Today's post isn't about textiles. But it is interesting. As many of you know, I collect trade cards and other paper bits and bobs. But the one kind of trade card I could never afford are ones that depict Banner Ladies. These cards go for $500 to well over $1000 and well, that's too rich for me to spend on a small piece of paper. I prefer a good bargain.
Banner Ladies were a popular form of advertising in the late 19th century. Photography became more accessible after George Eastman innovated the camera to use flexible film that the company would even develop for the customer. Previous to this invention, film development was often dangerous. So photography became more popular...and trade cards reflect that.
Enter the Banner Ladies. They were human billboards that advertised all kinds of businesses.
This one is somewhat charming, made to promote Mrs. Kirkbride's milliner business: