, published in 1995 by Bill Mobley, founder and past president of The Ephemera Society of America. Catalog 3 contains 120 pages and shows 1251 items, mostly trade cards, in 13 categories at 50 percent of full size. Catalog 4 contains 144 pages and shows 1053 items, again mostly trade cards, in 12 additional categories at 60 percent of full size. Both catalogs feature high-quality black and white images, and list the actual prices for which the illustrated cards could have been purchased from Bill on a first-come, first-serve basis when the catalogs were originally issued. Although he has sold most of those cards, Bill's current sales stock is still organized in terms of these catalogs and may contain many of the illustrated cards. Each of these catalogs is available for $22 (or $40 for the two) postpaid, from Bill Mobley, PO Box 2001, Englewood, CO 80150, Phone: (303) 761-3755, or go to his Website at
www.ephemeranet.com

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THE SNAKE-OIL SYNDROME: PATENT MEDICINE ADVERTISING
An 8-1/2 x 11, hardcover book by A. Walker Bingham, 1994. Text cross-indexed by image and product name, 240 pages with 60 in color. Approximately 500 illustrations, mostly of trade cards. This book is out of print but might be available on Amazon.com or eBay.

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SNAKE OIL, HUSTLERS AND HAMBONES
A 7-1/4 x 10-1/4 hardcover book written by Ann Anderson and containing 200 pages of text, photographs, illustrations, notes, appendices, bibliography, and index. This book provides a complete and thorough history of the medicine show phenomenon, beginning in the European Middle Ages with mountebanks and charlatans, and carries through to the American Hadacol craze of the 1950s. Of particular interest to trade card collectors are the chapters describing patent medicines during the Victorian era. Although only a few trade cards are shown, the discussion gives good insight into what the medicines actually were and the factors that fostered their great popularity and success. Well researched and written. Available for $32.50 plus shipping from McFarland & Company, Publishers, Jefferson, NC.

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VICTORIAN GIFT BOOKS
Authored by renowned trade card expert Dave Cheadle, each book is 7 x 7 inches, hardbound, and 112 pages featuring over 100 authentic Victorian-era illustrations of: 19th-century social celebrations, religious faith & traditions, world traditions & ancient lore, Victorian social history and culture, and much more. Available from Victorian Gift Books.

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