Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cigarette Cards

The NYPL Digital Gallery has more than 125,000 cigarette cards in its collection. Cigarette cards began in the mid-19th century as premiums, enclosed in product packaging. They were usually issued in numbered series of twenty-five, fifty, or larger runs to be collected, spurring subsequent purchases of the same brand. Typically, these small cards feature illustrations on one side with related information and advertising text on the other. NYPL's collection is very impressive. You can spend the entire day looking at all the cigarette cards.

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