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Universal Advertising Company Text-Box Cards

By now I have found several cards with common features: a text-box within a floral or garden background.  These small (3⅛" x 2⅞") cards have a large blank quadrangle within the picture, often a picture of a fable.


1883  FK card advertising "Programme, July 4th, 1883.  Kansas Weekly Journal.  $1.50 Per Year.  Try It."  $5 from an unknown source, Feb., '18.

This card's picture echoes that of another by Universal Advertising Company advertising their Aesop's Fable Cards, including six designs.  The date of the program anchors the production of these cards in the early 1880's.  

This program on the verso runs from the morning parade at 10 a.m. to the the evening's fireworks and open-air concert.  A hint at the target audience comes from the advertising comment on the verso starting "When in the city to-day."

lavinesoaptradecardC.jpg (20364 bytes)

1885? One colored card with FG and an open space declaring "Try Lavine for Washing." 3⅛" x 1¾". $3.50 from Virginia Makis, Springfield, MA, through eBay, Oct., '06.

This may be the smallest trade card I have found. The scene depicted may be more European than American. The design for the text is quite elaborate and intricate.

1885? One colored card with FG and an open space advertising Shoneman's in Philadelphia.  3⅛" x 1¾". From Etcluttera, Charleston, SC, Nov., '13.

The same small card as above is filled in differently.  The text design here is more pedestrian.

1885? One colored card of FK advertising the Universal Advertising Company of Brockton, MA. $6.75 from Joanne Olinski, Newton, NJ, through eBay, Nov., '05.

Here text-box is utilized to advertise a series of six designs of Aesop's Fables, labeled "No. 20." The series sells for 4¢! This card gives prices for blank and printed versions.  Enough of the picture shows through to let us see the face of the log-king as well as the frog-eating crane.


The card just above came with a companion card in the same format advertising "No. 21: Scenery Chromos, 2d Series."