Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Colorful advertising card for Clark's O.N.T. Spool Cotton

We've had a couple of threads about thread already this month on Papergreat — old spools and a Victorian trade card — so why not one more?

This colorful card, which measures only 2¾ inches by 4¼ inches, is an advertisement for Clark's O.N.T. Spool Cotton. I wrote the following about this company back in January 2012:
"There is plenty of information about Clark's available online. Textile Industry History ( has a wonderful page full of the detailed history and the ephemera of Clark Thread Co., which was based in Newark and East Newark, New Jersey, from 1866 to 1949. O.N.T. stands for 'Our New Thread' and the brand dates to the mid 1800s."
There is also a good post titled "The Meaning of O.N.T." on the design blog All Things Ruffnerian.

The back of this card specifically touts O.N.T.'s Black Spool Cotton:
"Dyed by a new process which renders the BLACK completely FAST and at the same time does not injured the STRENGTH of the THREAD. The advantage to be derived from the NEW DYE of BLACK cannot be too highly estimated by all who use."

Whether the thread is strong enough to hang laundry from, as pictured in the illustration, is another matter entirely.

Speaking of "thread" strength, I came across the following claim this morning on the @UberFacts Twitter account: "A full head of human hair (about 150,000 strands) is strong enough to support the weight of 2 full grown elephants." So there's your water-cooler fact for the day.

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