Monday, February 8, 2016

Doomed goat stars in Victorian trade card for Kerr & Co.

This Victorian trade card, which is about the size of a standard index card, touts Kerr & Company's Extra Six Cord Spool Cotton. It features a clever illustration of Aesop's "The Fox and the Goat," with cotton spools taking the place of the well in the fable.

The fable, which, like all of the fables, has many variants, generally involves a fox trapped in a well tricking a goat into joining him and then climbing up and over the goat in order to escape, leaving the goat trapped. Morals from this fable include:

Look before you leap.
Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties.

I have one quibble with the illustration, though. In the fable, the goat himself goes into the well. But the Cotton Spool Well, as drawn, does not have a wide-enough opening for the goat to fit. (Yes, I think about these things.)

Kerr & Co. incorporated in 1888 and was based in Paisley, Scotland. The history is a little murky, but it appears that Kerr was taken over by competitor J & P Coats around 1895. Though it has long been out of business, the company's trademark was apparently not dissolved until the first decade of this century.

Previous posts featuring goats

1 comment:

  1. That fable is a new one on me. On a related topic, I've been reading an 1880's copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales and man those stories are dark. Very different from the versions I grew up with.