New Orleans House Project

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pieces of the Past: New Home Sewing Machine Co. III

The last examples of New Home Sewing Machine Co. trade cards are not truly trade cards, but they do represent Victorian-style advertising and foreshadow the demise of trade cards in favor of postcards.  I posted some of the images in a larger size so you could see the details in the illustrations - please be patient while everything loads.
A true trade card - no advertising on the reverse, just kids and cats playing with the sewing machine.
This image is not a true trade card.  It is larger than a typical trade card and printed on heavier stock.  It's also cut to follow the printed image.  This may have been done by a collector or it may have been originally issued this way.  Perhaps it was used as an in-store advertisement or maybe part of a calendar.  Regardless, it has typical imagery from the period: this time a pug dog is even included!
Another example of advertising that is not a true trade card.  Again, a much larger size and printed on heavy card stock.  The smaller image in the upper right had corner appears to be pasted in place.  I can't quite figure out what is happening in the scene - was the little girl sewing something for dolly when Mother caught her in the act?
At first glance, this piece appears to be a bookmark.  It's actually a cut-out, which becomes a three-dimensional house when assembled. 
As the popularity of Victorian trade cards waned, advertisers introduced variations on a theme.  Paper dolls were used for advertising a multitude of products, including sewing machines.  This image was also meant to be cut and assembled.

The last four cards in the New Home collection are actually postcards.  By the end of the nineteenth century, trade cards were being replaced in popularity by postcards.  Prior to 1898, only the US Postal Service could issue postcards.  After that date regulations were changed and postcards became an increasingly popular medium for images of all sorts, as well as for sending messages!
These two postcards are typical images that were repeated in various forms for years:  beautiful, well-groomed women posed with sewing machines.  Do a search on eBay for postcard + sewing machine and  you'll likely get a crop of photo postcards with similar illustrations.
This amusing image may have been New Home's response to Singer's Costumes of All Nations cards.  If you've ever moved a treadle sewing machine (they were made of cast iron), you can image what this camel is feeling!
Another common sewing machine image: sewing/repairing a garment while the wearer is occupying it.  This postcard may be a reproduction.  Note the greyhound dog near the top of the card - the "light-running" greyhound was New Home advertising logo.

That wraps up the New Home Sewing Machine Company cards in my collection.  I'm not sure which company I'll focus on next; if you have any requests please leave them in the Comments section!

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