Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tobacco Ephemera 3

click to enlarge any of these three
Horseshoe Cross Bar was a cut plug tobacco. (It appears that in the 1800s, just as today, cut plug was associated with sports!)

Much of my antique advertising collection is in the form of trade cards, and if you haven't had a chance to view my page on trade cards (in the sidebar), you can access it here.

Horseshoe Cross Bar issued trade cards that looked like the image above, though this example and the two images below are actually from packaging. When the Victorians were pasting trade cards into their albums, they often also included packaging scraps. And aren't we glad they did!

I want to note here that these colors have not in any way been enhanced. The Victorians did not used the 4-color printing process that we use today. So in these lithographed pieces, if a brilliant orange-red was desired, a brilliant orange-red ink was used.


  1. Yes, the colours are so vivid and the level of details is remarkable as well.
    You have an amazing eye Mark. Love your button of the month by the way. I imagine it could have been sewn on a hunting jacket.

  2. Thanks, Anyes. I've always been drawn to Victorian graphic design, but the rich colors — like the book covers you featured — have also been a large draw for me.

    I don't know the origin of the fox button, but the fierce look is unexpected and different. I think you're right — I could see it on a hunter's vest.

  3. This puts modern day packaging to shame on so many levels. Beautiful and interesting. Thanks Mark.

  4. Buoni, I of course agree with you. And the truth of your statement is that today most people wouldn't lovingly cut out their package wrapping and paste them into scrapbooks. (But we do hang a lot of product posters, and wear a lot of the logos!)

  5. Hi Mark, Am enjoying this series... interesting and colorful. Happy Easter to you and yours.

  6. Hi Gina - Happy Easter to you and Gene!