Elephants in Advertising - Cards
We are talking about 'Trading Cards' primarily, with a few Post Cards thrown in. These trading cards are commercial in character, advertising products, as opposed to modern collecting cards for sports stars. Before we show you the cards we give you an opportunity to read about the history advertising cards taken from articles at wikipedia.org.

Advertising Cards - History
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Trade card describes small cards, similar to the visiting cards exchanged in social circles, that businesses would distribute to clients and potential customers. Trade cards first became popular at the beginning of the 17th century in London. These functioned as advertising and also as maps, directing the public to merchants' stores, as no formal street address numbering system existed at the time.

The trade card is an early example of the modern business card. Some businesses began to create increasingly sophisticated designs, especially with the development of color printing. A few companies specialized in producing stock cards, usually with an image on one side and space on the other side for the business to add its own information. As the designs became more attractive and colorful, collecting trade cards became a popular hobby in the late 19th century, since color images were not yet widely available.

In its original sense, the "trade" in trade card refers to its use by the proprietor of a business to announce his trade, or line of business. By moving into the realm of collecting, trade cards gave rise to the trading card, the meaning now shifting to the exchange or trade of cards by enthusiasts. Some cards, particularly those produced by tobacco companies featuring baseball players, later developed into collectibles and lost their function as a business advertisement.

Non-mailed advertising postcards

An advertising postcard which may also be known as a free card or an ad card is a postcard which is designed and used to advertise or raise awareness of a company, service or cause. The difference between advertising postcards and normal postcards is distinguished by the fact that advertising postcards are not touristic or solely intended for tourists.

Advertising postcards are usually found in nightclubs, restaurants, bars, cinemas or other locations in major cities generally frequented by the trendy, young social group (ages 18-35). The cards are free to take to patrons of the establishment. They usually contain discreet advertising slogans but have attractive or ingenious images and are produced on good quality card stock with a postcard back. One of the marketing concepts of advertising postcards is that the cards are so attractive people want to pick them up, save them, show, or post them, to a friend and say "have you seen this".

A characterizing feature of the cards is that they carry the publisher/distributors name and logo. The card racks usually have between 10 to 20 slots, each one of which contains cards advertising different products, events, promotions etc. Cards are changed on a regular basis so there is a continuing supply of new material for people to take.

External Links - Victorian collection

Advertising Cards - Tea
Tea Premium Card Deinotherium
UK by Brooke Bond Oxo Ltd., Surrey, England

Card No. 45 in series of 50 Prehistoric Animals card set.
Cards issued with all Brooke Bond Tea and Tea Bags.

Advertising Cards - Cigarettes
Trade Card "The Mahout"

Reproduction Card from Players Brand Cigarettes by Card Collectors Society. #37 of 50 in series "Riders of the World".

Advertising Cards - Soapona
Trade Card for Soapona washing powder

Advertising Cards - Boston Zoo
Post Card for the Elephant House. Detail below is sculpture over entrance shown on card. Card is postmarked on other side Aug 27, 1915 to give you an idea of its age.

Advertising Cards - Woonsocket Rubber
Post Card for Woonsocket Rubber reads "Wear Woonsocket Rubber Boots with the Elephant Head Trade Mark" which explains why there is an elephant on the post card.

Advertising Cards - Clark Thread
Trade card for Clark's features on image side an elephant in formal attire, seated in a theater box, holding opera glasses through which he is watching the performance. Very imaginative. What it has to do with thread .. can't even guess.

Lithographer: Buck & Linder, circa 1883

Advertising Cards - Ivorine
Trade card for Ivorine cleanser. Text reads, "His tusks were cleaned with Ivorine". Check out the relative size of the elephant to all the other animals in illustration. It must be Jumbo.

Turn of the century (1900) wording and print styles.

Advertising Cards - Soapine
Trade card for Soapine washing powder.

Offered on ebay® in Nov 1999. Seller said, "Very cute picture of a cartoon elephant with an explanation as to why he can't stop flirting. And after reading the verse at the bottom of the card, who can argue with him? There is a small '17' on the lower left corner of the front, so maybe this is one of a series of cards."

Advertising Cards - Dreydoppel's
Trade card for Dreydoppel's soap reads, "The true story of the white elephant" and "What Dreydoppel's soap did".

Advertising Cards - Fairbanks Scales
Trade card for N P Hayes store in Massachusetts featuring Barnum's White Elephant.

Offered on ebay® Nov 1999. Seller said, "Great advertising card for Fairbank's Standard Scales offered for sale at N.P. Hayes. Dealer in builders' & fancy hardware, iron & steel, blacksmiths' tools, carpenters' & Coopers' tools, Farm implements, hitching posts, oil stoves, etc., etc. Image is of Barnum's White Elephant being weighed on a Fairbanks Standard Scale. "

Advertising Cards - Cracker Jacks
Trade card for Cracker Jacks circus collection cards series.

Offered on ebay® Nov 1999. Seller said, "The Cracker Jack Bears No. 11. Copyright 1907. On reverse: Sixteen Beautiful Post Cards, No Two Alike ... sent free ... mail us ten sides from Cracker Jack packages ... Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein, Chicago, U.S.A."

Advertising Cards - Shoes
Trade card for canvas shoes shows familiar picture of Jumbo carrying a lot of people on his back, presumably on their way to the shoe store

Advertising Cards - Castoria
Trade card for Castoria reads,
"From peasant nurse to high born lady,
All mothers know what's good for baby, CASTORIA.
While Jumbo too, though not a lady ...
Follows suit and feeds the great baby CASTORIA,"

The great baby likely refers to the one which accompanied Jumbo and whom legend claims was saved from the train wreck by Jumbo at the cost of his own life.

[from wikipedia.org: Fletcher's Castoria, now known as Fletcher's Laxative, is an oral syrup containing a stimulant laxative and ingredients to soothe the stomach.]

Advertising Cards - Clothiers
Trade card for S J Nathan Company.

S.J.Nathan And Company. Leading Clothiers Of Sacramento Cal. It Says, Giving Jumbo A Friendly Push Up Broadway N.Y.U.S A

Advertising Cards - Hotel

Ad card for the Elephant Bazaar hotel at Coney Island, NY circa 1880.

This edifice looks suspiciously like Lucy at Margate, New Jersey but is not the same structure. Top image is the advertising card for the hotel.

Photos below ad card show the actual hotel and building plans. These were captured as a result of web searching to find out about the hotel. The upper two photos were at http://digitalgallery.nypl.org and the bottom photo was found at http://mmcsl.co.uk/coney/html/page009.htm#eli. The UK site page is a marvelous history of Coney Island and the elephant, I highly recommend viewing it in its entirety. If the page is still up in at the same url, here is a hyperlink to it; just click it. Coney Island Page

The bottom photo appears to be an aerial view which was hardly possible before 1900 unless taken from a dirigible of some kind. It possibly was made from the top of a tower ride such as the parachute drop which Coney definitely had. I rode it in 1955.

Wikipedia has no article on the subject but finds a possible link to Lucy, about which it says, "Lucy the Elephant is a six-story elephant-shaped architectural folly constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1882 by James V. Lafferty in Margate City, New Jersey, two miles (3.2 km) south of Atlantic City, in an effort to sell real estate and attract tourism."

Advertising Cards - Coffee

Ad card for McLaughlin's Coffee is die cut and free standing when bottom tabs are folded back.

Advertising Cards - Liebig

Ad card for livestock food supplement.

Google© translate from the French reads.
Top line: maintenance of livestock animals that are useful
Bottom line: veritable meat extract of the company Liebig

Advertising Cards - Kellogg

Advertising Postcard for Kellogg's Corn Flakes shows little girl and her toy elephant digging into a box of the maker's corn flakes. The elephant looks like one made by Stieff many years ago.

Reproduction postcard from the collection of Leonard A. Lauder. circa 1910 card. USA by Dover Publications. Purchased online 1999.

Advertising Cards - Milk
Advertising ink blotter from the days of fountain pens, dip pens and quill pens.

Offered on ebay® in 1999, auction closed before we saw it. The seller said, "This is one strange old blotter. It depicts a baby pig turning into a White Elephant "when it is fed costly skim milk". "Cash in on your whole milk with Mutual Milk-Food while you raise healthy, thrifty pigs...economically". Yep, that's what it says. "Costs 1 1/5 cents per gal". This interesting blotter has been used and has some discoloration on the front. A must for any pig/elephant blotter collector. :o)

Advertising Cards - Mustard

Advertising card for Coburn's Philadelphia Mustard.

Apparently they used the elephant to signify the exotic origins of their mustard in the far east. Not having the card itself, can't tell you what is on back.

Advertising Cards - Baking Powder

Advertising card for Sterling's baking powder. Use of elephants and clown is to me meaningless.

Advertising Cards - Lothrops

Advertising card for Lothrops & Pinkham Drugs, Books, and Paper Hangings. Dover, NH. No known reason they used the elephant illustration except for popularity.

Advertising Cards - Sewing Machine

Advertising card for Hartford reads. "This is "JUMBO" but the biggest thing out this season is the Hartford Sewing Machine.
Wee S.M. Co. Hartford, CT."

Advertisers of the era shamelessly appropriated Jumbo's name and/or likeness regardless of whether they could make a tie-in with their product. This one did so referring to 'biggest'.


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