Friday, November 15, 2013

J&P Coats Victorian trade card: Cats handling the U.S. mail

First, some good news. The old spools of sewing thread that I mentioned a few days ago have found a good home with an area woman who collects them the way I collect ephemera.

So, speaking of spools of thread, how about a vintage illustration of cats for this Friday evening? (You can never go wrong with cats on the Internet.)

This Victorian trade card served as an advertisement for J&P Coats' six-cord thread. It's not clear what cats writing letters and performing mailman duties have to do with sewing thread. But that was kind of the point of most trade cards; the amusing images usually had nothing to do with the product.

Peering more closely at this card provides a couple of fun details. First, the cat with the red collar is writing a letter dated December 1887, which might well be the year this card was issued.

Meanwhile, the cat with the blue ribbon is holding out an envelope addressed to "Miss Pussy Cat" in "Catacinia." Wherever that is.

Here's what the back of the trade card looks like.

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