For a long time, one of my great passions has been collecting the ephemera known as trade cards. These bright advertisements were a scrapbooking rage throughout the latter part of the 19th century. The Americans of that era were excited about the full-color printing that was very new, and by the imaginative work of artists who apparently had free design reign.
I've chosen some cards from my collection that illustrate how images like the one above evolved into advertising that was closer to what we would today call corporate identity or branding. To access them, just go to the right-hand column and click on that iconic, 19th-century pointing hand.