"Reading" trade cards can provide evidence about how people of the time lived and thought.

While some advertisers chose to illustrate exotic locations or historical scenes on their cards, many others showed the domestic life of their own time. These domestic scenes portrayed many details of dress, furnishings, and home care of the ill.

Some cards also reveal how social attitudes of the late 1800s differed from those of today.

Pick a card to explore what's "in the cards" about:

  • Daily life





  • Social attitudes