New Orleans House Project

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: Some Early Singer Mfg. Co. Cards

I come from a family of folks who love puns and wordplay.  I think that's why I get a kick out of these early Singer Manufacturing Company trade cards.
NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND
The expression "never too late to mend" is not used much these days, but reminds us it is never too late to apologize or make amends to someone.  On the other hand, maybe the saying just means a Singer sewing machine can make repairs even at night - by candlelight!
WHAT I HAVE SEWED TOGETHER
LET NO ONE RIP ASUNDER
Traditional Christian marriage vows often use the phrase, "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder".  The sentiment expresses the belief that the bonds of marriage, made in sight of God, should not be broken by man.  Or maybe our Singer sewing machine Cupid just believes in a literal joining of husband and wife!
AND THE DEVIL CAME AND SOWED TARES
This card has my favorite wordplay, since the word tares is now about as antique as this sewing machine.  The phrase about the devil sowing tares comes from one of Jesus' parables in the New Testament.  In the story, the devil sowed weeds, or tares, in a man's field of wheat.  The story as told by Singer is just a little bit different, though!

The reverse of each of these cards lists the number of Singer sewing machines sold in the years between 1862 (12,489) and 1880 (538,609).  The last date is a good indicator the cards appeared sometime after 1880, which is about the time trade cards started becoming a popular advertising medium.




1 comment:

  1. Another fascinating lesson in sewing trade card history, thank you! I, too, love the word play in these cards. Very clever.

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