Trade Cards illustrating some of the visual and physical changes in commercial ephemera.
Both described as trade cards, these advertisements dating more than a century apart illustrate some of the visual and physical changes in commercial ephemera over the period. In the late 18th century, design, engraving, and printing of a few hundred stark black-and-white trade cards from a copper plate took a period of several weeks. By 1880 steam-powered printing presses and chromolithography allowed for the creation of tens of thousands of eye-catching color advertisements in a matter of days.
A chromolithograph is a color-printed lithograph in which the image is composed of at least three colors, each applied from a separate stone.