Williams' Root Beer extract manufactured by Williams & Carleton, Hartford, Conn. The great family drink. [front]
File name: 10_03_000540a.Binder label: Beverages.Title: Williams' Root Beer extract manufactured by Williams & Carleton, Hartford, Conn. The great family drink. [front].Date issued: 1870 - 1900 (approximate).Physical description: 1 print : chromolithograph ; 8 x 13 cm..Genre: Advertising cards.Subject: Children; Beverages.Notes: .Statement of responsibility: Williams & Carleton.Collection: 19th Century American Trade Cards.Location: Print Department.Rights: No known restrictions.
Trade cards were an early form of collectible advertising. Popularized after the Civil War by businesses, they offer a colorful look at society in the 1880s-1890s when the advent of lithography made it possible to mass-produce card in color, leading to a golden age from 1876 to the 1900s. Trade cards had a picture on one side and a text ad on the other. In this collection there are beverage advertising cards, 1875-1890, from collections of Boston Public Library.
Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, introduced the subject of colored lithography in 1818. Printers in other countries, such as France and England, were also started producing color prints. The first American chromolithograph—a portrait of Reverend F. W. P. Greenwood—was created by William Sharp in 1840. Chromolithographs became so popular in American culture that the era has been labeled as "chromo civilization". During the Victorian times, chromolithographs populated children's and fine arts publications, as well as advertising art, in trade cards, labels, and posters. They were also used for advertisements, popular prints, and medical or scientific books.