1st Royal Dragoons. Cigarette Card
Public domain photograph of American trade card, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description
The George Arents Collection comprises two distinct groupings of materials under a single umbrella. The first portion of the collection, the Arents Tobacco Collection, constitutes the largest and most comprehensive library in the world devoted to the history, literature, and lore of tobacco. The collection contains both printed and manuscript works—as well as prints, drawings, and ephemera—dating from 1507 to the present, representing Continental Europe, England, and the Americas. Digitized content at The New York Public Library is drawn from a broad range of original historical resources, including materials that may contain offensive language or stereotypes. Such materials should be viewed in the context of the time and place in which they were created. All historical media are presented as specific, original artifacts, without further enhancement to their appearance or quality, as a record of the era in which they were produced. The NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 640,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including not just photographs but illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and more. Digital projects and partnerships at NYPL are managed by the Digital Experience Group, a 21-person team of programmers, designers, and producers dedicated to expanding and enhancing all points of computer and Web-mediated interaction with the library's collections, services, and staff.
Trade cards were one of the most prevalent forms of advertising in the U.S. from around 1875 to 1900. They had their origin in England in the 1700s with tradesmen advertising their wares. The advent of lithography in the 1870s made it possible to mass-produce them in color. The Philadelphia 1876 Centennial Exhibition sparked the beginning, as many were passed out at that event.