New Orleans House Project

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: Threading Up

Sewing thread was another popular advertising topic for Victorian trade cards.  Thread companies often used fantasy themes to illustrate the qualities of their thread.  Imaginative vignettes touting the strength, smoothness and colorfastness of thread were common themes.
Here an adorable puppy is reigned in with Willimantic thread - For the Safety of the Public.
The reverse side explains that Willimantic thread is especially designed to be used with sewing machines, as it has the softest finish, and is the "smoothest and most elastic cotton on the market".  Of interest to modern consumers, the card also emphasizes Willimantic thread is made from combed Sea Island Cotton and "is purely an American production", offering sewists the opportunity to "patronize and sustain Home Industries".   

J & P Coats imagined their thread was used by the Lilliputians to tie down Gulliver.  Of note is the extra-large spool near Gulliver's feet that is being used like a winch and the wagon load of spools near his right hand.  J & P Coats thread was manufactured in Paisley, Scotland - not an American product at the time!

Clark's also has advice on How to Keep Husbands at Home, Nights.
The name "Salanger's" appears to be stamped on the card and was probably a store that sold Clark's thread.  The reverse of the card notes Mile-End thread came in a large variety of colors and the black thread was particularly color-fast.  It is also described as the Standard for use upon all Sewing Machines.


  1. Hi Angie,
    These are really cool! Thanks for sharing! ♥

  2. what fun trading cards! I felt bad for the little puppy, but totally get it, lol

  3. That poor little puppy has such a "woe is me" look on his face. Sweet cards.

  4. What fun cards. Love the hubby all tied up to keep him home!


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