The Trade Card Collection consists of about 8,000 trade cards, mainly dating from the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The collection forms a magnificent resource for the study of American gender imagery and family consumption patterns, since most of the cards are elaborately illustrated and many contain detailed descriptions of the items offered. Digital images for 1,000 trade cards are available in VIA, Harvard's Visual Information Access system. These may be searched by a range of criteria, including gender, industry, and product.
The collection also includes a number of trade cards advertising businesses owned by women, including Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, Ellen Demorest's Reliable Patterns, Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup for Children, Mme. Clarke's Hygeian Corset, Mrs. Dinsmore's Great English Cough and Croup Balsam, Florence Pott's Cold handle Sad Iron, Mrs. Caslier's French Dress Plaiting, Mme. Jacobs (Ladies' Hair Dresser), Mrs. C. Thompson's Patent [Hair] Wave, Mary E. Morse Millinery and Fancy Goods, and Jennie Driscol's Fashionable Millinery.